EuProGigant:

About the project

Mission and project introduction

EuProGigant stands for European Production Giganet for calamity avoiding self-orchestration of value chain and learning ecosystems, the binational research project for smart and sovereign use of data in the European manufacturing industry. The project is carried out by an Austrian-German project consortium led by the TU Wien and TU Darmstadt, the goal of building a multi-location, digitally networked production ecosystem. As a lightouse project for the Gaia-X initiative, which strives to build an open, European data infrastructure, EuProGigant advances a resilient, data-driven and sustainable industry in Europe. In the ecosystem, which consists of data and infrastructure ecosystems, we show how to practically realize added value for customers and manufacturing companies through value creation based on smart and sovereign use of data. This strengthens European industry and drives the contribution of industry to the sustainable development of Europe.

Image 1: EuProGigant Opening Event on 24/06/2021, (c) Matthias Heschl for images 1 and 3

  • EuProGigant is an EU-wide trademark of the TU Wien and the TU Darmstadt
  • Austrian-German lighthouse project of the bilateral programme “Smart and sovereign use of data in manfacturing” (Big Data in Manufacturing) within the framework of the Austrian programme “Research and Technology Development Initiative Big Data in Production” of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) as well as the German programme “Development of Digital Technologies” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
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duration

EuProGigant, the binational research project runs from 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2025.  

 

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locations

3 in Austria (Linz, Rankweil, Vienna) + 6 in Germany (Darmstadt, Isernhagen, Langenfeld, Loßburg, Munich, Nürtingen) 

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use cases

The project is demonstrated through seven specific use cases.

Vision

EuProGigant’s vision is to create a new type of interaction in both value creation and learning ecosystems. This will enable resilient, data-driven and sustainable production to regain and strengthen European leadership in the manufacturing industry.  

The project seeks to contribute to a Europe in which companies work together collaboratively and consensually on the basis of shared European values and legal views across national borders. The industrial ecosystem is characterised by the self-organisation of participants, data and services (= self-orchestration) in order to mitigate threats from crisis situations (= calamity avoiding).  

 To achieve this, companies will operate within increasingly decentralised production infrastructures, such as manufacturing plants and computing resources that can be logged into. In the case of computing resources this will be reflected in the free choice of storage location, access rights and partnerships. Where production takes place and where data is processed and stored is completely transparent. The prerequisites for this are the above-mentioned values, primarily the GAIA-X principles of trust and transparency, interoperability and data sovereignty (more on the project’s values below). By constantly using data, albeit for a fee, companies can adapt much better to new situations, share knowledge and thus also access solutions themselves that have worked for others. The infrastructure also opens up opportunities for new business models with high value creation along the entire data value chain in parallel to the production value chains: Offering own resources such as data, smart services and ideas as digital sales assets creates an additional pillar for one’s own company besides the usual product offering. Such a broad positioning makes it easier for companies to adapt to market changes – they become faster, more adaptable and more resilient. 

The need for EuProGigant

Highly automated serial production, global supply chains with low inventory levels and maximised productivity through specialisation – these are the hallmarks of European industry and lead to challenges such as a lack of flexibility in value creation. A sudden loss of market demand for established products, supply bottlenecks and employee absenteeism, as well as the existing strain of increasing individualisation of consumer goods exacerbate these challenges. Interconnectivity as it exists today between companies is not enough to counteract this. The digitalisation and networking of the entire manufacturing chain is the key to resolving these problems. This is exactly what is tested and demonstrated in EuProGigant. 

“In our view, digitalisation enables us to solve cross-generational challenges, such as resource conservation, sustainable development and the energy transition. This is because digitalisation in data exchange facilities the holistic consideration of product and plant life cycles throughout the process.“  

PTW TU Darmstadt , Research Partner (DE) - Project Management

“Many small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe remain sceptical about cloud services. From GAIA-X’s point of view, this applies to both potential data suppliers and service providers and is due to a lack of trust in current services, reluctance to make high up-front investments, inadequate know-how and concerns about dependencies.“

Jan Brinkhaus, Brinkhaus GmbH , Industry Partner (DE) - Subcontractor - SME

In the EU Commission’s strategy for data and artificial intelligence, “Shaping Europe’s digital future“, it describes key tasks for the future to secure Europe’s place as a centre for core innovations in the manufacturing industry, resulting in social well-being in the future. In order to reduce barriers and stimulate greater activity among the medium-sized industry in Europe, connectivity must be advanced with cost-effective solutions. Likewise, data processing using artificial intelligence must gain momentum, with society playing a key role in this development. EuProGigant makes a significant contribution to implementing strategies in a targeted manner and meeting a societal need.  

