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EU-Call: New Technologies and Life Cycle Management for Reconfigurable and Reusable Customised Products

This call addresses for example development of smart products where new and additional features can be implemented by reconfiguration during life cycle. This could e.g. apply for smart SSL Products.
Call opening date:      20 September 2016
Deadline: 19 January 2017

Specific Challenge: New customised products will be increasingly incorporating, in a seamless fashion, intelligence and smart functionalities through advanced materials and embedded components. The integration of highly differentiated materials and components is a key requisite for flexible manufacturing of individualised consumer/customised products. On the other hand, enhanced integration of sophisticated ICT-based components and of advanced materials implies a rapid product obsolescence rate, and can thus introduce further pollution risks if reuse of products and/or components is not improved. Therefore, reconfiguration and reuse of products, and related services, need to be developed.

Scope: To face sustainability and flexibility challenges customised products need to be conceived, designed and manufactured in a modular way, and their single components have to be developed so as to be interoperable with one another during the product/service lifetime, so as to be exchangeable and updateable whenever necessary. This influences both the hard and soft requirements and calls for new production technologies that enable the fast manufacturing, assembly and configuration of complex products, as well as the products updatability and disassembly for re-use and end of life management.

In particular, consumer goods manufacturers should be able easily and effectively to integrate products and components which can be independently designed, produced and used in order to make diverse final personalised products in different production systems.

All involved actors in the product life cycle, from manufacturers of basic products components to retailers and vendors up to the final customers, should be provided with the needed hard and soft tools to reassemble and/or reconfigure the product or its components.

Research activities should address all of the following areas:

  • Methodologies, engineering and tools for the fast reconfiguration and re-use of personalised products and their components
  • New production techniques allowing for a fast manufacturing, assembly and configuration of complex personalised products
  • Innovative methods and technologies for personalised products updatability, disassembly for reuse and end of life management of the products as well as their different components
  • Methodologies and tools for the development of assembly, configuration, disassembly and reconfiguration services along the whole consumer/customised products value chain and along its overall life cycle also including the aftersale stage.

The proposals are expected to include use-case demonstrations aiming at the rapid deployment of the new modularity, reconfiguration and re-use of personalised consumer/customised products and life cycle management. All relevant value-chain stakeholders are expected to participate, including relevant Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) practitioners.

The resulting personalised products are expected to satisfy the final consumer needs at an individual level and consequently to facilitate daily life (particularly concerning elderly, disabled or other target groups with special needs) or improve workers and sportsmen safety and health.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 and to be centred around TRL6.

This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

This topic is particularly suitable for collaboration at international level, especially regarding the involvement of multiple actors in complex value chains on a global scale for consumer/customised goods.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Additional information can be found here.

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