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SHOP4CF offers €100,000 for innovative manufacturing projects

The way we, humans, manufacture things has seen a series of drastic changes over the past few hundred years. Think of the steam engine, electricity, conveyor belt, factory automation; the newer methods, processes, tools, and power sources have been disrupting the older ones since the Middle Ages — and continue to do so to this day.

Are you a manufacturing company? Wouldn't it be great if you could get the support you need to implement new effective ways of manufacturing with robots on your production floor? The European-funded programme SHOP4CF offers just that — in addition to €100,000 in equity-free funding. The call for applications has just launched and will stay open until August 2021.

In addition to the funding, SHOP4CF will assign two experts from the consortium to each winning project. Those will check in with the project teams regularly, provide support and advice on implementation of the modules, and continuously evaluate the results. The winning teams will also be able to participate in training sessions focused on technological and business aspects of innovation, as well as get tailored mentoring on SME finances and budgeting.

SHOP4CF (Smart Human Oriented Platform for Connected Factories) is a project that aims to create a unique infrastructure for the convenient deployment of human-centric industrial applications. It's funded by the EU within the eighth framework programme Horizon 2020, and includes 20 partners that develop a comprehensive software platform with a wide range of components. The platform covers a broad spectrum of industrial requirements, especially in the context of modern, flexible, and data-rich manufacturing.

With the work on the platform well underway, SHOP4CF is now looking for tandems of system integrators and manufacturing companies (at least one of which has to be an SME) to run pilots by combining modular SHOP4CF components. The time frame of the pilots is eight months, thus it has to be possible to complete the integration within this period. The successful applicants will receive €100,000 in equity-free funding to integrate pre-existing components developed by the SHOP4CF consortium as well as new ones, developed by the applicants themselves.

The sweet spot for SHOP4CF are manufacturing environments where human labour can be both automated and enhanced by machines. The framework and the components already developed by the consortium allow to improve people's working conditions by automating monotonous and/or hard physical work, as well as increasing human productivity through smart assistance.

Here's a video that explains things perfectly:

The range of software components developed by the consortium members covers a broad range of issues, from robotic navigation and safety planning to AR and VR applications for worker training and remote troubleshooting. There are also modules for better wireless networking, process optimisation, task management, anomaly detection, and much more.

SHOP4CF consortium partners include: the Technical University of Munich, VTT, Fraunhofer, Danish Technological Institute, IMEC, European Dynamics, FundingBox, Eindhoven University of Technology, FZI, University of Opole, IRT Jules Verne, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Tecnalia, Polytechnical University of Madrid, Tampere University, Bosch, Volkswagen, Arçelik, Siemens, and ISDI.

Do you have a project that fits the description? Apply at to receive €100,000 in equity-free funding together with support from a group of researchers and practitioners with experience in manufacturing. Applications are open until August 3, 2021.

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