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“We’re producing brains – that’s my primary product”

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

As a European Technology Platform for R&D&I, Inside (formally known as ARTEMIS) brings together over 200 OEMs, SMEs, universities and research institutes to create Intelligent Digital Systems together. Our new name reflects the importance of our community to everything we do, so we’ve invited members to share their stories on what it means to be Inside.

A growing appreciation

As a long-standing professor at Luleå University of Technology, Jerker Delsing has been around since the start. “I was part of writing the first Strategic Research Agenda some sixteen years ago,” he explains. “But why did I come there? Here, we have what we call the Process IT Initiative, where we talk about how to support our process industry. We have mines, paper pulps and the steel industry around our university and we identified Inside as the most interesting and most important European industrial association to join. This has rewarded us with a lot of industrial and academic contacts but also membership of a number of very interesting research projects.”

Among the projects they’ve coordinated is an ongoing success story: Arrowhead Tools, Europe’s largest project for solutions in industrial automation and digitisation with a budget of 91 million euros. For Jerker, however, the biggest achievement has been the establishment of Eclipse Arrowhead, one of the major open-source initiatives to address the implementation of information collection and distribution technology for a working Industry 4.0. “I’m not saying that this is flying yet but I think there’s a growing appreciation and usage. We see companies building commercial things with this technology and when you realise this – when companies say, ‘hey, have a look at this installation’ and you see the Arrowhead logo on their boxes – that’s kind of cool!”

New ground for competition

Inside is about more than technology and commercialisation though; for academic members, projects feed knowledge back into the programmes that provide the next generation of engineers. “We’re producing brains – that’s my primary product,” says Jerker. “To a very large extent, these students are now at industrial companies. Because of the knowledge they got at the university, we see them doing things that the companies didn’t think of before hiring them – knowledge partly created through the projects we’ve been involved with through Inside.”

As for the future, Europe is the leading lady in automation, digitisation and Industry 4.0, but this position is based on legacy technology. The rise of Internet of Things, edge computing and AI and the enormous transition to Intelligent Digital Systems brings major challenges but also serves as a key motivation for Jerker. “This is a new ground for competition. Not only knowledge-wise, which is my profession as a university professor, but also in terms of how we can exploit this to improve society. I think that we have both the possibility and the capability to continue Europe’s stronghold as one of the major regions or the major region of the globe. This is one of my driving forces for the transition to Inside. On the larger scale, it’s why I’m here and why I want to stay here.”


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