Research questions and project goals

Research questions

Over its project period of 1 March 2021 – 28 February 2025, EuProGigant addresses three central research questions that have so far remained unsolved from both a technical and an economic perspective:  

How can… 

  1. value chains be made resilient to market changes and capable of a large number of variants? 
  2. interdependencies between stages in the value creation process be recognised and used to increase economic efficiency? 
  3. …we design platforms for production systems that are both responsive and universal? 

Project goals

The overall project goal is to address key questions on the topic of smart and sovereign use of data in manufacturing 

Four questions: 

  1. …the identification, extraction and organisation of production-relevant data; 
  2. … increasing flexibility and efficiency in production through the processing of production data (e.g. energy demand and consumption); 
  3. … ensuring reliability and availability of production data; 
  4. … the mapping of cross-border value chains. 

In concrete terms, this means combining existing technologies and building a Gaia-X demonstrator in manufacturing with concrete use cases. For these use cases, we will develop innovative, data-driven business models according to Gaia-X as a best practice example for Europe. The economic application of the business models will be pursued during the duration of the proejct.

Central realisations:

  • Machine connection and machine-oriented data processing
  • Resilience in the value creation ecosystem: distributed terminals for the fulfilment of  joint benefits
  • Multi-cloud connectivity: collaborative condition monitoring & predictive maintenance, energy efficiency

EuProGigant shows how small and middle-sizedcompanies can independently join the European data infrastructure via the Gaia-X Federation Services.

EuProGigant aims for the following quantified impact:

EuProGigant – The lighthouse project for Gaia-X in manufacturing

Project activities

In answering the three research questions, EuProGigant focuses on optimising the speed and flexibility of value creation through the implementation of the technical architecture of a data ecosystem according to Gaia-X. A high-frequency data collection by means of, open-source-based, cost-effective solutions in combination with a process-oriented aggregation of the collected data should offer a high incentive for new users. In addition, easy, self-configurable connectivity between the infrastructure ecosystem and the data ecosystem should accelerate the speed of value creation. 

EuProGigant demonstrates data continuity in the manufacturing ecosystem through standardised vertical integration from the machine to the plant management level as well as further horizontal linkages across different business units and even company and country boundaries. The project shows how different actors, stakeholders and companies can access data, achieving a common benefit by working together. It does this by creating interfaces, showing how the building blocks of the system (computing units, measuring devices, software, Gaia-X Federation Services) need to be used and implementing this in models for which different use cases have been devised. By analysing the contributing factors and their effects on our value creation and learning ecosystem, disruptive factors are identified and software and hardware-based solutions for stable systems are developed. 

“Thanks to Gaia-X, including the latest interface technologies, we can provide our customers with a new level of analysis of their manufacturing processes,“ says a representative of IGH Infotec AG, industrial partner (DE), SME. 

EuProGigant’s unique selling point is the creation of a European knowledge database (see core innovations below) as a platform for long-term, secure, sovereign and holistic data retention in the cloud. To connect machines to the platform, a vertical integration solution will be created taking into account the interfaces between machines, tooling and clamping systems, measurement systems, edge devices, on-premise solutions and systems for business resource planning (Enterprise Resource Planning ERP) and production control systems (Manufacturing Execution System MES). Using smart data connectors, data is aggregated and pre-processed to differentiate between smart data and big data. The project shows in practice how different computer units (hardware) together with the corresponding software must be used in production so that the data from the data sources (e.g. sensors, machines, measuring systems) reach the destinations (e.g. cloud systems, platforms, ERP, MES) according to their requirements such as data quantity, time and quality. 

