For this month of July 2019, we approach a veteran Digital Innovation Hub in a country with a well-established national policy around Industry 4.0: DIHNAMIC, from France.
France has a national initiative in the Industry 4.0 domain, called “Alliance Industrie du Futur”, in place since April 2015 and the corresponding regional initiative for Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, where DIHNAMIC is located, “The Factories of the Future programme of Nouvelle-Aquitaine region” was launched even before: in 2014.
This policy background and their long ride have probably been the reasons why they have managed to build a rich and balance ecosystem for their DIH, including clusters, technology platforms, research and education institutions, companies and SME intermediary organizations.
And that’s not all. The have plans for the future. Would you like to know some more details about them? Keep on reading through this interview that Ms. Hanna-Kaisa Saari (HKS), from Aerospace Valley, the DIH coordinator, has been kind enough to answer:
Tell us a bit about DIHNAMIC…
HKS: DIHNAMIC is the digital innovation Hub for Nouvelle-Aquitaine Manufacturing Industry Community and is the one-stop-shop for regional companies, mostly SMEs, seeking for innovation in digital transformation services and Industry 4.0 solutions.
Since September 2018, the action of DIHNAMIC is coordinated by the regional council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and operated by Aerospace Valley, the largest European cluster on aeronautics, space and drone sector (strongest manufactural sector in the region).
DIHNAMIC is aligned with the “Factory of the Future” programme lead by the Regional council, to support SMEs in their digital and organizational transformation. Within DIHNAMIC, 25 actors unite their strengths to support industrial companies, notably SMEs, in the modernization of their production and business processes.
Can you provide some figures on the companies supported by your DIH?
HKS: Since 2014, the “Factory of the Future” regional programme has selected through a call for expression of interests, more than 550 voluntary SMEs and Mid-caps to benefit from individual support services:
- Initial diagnostic and identification of improvement actions,
- Estimation of potential gains by setting up improvement actions, and
- Recommendations on improvement plans for global economic excellence in order to achieve tangible results.
More than 1000 SMEs will be additionally selected and supported starting in 2020. An impact evaluation process of this programme has been recently launched.
What specific services do DIHNAMIC offer?
HKS: DIHNAMIC offers 4 services:
- Technology development,
- Business development,
- Ecosystem development, and
- Training and new skills development.
Under the technology development DIHNAMIC gathers 9 technology platforms (ALPhANOV, CANOE, CATIE, CEA Tech, CETIM, Compositadour, CTTC, Metallicadour, Tecnalia). The expertise of those platforms is: Big data analytics, AI; Virtual reality, increased reality, digital twins and simulations; IoT; Reliability and maintenance of means; Additive manufacturing and new processes; Robotics, cobotics, automation; Intelligent industrial machinery; Composites and new materials; Innovative assemblies and intelligent components; Online control and CND; and Photonics.
Did you receive any EU funds and, if so, how did you employ them?
HKS: DIHNAMIC, as a Networked organization without formal structure, has not by itself directly received any funds. The Regional council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine is funding the coordinator of DIHNAMIC, Aerospace Valley. All core members have also their individual funds coming from several public and private sources and their core activities are in line with the services provided by DIHNAMIC.
As DIHNAMIC is, and will be, the unique DIH of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the ambition of DIHNAMIC is to reach the “European Digital innovation Hub” label and associated funding. Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional council considers the concept of one-stop-shop for SMEs in Industry 4.0 crucial in order to successfully achieve the digitalisation of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and European industry.
Can you please provide a practical example of an EU-funded experiment or a case where you helped a company to develop a particular digital solution?
HKS: One concrete example is VENTANA Narcastet Company which has been supported through the Factory of the future programme. VENTANA Narcastet is a complex metal parts production company for aeronautics. Its objective was to modernise its industrial process to continue to produce in France. To this end, hybrid foundry technology was developed, hence permitting the production of pieces ten times less expensive than classic 3D impression, and four times quicker and twice less expensive than conventional foundry, while respecting the complex certification processes of aeronautics.
DIHNAMIC has not yet received any EU funds dedicated to DIHs. Our ambition is to participate in the next coming calls and we are seeking for partners for the following topics:
- DT–05-2020: Big Data Innovation Hubs (topic 2);
- DT-03-2020: I4MS (phase 4) (IA, topic 1-4), and
- DT-04-2020: Photonics Innovation Hubs.
Interview by Almudena S. Escrich, DIHNET