The digitalization process which is more and more merging digital and physical world implicates plenty of challenges for society and economy. Based on a publicly funded research program, the COMET-Centre Pro²Future is assigned to pursue a radically new holistic innovation approach that for the first time envisages the entanglement of products, both in use and design as well, and their production systems:
Products and Production Systems of the Future → Pro²Future
This new approach does not only require the expertise in existing research fields like man-machine interaction, internet of things, pervasive computing, automation etc which are covered by the consortium of Pro²Future, but can only be tackled by research and development of a new dimension of ICT, the cognitive systems.
Pro²Future is shaping such cognitive systems which feature human-like capabilities like perception, understanding, interpretation, memorizing and learning, reasoning, planning and hence cognition-based acting, and implements them both in products and in production systems as well.
In order to develop cognitive systems, the research program of Pro²Future seeks the consolidation of the Centre’s research results in two core areas, namely (i) Cognitive Products, and (ii) Cognitive Production Systems. They are supported by three underpinning areas: (i) Perception and Aware Systems, (ii) Cognitive Robotics and Shop Floors, and (iii) Cognitive Decision Making. These five thematic fields are the basis of the organizational structure of Pro²Future.
Within our COMET research program, we carry out co-operative research projects with company partners (product manufacturers and production facilities) and scientific partners addressing the challenges and impacts of the current Industry 4.0-‘digitalization’ by the novel opportunities of cognitive systems.
The activities of Pro²Future are embedded in the EU research agenda, especially the H2020 program in the pillars Excellence in Science (ERC, FET), Industrial Leadership (LEIT) and Societal Challenges regarding energy, transport and materials, and continuously applies for research grants together with international partners. Moreover and due to its Strategic Alliance with more than 50 associated partners and the International Advisory Board, Pro²Future strives to co-ordinate with other international programs and institutions and fosters scientific exchange by e.g. conferences and mutual internships.