A resilience effect is created through shortened reaction times due to direct access and transparency. Data availability and the offer of alternative processing and hosting systems also help to increase stability because there is increased and ongoing interaction. Information is available when it is needed. As a result, the ecosystem starts to self-orchestrate. 

Core innovations: Knowledge database, data management and resilience 

European knowledge database

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Holistic data management

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Greater resilience

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Throughout the course of the project, EuProGigant will deliver: 

  • 26 publicatons,  4 dissertations 
  • 50 public events, workshops, matchmaking sessions 
  • 2,500 newsletter subscribers
  • 10 new jobs in industry & research with a focus on gender 
  • 5 business models for data use in manufacturing 
  • 40 new connected machines and plants for machine and production data collection 
  • 4 cloud platforms connected via Gaia-X 

Sustainability, artificial intelligence and social issues:
3 topics in the project

In EuProGigant, the latest technical innovations are applied in line with the project goals. At the same time, the project contributes to social change. Climate protection, energy savings and resource efficiency are driven by the project; artificial intelligence is used and the way is paved for a digital and social work culture. 

You can find out more about how the project contributes to these three key topics by clicking on the images.  

Sustainability

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Artificial intelligence

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Digital and social work culture

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Project values and principles

The owner of services or data is free to decide with whom, for what purpose, for how long (period of use), to what extent (rights control, what may be done with the data) and with what return (price charged or revenue share, interest on data) they share the data. 

Transparency allows for an overview of what data is available and enables quick problem solving through access to the responsible contact persons. Everything that is shared in the future via EuProGigant (=European Production GigNet) will be findable due to self-description. Digital twins will play a key tole as virtual representations of things in the real world (Internet of Things – IoT) and assets such as data and services in the virtual world (Web of Things – WoT). Transparency also refers to the decision making process of AI applications (Explainable AI) and a transparent, open culture of cooperation in the project that promotes constructive feedback and the willingness to discuss with public institutions. 

When two or more partners in the giganet find each other and want to interact, they clarify the purpose of the interaction and the legal framework with each other and then make their data, information or services accessible. In the future, this process can be automated through a specification of preferences and settings via an independent third party, such as the umbrella organisation Gaia-X AISBL. 

Interoperability facilitates platform and manufacturer independent (system free) data processing. To achieve this, platforms must be able to connect to each other, where interoperable systems need to have the same interfaces and semantics (data language) and data formats (how information is transmitted, stored, interpreted) match. Interoperability is critical for data exchange in the production giganet.  

Digital services (code that performs a function) need to work on different end devices and therefore must be portable. This means that they can be copied and moved between systems. Portability uses interoperability functions, but is essential for data and services to be usable in different places.  

Partners

The success of EuProGigant is possible thanks to the cooperation of the project partners and the advisory boards (Industrial Committee & Advisory Board, Intergenerational Advisory Board, Scientific Advisory Board). The basis for the common ecosystem is the fact that companies have existing business relationships with each other and share a common interest in the implementation of the use cases, as these represent real problems in today’s industry. EuProGigant takes a comprehensive approach and engages with large and small companies and other stakeholders.  

More about our partners

Mehr Informationen zur internen Organisation des Projekts, dem Zusammenspiel zwischen den Partnern und den Fördergebern finden Sie auf der Seite Organisation.

Mehr über die Organisation des Projekts

Take part in EuProGigant:
Support the proejct and be part of the future of manufacturing

Still not involved in EuProGigant? You can get involved in the project in the following ways:  

Project support:  

  • Participate in the Industrial Committee: Access to leading knowledge and opportunity to play an active role  
  • Technology provider: Provide components or grant licenses
  • Business creation partner: Participate in the development of business models 
  • Companies can also present their product and offer them for free usage 

Extended cooperation opportunities:

  • Stand-alone industry projects connected to the EuProGigant infrastructure 
  • Work on partner-specific use cases to supplement the project
  • Further funding opportunities for project financing are possible
  • Contact us if you are interest in getting involved in the project or have any questions.  
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