Dr. Robert Lovas, the project coordinator of CO-VERSATILE and Deputy Director of the Hungarian Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), has announced the kick off and unveiled the details of the project at the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) workshop. Started in November 2020, the consortium of 21 forward-thinking institutions from nine European countries joined forces to innovate and deploy concepts for repurposing and scaling up flexible and sustainable production methods and supply chain solutions to rapidly address Europe's demand for essential medical equipment and supplies.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that vital medical supplies such as personal protective equipment for caregivers, patients and citizens are essential to save lives", stated Dr. Robert Lovas. "We are excited to lead the CO-VERSATILE project and build upon SZTAKI's expertise to help repurpose and adapt production lines of manufacturers to deliver a 48-hour industrial response and address sudden spikes in demand for medical equipment. The immediate reaction from European manufacturing players has been very positive."
Sharing further details about the CO-VERSATILE project, Dr. Lovas added: "To facilitate the re-orientation of the production facilities, the consortium of partners will develop a Cloud-based platform called 'Digital Technopole' - a commercial marketplace that aims at quickly assisting manufacturing firms with readily available solutions including software tools, manufacturing capacity and training services."
During a 24-month period, the CO-VERSATILE project members will leverage their expertise and network to repurpose existing technologies and services for elevating the adaptability and resilience of the manufacturing sector. These services and technologies will be demonstrated within seven Manufacturing Settings, including industrial production plants and an automated manufacturing system to be then generalised for replication. CO-VERSATILE will explore synergies with other EU-funded projects under the EU's "Advanced knowledge for the clinical and public health response to 2019-nCoV epidemic" programme. The project will also cooperate with I4MS, the EU initiative to digitalise the manufacturing industry, and with the Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in Europe.
The CO-VERSATILE project receives over five million euro funding from Horizon2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, as part of the Commission's 1,4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response. The project focuses on rapid response of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment.
The 21-member consortium includes Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI) as the main coordinator, clesgo GmbH, Deep Blue, DEMCON, EIT Manufacturing Central, Engineering, Fraunhofer institutes (Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research and Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik), HSSMI, IE University, innomine Digital Innovation Hub Nonprofit Ltd., Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Manufacturing Technology Centre, ML ENGRAVING SRL, OR.P.STAMPI SRL, SKM Aeronautics Ltd., STAM S.r.l., TU Wien, TecnoStatic, University of Applied Science of Southern Switzerland and University of Westminster LBG.