Ancient europe map

A European Approach

To sustain and increase the competitiveness of European industry is recognized as a crucial goal of the European Commission. Here SMEs play a special role, given that “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of EU companies and provide 67% of all jobs. A recent study points out that 85% of newly created jobs is generated by SMEs. The way out of the crisis must be based on the support to enterprises efforts to innovate, to improve quality and sustainability and to export.” (Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, at the "Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution" high-level conference in Brussels, 29th May 2012).

The European engineering and manufacturing industry has always been characterized by its innovative technology, quality processes, and robust products. These characteristics have internally leveraged Europe’s industrialization and these have also catapulted the world’s demand for the European products in the last decades. Europe was always able to cope with new problems and challenges, regardless of external factors.

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To sustain and increase the competitiveness of European industry is recognized as a crucial goal of the European Commission. Here SMEs play a special role, given that “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of EU companies and provide 67% of all jobs. A recent study points out that 85% of newly created jobs is generated by SMEs. The way out of the crisis must be based on the support to enterprises efforts to innovate, to improve quality and sustainability and to export.” (Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, at the "Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution" high-level conference in Brussels, 29th May 2012).

The European engineering and manufacturing industry has always been characterized by its innovative technology, quality processes, and robust products. These characteristics have internally leveraged Europe’s industrialization and these have also catapulted the world’s demand for the European products in the last decades. Europe was always able to cope with new problems and challenges, regardless of external factors.

However, the global interplay has dramatically changed. On the one hand, the economic globalization has exposed Europe’s industry to new emerging and industrialized manufacturing markets. On the other hand, the recent economic crisis has decelerated the internal boost and investment. These factors are jeopardizing the European engineering and manufacturing leadership and sustainability for the upcoming years.

Hence, a new infrastructure across Europe needs to be established, in order to promote the innovation, to strengthen the quality, and to keep the robustness of Europe’s industry. This infrastructure should particularly be tailored to the fragmented manufacturing industry, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from the services and applications provided on the infrastructure.

Such a European infrastructure requires the combination of storage and computational appliances, software solutions, and interfaces, allowing for dynamically accessing distributed services and for collaboratively developing customized products on demand. Thus, SMEs and OEMs can increase accessibility to computational services, based on information and communications technologies (ICT), and according to their specialized requirements, achieving a new agile and dynamic engineering and manufacturing industry.

The domains of CAD/CAM, CAE, Mechatronic Systems and PLM considered in this proposal are crucial market segments within manufacturing, in which European SMEs will benefit greatly from a boost in technology by expanding to the realm of cloud computing. Through its planned simulation experiments in the cloud, CloudFlow aims to provide tangible proof to European high-tech SMEs in these five domains that moving simulation to the cloud is both worthwhile and feasible.