Smart, connected products offer opportunities for added value, but they also bring new challenges that have an impact on companies. Sirris, imec and Centexbel-VKC set up an innovative business network (IBN) aimed at helping product manufacturers, technology providers and suppliers.

Innovation can be found in a whole range of aspects. But where is the best place to start, and why? Here’s a number of inspiring examples to illustrate the ‘servitisation’ trend.

The AMable project provides support for ‘design for additive manufacturing’ and for developing the AM chain. The AM Stakeholder Workshop is being held in Aachen on 20 March and is where stakeholders from the manufacturing sector can bring up the most urgent problems, as well as the most promising issues.

How can you adopt a healthier position at work by means of smart textiles and wearable intelligence? In the context of the SMARTpro VIS project, Sirris set up three demonstrators illustrating the potential of combining data from different sources for advanced localisation and activity monitoring based on the technological developments realised within this project.

Within its protective clothing for clean rooms, Scaldis has integrated a mask that considerably reduces the handling required when dressing, hence minimising the risk of contamination. Sirris helped the company to develop its product.

IoT is a matter for all industry sectors. However, its development requires companies either to acquire their own command or to entrust partners with a vast multilayer system of technologies, each stage of which is governed by a number of standards. Sirris and Agoria are there to help them in this complex environment.

Next Generation Internet (NGI), a key priority in the H2020 ICT work programme 2018-2020, will ensure a more human-centric Internet, supporting European values of openness, cooperation across borders, decentralisation, inclusiveness, transparency and protection of privacy.

Agoria and Sirris created the 'Top Faculty' initiative to foster interactions between the technology industry and top-notch worldwide universities. Building bridges between our technology industry and a worldwide ecosystem of top universities is sure to boost competitiveness and innovation.

Next to enabling new data-driven business models, data allows one to acquire new insights to optimise production processes, predict machine failure, profile product usage or set up data-oriented start-ups. However, having access to data and/or collecting it might not always be trivial, and one of the main obstacles to further advance in regard to data-driven innovation remains data sharing. On 30 May Sirris is organising a seminar aiming at showing the potential of data sharing to enhance industrial innovation.

The results of a survey carried out by Sirris with Belgian companies clearly demonstrates their interest in the field as well as the need for information.