The European Commission, within the framework of the Digital Europe programme, will designate at least one hub in each member state before the start of the programme in 2021. The aim is to create a European network of hubs working for cross-border collaboration. There are five designated subject areas: high-performance computer systems (HPC), artificial intelligence, cyber security and trust, advanced digital skills and the dissemination and use of digital capabilities.
– For Luleå University of Technology, this would mean that we get to take part in an extensive European network with expertise in areas that are relevant to us. Such an extensive collaboration is of course extremely interesting to us.
Luleå University of Technology's proposal for an innovation hub, IndTech, is led by ProcessIT Innovations. Automation region and the strategic innovation program for Process Industrial IT and Automation (SIP-PiiA) are also partners.
Focus is on technology that creates smart industries which in turn can provide increased efficiency and new customer values. Smart industries using, for example, artificial intelligence, Certification Practice Statement (CPS) or integrated value chains.
– There is a great need for this technology in the process and manufacturing industry. Our idea is mainly to support small and medium-sized companies that are suppliers to the industry. It is about matching the needs of the industry with the range of small and medium-sized companies and combining it with the academy's expertise. As a university, we have many years of experience in industrial automation and in combination with our strong profile in AI, we have developed a very competitive concept, says Pär-Erik Martinsson.
– Thanks to the hub being established in collaboration with Automation region and PiiA, we can build on our respective regional strengths while having national relevance and a European perspective. I believe that our chances of success are very good, which would mean regional funding from the EU throughout the next framework programme period, ie seven years, and a joint investment of more than SEK 200 million.
All national candidates must now submit another application to the European Commission. In total, between three and six nodes will be placed in Sweden and the final announcement is expected in the spring of 2021.