State-of-the-art AI technologies need to be integrated with advanced manufacturing technologies and systems in order to exploit their potential in manufacturing and process industry. AI systems cooperating with humans can improve production planning and execution, and can help to improve quality of products and processes.
To widely deploy these technologies, specific attention has to be given to standardisation, synchronising EU and Member States activities, and to international collaboration.
a) Research and Innovation Actions (RIA)
The focus is on integrating state-of-the-art AI technologies in the manufacturing domain, for example in agile production processes and predictive quality, taking into account the domain-specific requirements in terms of time criticality, safety and security, finding effective ways for collaboration between humans and AI systems, and exploiting the strengths of both humans and machines while keeping the human in control. Ethical principles, as expressed by the high-level expert group on Artificial Intelligence should be followed and recommendations for instantiation in the manufacturing domain should be developed. Proposers are encouraged to build on existing results from artificial intelligence research, for example ICT-26-2018-2020.
Proposals must develop innovative concepts and tools that take into account the status and availability of all relevant production resources, learn from past experiences, and deal effectively with unforeseen events. If appropriate, AI techniques should be combined with digital twins and real-life feedback from the shop floor or production facility to improve quality of products and processes. Generative design approaches for products and processes are encouraged.
Developed technologies and solutions should be demonstrated in at least two different realistic manufacturing use cases of significant economic value. If applicable, legal obstacles to implementation of the proposed solutions should be identified.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
b) Coordination and Support Actions (CSA)
Proposals are expected to extend, further develop, and support the implementation of a model for the synchronisation of standardisation activities on AI and related digital technologies in manufacturing at large, at the Member State level and at the European level – and in a global context, taking into account legal and ethical issues where relevant. Proposals need to build on previous activities, such as the results of the Joint MSP/DEI Working Group on standardisation in support of Digitising European Industry.
Proposals are expected to support possible cooperation with Japan, in areas relevant for AI-driven innovation in manufacturing and digital industrial platforms. Proposals will assess opportunities, and kick-off cooperation activities, by organising contacts between researchers and companies from EU and Japan working on AI applications for manufacturing, encouraging the exchange of information on the respective research programmes and technological results. Proposals shall foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by Japan to exchange knowledge and experience, exploit synergies and develop recommendations for further sustainable cooperation and collaboration activities.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 0.5 million would allow these areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. One coordination and support action will be supported for each of the two areas above.
Research and Innovation Actions
- Products and services usable in a wide range of manufacturing processes leading to agile production processes and improved quality of products and processes
- Humans working together with Artificial Intelligence systems in optimal complementarity
Coordination and Support Actions
- Increased synchronisation and cooperation on AI and related digital technologies in manufacturing, with higher global impact
Proposals need to describe how the proposed work will contribute to the impact criteria above, provide metrics, the baseline and targets to measure impact.
Illustration Photo: Nestlé's factory in Karacabey, western Turkey (© Nestlé / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))