Boosting Innovation in Factory of the Future Value Chain in the Alps

Final Conference Summary

Dear Friend,

Proudly we inform you that the BIFOCAlps final conference were held on the 18th September 2018 at the Vorarlberg University of Applied Science in Dornbirn/Austria.

Mr. Jens Schumacher opened the final conference by a short welcome speech about the region of Vorarlberg, incl. figures about citizens, labor market, economic power, etc., and the town of Dornbirn. Vize-rector Mr. Karl-Heinz Weidmann than presented the Vorarlberg University of Applied Science in-depth and presented the Bachelor- and Master courses, FHV’s Research Centers and its facilities. Mathias Bertsch, manager at the Wirtschaftsstandort Vorarlberg GmbH than took over and presented economical facts and figures as well as investment opportunities within the region of Vorarlberg. He presented well-known best practice companies out of the region of Vorarlberg and underlined the importance of international cooperation and collaboration within the field of Digitalization, Industry 4.0 and Factory of the Future. Thanks to Ms. Clotilde Mahe, manager at the Alpine Space Joint Secretary, who also made a short welcome speech and presented some figures, facts and results out of the Alpine Space programme(s). Afterwards, the BIFOCAlps final conference started with a thorough project presentation by Massimiliano Bertetti (Polo di Tecnologico, Lead Partner) about BIFOCAlps objectives, work packages, deliverables and outputs.

Session 1: session one was about the presentation of work package 1, incl. the presentation of developed framework on the Factory of the Future scenario in the Alpine Space and the results out of the quantitative survey method. Mr. Andrea Zangiacomi (National Research Council of Italy) thoroughly presented the work package 1 from a theoretical perspective but also presented the implication for small and medium enterprises within (as well as beyond) the Alpine Space. Afterwards, Ms. Elena Pessot (University of Udine) presented the practical application and implementation within the project target group’s organizations.

Session 2: session two was about the presentation of the results out of BIFOCAlps qualitative survey method, namely the Alpine Space wide case study research about critical success factors to turn “ordinary” organizations into a smart Factory of the Future. Doing so, Ms. Valérie Rocchi (University of Grenoble) presented the theoretical framework and the overall results out of work package two. Mr. Florian Maurer (Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences) than presented the practical implications by presentation of the cases of the Federal State of Vorarlberg and its neighboring regions (Boosting innovation for the development of smart-service Factories of the Future) and a dedicated innovation method: Organizational Robustness and Resilience as Catalyst to Boost Innovation in Smart Service Factories of the Future.

Session 3: session three was about the presentation of BIFOCAlps developed Impact Indicator System in order to track the path towards a smart Factory of the Future. Mr. Christoph Biegler (Fraunhofer Austria GmbH) presented the theoretical perspective but also demonstrated BIFOCAlps Impact Indicator System: it is multi-criterial and multi-level system with both, qualitative and quantitative Key Performance Indicators that support managers and organizational decision makers to transform “ordinary” organizations into sustainable smart service Factories of the Future. Afterwards, Ms. Lisa Hornberger (Baden-Württemberg Connected e. V.) presented a case out of the BIFOCAlps environment. By using the emergent technology of virtual reality, Ms. Hornberger presented the application of BIFOCAlps Impact Indicator System and which indicators really matter.

The moderation of these session was lead my Mr. Franco Scolari (Polo di Tecnologico). He closed the sessions at 13:00 o’clock and reopened the afternoon session – three dedicated workshops about the demonstration about the BIFOCAlps results in more detail – at 14:00 o’clock.


Demonstration workshops

Demonstration 1: demonstration one was moderated by Mr. Robert Merz (head of FHV’s digital factory). Mr. Merz presented the use and application of emergent technologies for companies within the field of manufacturing, such as 3D printing, robots, multi-axis milling machines, CNC machines, quality measurement technologies, etc. and invited the conference participants to an excursion into FHV’s Digital Factory and manufacturing laboratories. The conference participants than were encouraged to ask and discuss questions, perspectives, challenges, etc. about the digital transformation of an “ordinary” organization towards a smart Factory of the Future.

Demonstration 2: demonstration two focused on business information systems within the Factory of the Future and integrated the perspectives of economic and business at the one hand and informatics and business informatics at the other hand. The session emphasized at the ICT and organizational solutions to promote borderless company cooperation, smart production, and Industry 4.0. In this demonstration, an exemplary demonstrator for the Lake Constance region (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) including the demonstration of distributed production for an RF-controlled toy car were presented.

