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TNO and Fraunhofer sign MOU on Industrie 4.0 and Smart Industry

13 Apr 2016

Dutch-based TNO and the German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be intensifying their cooperation on the fourth industrial revolution. Fraunhofer and TNO are both key knowledge partners respectively in the successful German Industrie 4.0 and the Dutch version Smart Industry.

(Copyright: Deutsches Museum)

The agreement was signed on 13 April in Munich by Fraunhofer president Professor Reimund Neugebauer (on the left) and Paul de Krom CEO and chairman of the TNO executive board in the presence of the King and Queen of the Netherlands.

Digitisation and the Internet-of-Things

TNO and Fraunhofer are both active in the ongoing digitisation of existing industrial systems by connecting them with smart ICT and data-processing: on the work floor, between factories and for the new so-called smart products and services like logistics chains, where small production runs can be performed at the price of mass production, and Internet-of-Things techniques for the maintenance of production equipment or monitoring the health of cows.

Standardising processes, architectures and interfaces

Smart Industry / Industrie 4.0 has to lead to more efficient industrial processes that consume less energy and fewer resources. The cooperation between Fraunhofer and TNO is geared especially to the international and safe standardisation of the processes, architectures and interfaces in the 4th industrial revolution. “Because the Dutch and German industry are so interwoven and often use the same German equipment and software, standardisation is of the utmost importance for the success of Industrie 4.0 / Smart Industry”, said Paul de Krom at the signing. Prof. Neugebauer added: “Our solidarity - especially at such a trendsetting topic as Industrie 4.0 - is a crucial step for the promotion of the economy, but also for applied research in Europe”.

The cooperation that has been initiated will not be restricted to TNO and Fraunhofer but will, in the coming time, be expanded with similar Research and Technology Organisations (RTO) in other European countries.

By establishing architectures and testing interfaces in operational test environments, right and safe solutions can be developed and validated. Both organisations are members of the Industrial Data Space Association and are collaborating on European Horizon 2020 proposals aimed at extending the rollout of the developed solutions in both countries.

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