Article submitted by Claudio Pastrone – Head of IoT and Pervasive Technologies Research Area at LINKS Foundation
- Tell us about LINKS Foundation. What is your core business and role within the project?
LINKS Foundation is a central node of the Turin R&I ecosystem. It is the result of the merge of two research and innovation institutions: ISMB, focusing on ICT, and SiTI, focusing on territorial systems and smart cities. LINKS operates in a consolidated international network, contributing to technological and socio-economic progress through cutting edge applied research projects.
In ECOFACT, we coordinate WP5 activities aiming to design and develop the ECOFACT platform and the required ICT infrastructure, overall hosting the applications and services to be provided to the pilots. We also have the responsibility to analyse the use of Artificial Intelligence algorithms to extract energy patterns from the industrial processes with less deployment of metering infrastructure. Finally, we provide a main support to baseline characterization, methodology and KPI framework definition.
- Why did your organisation get involved in the ECOFACT project? How does this activity fit with the normal business of your organisation?
LINKS Foundation is a research organization and the collaboration with other international partners on challenging projects like ECOFACT is particularly relevant for us. Specifically, in this case, we were interested in working on one of the topic at the core vision of the overall project: the use of ICT for supporting the industrial decarbonization. The continuous exchange and collaboration with international partners is a way for us to consolidate knowledge and to strengthening our expertise on emerging topics and sectors which are challenging for our society.
- How will the outputs of the ECOFACT project help production system energy performance?
Consuming less and producing more from renewables are the first steps towards energy efficiency, but the adoption of ICT technologies for capturing and processing data to extract knowledge about the management of the entire value chain is one of the following steps. To reach this goal, ECOFACT will set in place the Holistic Decision Support System, supporting the decision making process also under complex conditions, helping the production operators / managers in the complex task of managing the heterogeneous data sources.
- What are the technical challenges your work in ECOFACT is trying to overcome?
As WP5 leader, the major challenge we are going to face is the creation of a platform that supports the management and brokerage of data coming from the field based a common data model. In other words, we will have to overcome the peculiarities of the different production processes and relevant management infrastructure installed in different companies as well as to provide reliable data to the ECOFACT applications and service performing LCA or any other business analysis.
- What positive impacts will the projects have when complete?
We expect to support the industrial partners becoming more aware of their production processes, thanks to the use of an advanced ICT AI-enabled platform which will support them to take more aware decisions and save energy – without loss in production quality and quantity – to support the European economy towards a sustainable production of goods.