Demonstration 3: demonstration three was moderated by Mr. Jürg Maierhofer (ZHAW Zurich). Mr. Maierhofer presented the importance of data and the research into data as a trigger to boost innovation in a Factory of the Future – a data and service oriented organization. The demonstration participants gained advantage out of three key note presentations and accompanied interactive workshop incl. the guiding questions “What is driving the service transformation in industry?”, “How to develop services” and “Where does innovation [within an organization towards the evolvement of a Factory of Future] happen?”.

Around 17:00 o’clock, conference participants met at the Café Schräg for some drinks and fingerfood. Additionally, the moderators of the demonstration workshops used the opportunity to wrap-up particular workshop and highlight achieved results and success.

BIFOCAlps Final Conference - Announcement

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

we are happy to announce and invite you to the BIFOCAlps final conference. This event will be hosted at the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Dornbirn, Austria) and will be organized on the 18th of September 2018.

BIFOCAlps is a project cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme and actively contributes to the European Commissions’ “Factory of the Future” initiative.

BIFOCAlps project is tackling a common challenge to many Alpine Space regions: due to globalization, many enterprises in Manufacturing Sector are not as competitive as wished in global markets, resulting in increased levels of unemployment, abandoned facilities and remaining plants that need new products and new processes. On the other hand, AS has a strong R&D sector and specialization on Industry 4.0 and Factory of the Future technologies. BIFOCAlps main objective is to boost collaboration and synergies among main actors of the Alpine region innovation system for a sustainable, smart and competitive development of the value chain of the Manufacturing Sector towards the Factory of the Future.

In this final conference, BIFOCAlps partners will present the BIFOCAlps project and achieved project results to foster innovation in Factory of the Future value chains. It is about the general research question "how to cope and withstand emerging technologies and trends and to evolve to a Factory of the Future". In the afternoon, three dedicated demonstration get performed.

Demonstration 1: Boosting Innovation in a Factory of the Future (incl. excursion to FHV's Factory of the Future)
Digitizing factories is a rather complex task, which extends through many different fields of expertise within and across the borders of an enterprise. To facilitate research in digital manufacturing and aid in the training of future specialists and decision makers, a research and teaching factory is currently being established at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. In this session, we will present the concept of the “Digital Factory Vorarlberg”, its benefits for students and local companies, first use cases and cooperation projects and discuss modern paradigms like Cloud Manufacturing or the use of VR and AR technology. The session will be concluded by a short walk through the manufacturing labs and is best suited for attendants who are interested in the role of digital demonstrators and like to discuss modern manufacturing paradigms.

Demonstration 2: Process and Service Design to boost innovation in a Factory of the Future
Designing industry-ready processes and services - which can be deployed across company and country borders - is a key challenge in current European manufacturing / business ecosystems. In this session we will have a look at the ICT and organisational solutions to promote borderless company cooperation, smart production, and Industry 4.0. Additionally, we will have a look at an exemplary demonstrator for the Lake Constance region (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), where we have built an inter-connected, distributed production for an RF-controlled toy car. The demonstrator is the basis for experimentation in cooperation with regional SMEs. This session is suited best for attendants who want to discuss the role of digital ecosystems and smart design for processes and services.

Demonstration 3: Data Science as trigger to boost innovation in a Factory of the Future
The generation of added value from data is becoming an essential driver for the design, development and operation of products / services as they become smart and users continuously interact with manufacturers. R&D in Data Science – including artificial intelligence and Big Data – can be a hurdle for SMEs due to the lack of financial or personnel resources. Therefore, this session deals with approaches to Data-driven Services for SMEs - helping them to start the journey towards a data and service oriented organisation. This session is suited best for attendants who are interested in managerial, organisational, and technological benefits as well as challenges of Data Science and Servitization.


Key information:

Date:           18th Sept 2018
Location:     Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences
                     (Hochschulstraße 1, 6850 Dornbirn (Austria))
Room:         W211/W212
Topic:          Boosting innovation in Factory of the Future Value Chain
Agenda:      Agenda

Registration: closed
Travel &
accomod.:  Travel & accommodation

                    Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences
                    Florian Maurer

Announcement & agenda
Travel & accommodation