Many children lose their natural curiosity for how things function and interrelate to each other along the way into their lives as young adults. The Educational Robotics for STEM (ER4STEM) project aims to turn curious young children into young adults passionate about science and technology with a hands-on use case: robotics. The domain of robotics represents a multidisciplinary and highly innovative field encompassing physics, maths, informatics and even industrial design as well as social sciences. Moreover, due to various application domains, teamwork, creativity and entrepreneurial skills are required for the design, programming and innovative exploitation of robots and robotic services. Children are fascinated by such autonomous machines. This fascination and the variety of fields and topics covered make robotics a powerful idea to engage with. Young girls as well as boys can easily connect robots to their personal interests and share their ideas through these tangible artefacts. ER4STEM will refine, unify and enhance current European approaches to STEM education through robotics in one open operational and conceptual framework. The concept is founded on three important pillars of constructionism: 1. engaging with powerful ideas, 2. building on personal interests, and 3. learning through making (or presenting ideas with tangible artefacts). The ER4STEM framework will coherently offer students aged 7 to 18 as well as their educators different perspectives and approaches to find their interests and strengths in robotics to pursue STEM careers through robotics and semi-autonomous smart devices. At the same time students will learn about technology (e.g. circuits), about a domain (e.g. math) and acquire skills (e.g. collaborating, coding). Innovative approaches will be developed to achieve an integrated and consistent concept that picks children up at different ages, beginning in primary school and accompany them until graduation from secondary school.
European manufacturing competes in a global knowledge-driven economy, and thus increasingly seeks competitive advantage through quality, agility and personalisation based on latest advances in IT. Increasing utilisation of IT in mission-critical elements of the production brings opportunities for consistency, transparency and flexibility, bringing the “lot size of 1” closer to reality even for mass-production industries. Most relevant to achieve the expected increase of production performance for highly customized products is to master the complexity of the supply chain and logistics in the global production networks. Ad-hoc collaboration and setup of production coalitions with a wide spectrum of suppliers and service providers is necessary to answer the customization wishes of customers for their individual products in short time, high quality, and at affordable costs. Innovations from small high-tech companies requested by customers have to be integrated into the traditional industrial processes using novel organisational concepts and setups. DIGICOR will address the development of a collaboration platform, tools, and services for the setup and coordination of production networks and in particular the integration of non-traditional, small, yet innovative companies (SMEs) and logistics providers into the supply chain of large manufacturers (OEMs). The solution is based on an open platform integrating tools and services and implementing case specific governance rules and procedures for collaboration, knowledge protection, and security. The open platform will provide services creating a marketplace for the collaboration partners, for planning and control of the collaborative production and the logistics and risk management. It will be open to third parties to add services for advanced analytics, simulation, or optimization etc. The platform will provide seamless connectivity to the automation solutions, smart objects, and real-time data sources across the network