The “Digital Future” project focuses on two technologies, Big Data Analytics and the Internet of Thing (IoT), currently acting as the principle drivers of the technological revolution in the industrial sector. These technologies connect digital and “smart” devices with people and places, creating contexts where the physical and digital worlds collide and become increasingly hybridised, and increasing the demand for the management of huge amounts of data.
In the light of this trend, which is also characterising the development of the digital market in Italy, and following the financial support of the Puglia Region as part of the Puglia Region Operational Programme 2014-2020, Exprivia's primary aim is to establish a new production site, a centre of excellence that will welcome 20 specialists dedicated to the development of products and software solutions built around the use of IoT and Big Data Analytics technology.
THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
To regain a leading role in the field of industrial manufacturing, Europe must invest around € 90 billion in the sector each year for the next 15 years and Germany is aiming to invest around € 40 billion in the next tax year. In Italy, the manufacturing industry has fallen from 20% to account for just 16% of GDP, and recapturing this role is essential both for maintaining market shares and for developing the domestic market and, consequently, employment levels.
The Puglia Mechanics District Three-Year Programme has emphasised how the sector's exports are worth around € 6 billion, with the machine and mechanical machinery production sector experiencing continuous growth. The Programme highlights that over 80% of exports are directed towards EU member states, where competition relating to product quality and service is most relevant.
An interesting area in which Big Data and IoT can offer important advantages is the post-sales services sector. In particular, support and maintenance processes will benefit from these technologies; Exprivia predicts that the main drivers for improvement will be:
- predictive maintenance and Real Time Data Analytics
- accurate performance metrics
- automatic software updates
- operational support
- remote asset management.
Another field in which Big Data and IoT can offer significant advantages is environmental and regional security.
The social costs of the damages caused by natural disasters and the consequent public health expenditure that follows in the short, medium and long term are huge. For example, it is estimated that in Italy from 1944 to 2012 the total cost of the damage caused by landslides and floods alone was € 61.5 billion.
In this context, the development of Big Data and IoT ICT technologies is an opportunity to create tools and applications focused on Situational Awareness, namely the correct perception of what is happening in the surrounding area, in order to enable the application in real time of techniques that support the decision-making process and allow organisations and government agencies to respond more rapidly and efficiently.
The challenge that awaits today, in this exceptional era of digital transformation, is to facilitate the access - even in the most complex scenarios - to all geo-localised information (images, videos, data, voice recordings, sounds) of various origins, not only established sources such as the internet, enterprise repositories, open data, etc., but also a multitude of fixed and mobile sensors in orbit around us or worn on our bodies.
Finally, the project envisages the development of a technological and innovative solution for the early detection of chronic diseases, diagnosis and treatment through the constant monitoring of vital signs through innovative wearable technologies and the activation of home care programmes, using independent robotic systems and actuators with the dual aim of improving the patient’s living conditions and limiting the costs for the national health service.
The main objective is the creation of the Telemedicina remote medicine IT solution, aimed at supporting all stages of treatment, from the moment the patient is taken into care through to the monitoring and treatment of the chronic illness. This represents the crux of communications between medical devices, specialists and monitoring systems, contributing to the full realisation of the principle of continuous care.
Co-funded by the European Union
European Regional Development Fund
POR Puglia 2014/2020
Axis I - Specific target 1a Action 1.1
Exprivia S.p.A., Masmec S.p.A., ICAM S.r.l.