Gaia-X Hub Austria
– Domain Manufacturing
An influential theme in the digitalization of production is the increasing interconnection of manufacturing facilities. Machines and production lines are interconnected through digitalization and linked to IT systems. Modern industrial plants collect data and are digitally connected to upstream or downstream assets. Cross-company data exchange (“Data Sharing”) with customers or suppliers is considered the next step for digital production and forms the basis for efficiency improvements in value creation networks. Austria’s industry is characterized by highly specialized companies (“hidden champions”) that play essential roles in global value chains with their products. Therefore, Data Sharing holds significant potential for the Austrian industry.
Efficiency gains through data sharing are theoretically possible for Austria’s manufacturing businesses, but in practice, they are mostly a vision for the future. There are still numerous issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve economic benefits for Austrian companies. The problem lies in the complexity of the subject, the presence of various economic and political initiatives, competing standards and software architectures, as well as a multitude of projects with different approaches. However, the number of individuals dealing with this topic in Austrian industrial companies is very limited, and the resources allocated to addressing the issue are often scarce.
Limited time and personnel resources contribute to the passivity of many industrial companies. Often, they adopt a wait-and-see approach, letting developments unfold and only reacting when conditions are dictated by customers or government regulations. However, such a reactive attitude can lead to a short-term competence gap, medium-term loss of orders, and long-term loss of competitiveness.
This is where the Gaia-X Hub Austria – Manufacturing Domain comes into play. In collaboration with EIT-Manufacturing, TU Wien, AIT, KNOW-Center, and DIO, the Industry 4.0 platform will consolidate activities in Austria and pursue multiple objectives.
- “Establishment of a ‘Manufacturing Domain’: The dominant initiative in Europe regarding data sharing is ‘GAIA-X’. In Austria, this organization is represented by the GAIA-X Hub Austria. We are connecting national and international activities in the field of manufacturing and consolidating them into an open platform for all, known as the ‘GAIA-X Hub Austria – Manufacturing Domain’.”
Collaborative knowledge building on data sharing in production: Together, we gather information on cross-company data exchange and make it accessible. This includes information on initiatives, standards, and significant flagship projects relevant to the Austrian industry.
- Exchange of experiences and networking on data sharing in production: We facilitate regular knowledge exchange on the topic. The focus of our activities is on connecting Austrian stakeholders and linking them to (European) initiatives and projects.
The “Mission: Data Exchange in Production” aims to serve as a hub for information, contacts, and implementation projects.
Therefore, it is crucial to establish connections with existing organizations and initiatives:
- European networks: We strive to integrate the Austrian industry into European network activities and ecosystems as effectively as possible, through collaborations with entities such as EIT Manufacturing and the Digital Factory Alliance.
- National networks: We make experiences from other sectors and projects accessible to the production industry. Key actors in this endeavor include the Data Intelligence Offensive (DIO) and the Management Board of Gaia-X Hub Austria.
- Standardization initiatives: We monitor international standardization initiatives and provide information to the Austrian industry. Examples of our partnerships include the Platform Industrie 4.0, AIT, and DIO as members of Gaia-X AISBL. Additionally, the Platform Industrie 4.0 cooperates with Austrian Standards International, OVE, and IEEE.
- Research initiatives: All partners are actively involved in various scientific projects and collectively draw conclusions for production. For instance, TU Wien leads the PilotLin-X project, which facilitates data exchange between Austrian pilot factories and the “Austrian Manufacturing Innovation Data Space” (AMiDS).
- Lighthouse projects in the production field: We seek opportunities to connect Austrian manufacturing companies to national and international projects, such as EuProGigant, ChampI4.0ns, Manufacturing-X in close coordination with the German Platform Industrie 4.0, as well as being a partner of the Dutch “Smart Connected Supplier Network” (SCSN) and a member of the consortium preparing for European Data Spaces (Data Space 4.0).
- Support in implementing data spaces: Through the European Digital Innovation Hub AI5production, SMEs and mid-caps (companies with up to 2,999 employees) receive 100% publicly funded support from Digital Europe and the BMAW through FFG for the implementation of data spaces.