The expertise of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics – especially with reference to the implementation of industry 4.0-technologies – was in focus of a recent delegation journey to Ireland. Andreas Nettsträter, Carina Neveling and Desiree Bullock from the department “Strategic Initiatives” were visiting leading Irish research institutions and companies to discuss research needs, applications and consequences of “Industrie 4.0”. They agreed on further cooperation to deepen these discussions – among others – in joined research projects. “Industrie 4.0 has an enormous impact on Irish companies. Hence their need for Industrie 4.0-technologies and -applications in terms of logistics is enormous”, says Andreas Nettsträter.
The delegation also visited the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre (IRM) in Dublin as well as several institutions of the Dublin City University (DCU) and the University College Dublin (UCD). Furthermore the IML-team from Germany got in contact with medium-sized enterprises like TEG or Trend Technologies in Mullingar. Amongst others they presented the project “Bin:Go”– a smart drone, developed for the internal transport of small, lightweight goods, that is able to roll and fly. Also the activities of the leading-edge cluster “EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr” aroused enthusiasm. At the UCD Insight Centre for Data Analytics, one of the biggest research organisations within this domain, the delegation members were introducing the Initiative Industrial Data Space of Fraunhofer and the corresponding user association whose head office is located at the Fraunhofer IML. Within the Industrial Data Space Association notable corporations from industry, service providers and trade companies develop safe and trustworthy solutions for the digitalisation and the resulting fundamental change of business and manufacturing processes.
According to Germany Trade & Invest, – the German national association for foreign trade and location marketing – Ireland exceeds the EU-average in case of IKT-infrastructure as well as in the usage of the internet, cloud technologies and social networks. Research focusses are medical engineering, data security, energy, materials research or the digital linked agriculture. “Actually there is no research institute like the Fraunhofer IML in Ireland that is specialised on technical innovations for logistics”, said Carina Neveling. “Hence our Know-How is in great demand for both sides, science and economy.”
Initial steps for the collaboration between the Fraunhofer IML and the Irish partners have already been developed during the journey. All in all, the delegation from Dortmund draws up a consistently positive balance: “We are highly motivated to submit a common project proposal in the next round of calls of the EU research program Horizon2020. Furthermore, collaborations at the operational level shall be enhanced in the future: Our European Network rises!”