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Research Research themes

Smart industries

A unique trait of the University of Groningen is the close relationship between its faculties for natural sciences, social sciences and engineering. It is the only university in the Netherlands where engineering research takes place in a comprehensive environment, thus resulting in a unique integration of fundamental and engineering sciences. The aims of the interdisciplinary research team working on the theme smart industries are to develop new fundamental knowledge and to create a conceptual foundation for current smart industry initiatives.

The research includes several topics, which are grouped in four research themes:

  1. Business Innovation. Technological innovations go hand in hand with changes in business models and may impact the viability of new business eco-systems. In this theme, we take a systems perspective in identifying new business models and—together with industry partners—developing a strategic blueprint for smart industries.
  2. Advanced Production Processes. Advanced production processes are robust, self-regulatory and controlled in real-time. In this theme, we focus on the development, optimization and implementation of advanced production technologies and manufacturing processes with an emphasis on mechanical engineering. Industrial robotics play an important role in advanced production processes. Moreover, 3D printing is considered as it results in a paradigm shift—where computer controlled tools and processes are used to transform digital designs directly into physical products.
  3. Agile demand-driven manufacturing. Technological innovations enable increased customization using efficient manufacturing processes that can easily adapt to changing volumes and variety of products. In this theme, we develop new methods and techniques to efficiently produce a wide range of products. Moreover, we explore possibilities to decrease the time required for effective product and process design. Finally, we study the changing role of the workforce.
  4. Embedded intelligence. Innovative products, services and production processes provide and require large quantities of data. In this theme, the management of those data is the main topic of research. There is a focus on the design and application of cyber-physics and The Internet of Things in the light of pertaining technological and business challenges.


Prof. dr. ir. J.M.A. (Jacquelien) Scherpen j.m.a.scherpen
Prof. dr. I.F.A. (Iris) Vis i.f.a.vis

Last modified:15 March 2019 10.49 a.m.