Research focus on the resilience of supply chains with important medical products

Reliability in Supply of medical goods is of great importance and main focus of this research project

© Co-Versatile

Research Project focusing on material flow of medically essential goods

With the research project CO VERSATILE we aim to develop new product methods and supply chain strategies in order to increase the resilience, the adaptability and flexibility in the European manufacturing industry of medically relevant goods. This means, that all participating partners from supplier and service provider to the producer are enabled to act fast and efficient in case of a sudden increase of demands for strategical, medical goods due to future pandemics.


Reaction velocity in pandemic times

CO VERSATILE is one of four funded research projects within the European Covid-19 funding program that address fast Ramp-Up and production of vital medical goods. 21 partners from eight European countries are involved in this project, which started in November 2020. The main goal is to optimize the manufacturer’s reaction ability of medical equipment. For this instant, a critical mass of competencies, technologies and services is to be collected and made accessible via a specific platform, the Digital Technopole. Thanks to this strategy, the European manufacturing industry is enabled to realign its production capacities, in case of an urgent and sudden need for medical goods and equipment as we faced for example during pandemic times. This project is led by Budapest research institute SZTAKI.


The Digital Technopole

All developed services are to be provided through a platform of further SME. This is why a “Digital Technopole”, that provides access to services, applications and knowledge of all involved partners, is founded in CO VERSATILE. During the time span of two years the partners of CO VERSATILE are going to use their knowledge and networks, to test services and technologies in seven use cases with pandemic situations. The hereby created Digital Technopole makes a digital and production based transformation for enterprises of the manufacturing industry in all Europe in an efficient and democratic way possible.

This project is based on the lean-start-up-method. With the step by step, cyclical development through build-measure-cycles, a resilient structure of companies’ capacities and reaction abilities is carried out.


Optimization of reaction speed using a Digital Technopole

Four main aims are forming with aid of the Digital Technopole:

  1. Ensuring a rapid response to persistent emergency situations by realigning production capacities.
  2. Establishing an accessible, democratic "Digital Technopole" to realign production capacity and supply chain.
  3. Demonstrating the 48-hour response capability through seven industrial-scale use cases and validating the "Digital Technopole".
  4. Ensuring the sustainability of the Digital Technopole and its usability for the European manufacturing industry.

This research project and especially the Digital Technopole above all help small and medium sized enterprises by providing guided solution finding and access to a high-profile network of suppliers and experts.


Task of Fraunhofer IML:

Development of service components with supply chain simulation and securing of material availability during ramp-up of production

Fraunhofer IML supports CO-VERSATILE by setting up specific services to increase the resilience of the supply chain. Explicitly, three service components are built up to support companies in ramping up during pandemics. The service components consider the specific needs of SMEs and provide the following support:

  • Evaluation of costs and lead times in building a European supply chain (design of a new European supply chain).
  • Evaluation of the establishment of a regional supply chain as a replica of an existing supply chain while taking pandemic risks into account
  • Identification of bottlenecks at suppliers due to an urgent increase in demand

The service components provide companies with approaches to maintain production or build the supply chain for new product categories in pandemic crisis situations. The services are made available to companies based on the Digital Technopole.




Institute for Computer Science and Control; STAM S.r.l.; clesgo GmbH; University of Applied Science of Southern Switzerland; Fraunhofer-Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung; Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik; Innomine Digital Innovation Hub Nonprofit Kft; University of Westminster LBG; Instituto Technológico de Aragón; HSSMI Ltd.; EIT Manufacturing Central gGmbH; ML Engraving; Or. P. Stampi Srl; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover; The Manufacturing Technology Center Limited LBG; IE University; SKM Aeronautics LTD; Euro Denker, S.L.; Technische Universität Wien; Deep Blue; Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.; DEMCON advanced mechatronics Enschede BV