Brain4Industry, a consortium led by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences - as the representative of the Czech Republic - has applied for membership in the European Digital Innovation Hub. In the coming years, the hub should become the driving force behind the digital transformation process for small and medium enterprises as well as for public administration bodies. Brain4Industry is among the winners of the national round of the EDIH call for proposals, which was published this week by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Brain4Industry (B4I) focuses on the digitalisation of small and medium enterprises and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing processes. Apart from this, it offers expertise in advance manufacturing technologies. The main areas of its specialisation include additive, plasma and laser technologies; surface modification and structuring, mathematical simulation and computing methods; topologically optimized products; the development of innovative virtual management systems; a certified manufacturing and testing process. It also plans to build an innovation centre with a testing facility.
“I am very glad that we managed to create a strong consortium, which offers its clients know-how in digitalisation; manufacturing process data collection and analysis, including tailor-made solution proposals linked to expert knowledge and an attractive testing infrastructure in the area of advanced manufacturing technologies,” Michael Prouza, the Director of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, said.
A unique European-level facility
The Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, which includes the HiLASE laser centre, has access to a very unique European-level technology and development facility. In the last few years, it has significantly developed the collaboration with Czech industry, and in doing so, it proved multiple times that technological development must go hand in hand with the digital transformation of businesses. Digital transformation, together with the gradual integration of AI-based solutions into the manufacturing process, is a necessary precondition for the modernization of Czech industry and for productivity growth of its small and medium enterprises.
“We want to focus on working with corporate clients in a long-term and systematic way. This is, among others, a reason why we set up the construction project to build an independent B4I innovation centre in Dolní Břežany, which will mainly serve the needs of industry,” Michael Prouza said, adding the details of the project. “We have ensured the funding from the EU’s competitiveness entrepreneurship and innovation operational programme. In the second half of the year, we would like to start the construction of the centre. It will offer a high-quality testing facility, and the premises for trainings, seminars, and networking and awareness events. It will open its doors to its industrial partners in 2023. If we receive the EDIH label, it will help us extend our services and make them affordable to small and medium enterprises,“ Michael Prouza added.
The B4I Consortium is built on a long-term cooperation platform bringing together the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and its research, enterprise and innovation partners. Within the Institute, the respective areas are mainly covered by experts from HiLASE and the MATCA National Competence Centre. The other members of the consortium include the Institute of Thermomechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the CARDAM development centre, and the STAR Research & Innovation Cluster - an association of research organisations, companies, public research institutions and investors in the STAR region (Dolní Břežany – Vestec – Zlatníky-Hodkovice).