The three Northern Netherlands provinces, Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, recently decided to invest in ‘smart factories’ via the "Northern Netherlands: Region of Smart Factories" project (RoSF). The provinces and the Ministry of Economic Affairs will contribute 11 million. Approximately one million will go to the University of Groningen.
Within the RoSF project three PhD candidates will be appointed (one of them together with the University of Twente) and one postdoc. Together with some companies based in the Northern Netherlands they will search for new smart factory solutions. The companies involved will have their factories available as Fieldlab and will bring their knowledge and experience. Focus will be on research issues such as flawlessness (zero-defect manufacturing), "first time right" designs of new products and manufacturing processes, and customized (flexible) manufacturing. Involved in the RoSF project are Prof. Dr. Ir. J.M.A. Scherpen, Prof. dr. B. Jayawardhana, and dr. A. Vakis (Engineering and Technology institute Groningen), dr. G. R. Blake (Zernike Institute of Advanced Materials) and prof. Dr. Ir. M. Aiello (Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science).
The RoSF consortium was formed around a number of key Northern Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) - companies such as Philips Drachten, Fokker Hoogeveen and CIG Central Steel Groningen. The past year the RoSF consortium has become a wide-ranging cluster consisting of more than 25 companies, universities and educational institutions. RoSF was initiated by NOM and developed under the auspices of the Task Force HTSM Northern Netherlands. Through RoSF the collaborations between RUG and regional companies increased considerably. New contacts were set up (with, among others, Fokker and CIG) and existing relationships were deepened, such as with Philips Drachten. These relations are of strategic importance for RUG. For example, RUG and Philips Drachten have started the HTSM Honours Master within this framework and in June 2015, it led to the appointment of Jan Post of Philips Consumer Lifestyle Drachten as Honorary Professor of Digital Fabrication at the Engineering and Technology Institute. Prof. J. Post also is project manager of RoSF and one of the initiators of the roadmap “
Academic Roadmap Smart Industry
” which was developed by RUG in close cooperation with the RoSF consortium.
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