XMANAI partner spotlight – Innovalia Association
Name: Óscar Lázaro
Job title: Managing Director
Organization: Innovalia Association
Bio: Dr. Oscar Lazaro is the Managing Director of Innovalia Association. Dr Oscar Lazaro has more than 15 years of experience in the ICT field and is leading research and product development activities of Innovalia for Smart Cities and Factories of the Future domains. Oscar Lazaro is also Visiting Professor at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the University of Strathclyde in wireless & mobile communications. He is since 2013 chairman of the Digital Business Innovation (DBI) cluster and a permanent representative of Innovalia in the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA) and Future Internet (FI-PPP) Steering Boards. Dr Oscar Lazaro has successfully led research initiatives of the highest calibre at national and European level, e.g. iTETRIS, FASyS, FITMAN, ComVantage. He has taken part in various projects advisory boards, GeoNet, SECRICOM, IMAGINE, LinkedDesign. He has received various recognitions for the excellence of his research, has more than 50 publications in internationally referred journals and conferences. Dr. Oscar Lazaro also collaborates with the European Research Council (ERC), as external expert for the evaluation of ICT proposals in the IDEAS Advanced Grants Programme, as scientific expert for ANR & FCT agencies in France and Portugal, as expert for the Eurostars SME programme and as business development assistant for the Business Innovation Office of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Dr Oscar Lazaro is and has been involved in various road-mapping activities in the ICT for Manufacturing field in projects Road4Fame, Next Generation Computing (NGC), Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) or BigDataValueEU.
Name: Silvia Rodriguez Del Rey
Job title: R&D Project Manager
Organization: Innovalia Association
Bio: Silvia Rodríguez has 10 years of experience in innovation consultancy where she has carried out activities of drafting application reports in relation to calls for public grants for R&D&I at both national and European level. In the European category it is worth mentioning the FIWARE project, funded by the VII Framework Program of the European Union within its public-private partnership project for the Future Internet (FI-PPP – Future Internet Public-Private Partnership) through which the development and global deployment of applications based on a fully open, public and free architecture for smartcities solutions was promoted. Silvia has developed her professional career in contact with both private companies and public administrations, and so she has experience in the management and monitoring of projects financed with European funds. At the same time, her experience as a consultant includes identifying and conceptualizing innovative sectorial projects, as well as active participation in forums and working groups formed by representatives of sectors of interest such as the ICT sector, Aeronautics and Construction. She is also competent in monitoring and contacting companies to identify needs and search for solutions to facilitate processes oriented to digital transformation.
Q: What is your organization’s role in XMANAI?
A: Innovalia Association is the leader of the work package 6 “Demonstrators Setup, Operation and Business Value Exploration”. This work package is oriented to set up the planning and coordination of the demonstrators that will lead to the development of different manufacturing Apps for each demonstrator. We are responsible for eliciting the requirements of the demonstrators, organising their operation and finally conducting the evaluation and the impact assessment of the project.
Moreover, and related to the WP8 “Disseminations and Communication Activities” Innovalia will lead the stakeholders’ engagement and will coordinate the XMANAI Industrial Advisory Board.
Q: How does XMANAI relate with your or your team’s background and interests?
A: Innovalia Association is a Future Internet for Manufacturing and FIWARE Steering Board Member, and full member of the European Association for the Factory of the Future (EFFRA), the European Association of Big Data (DBVA) and the European Alliance of the Internet of Things (AIOTI), which reinforces the importance of these key technologies in the Industry 4.0 within the lines of action of the Innovalia Association.
Moreover, Innovalia leads the Spanish Competence Centre on Cyber Physical Production Systems, acting as one of the five ecosystems in selected Smart Specialization Strategy Vanguard regions -Lombardia (IT), Euskadi (ES), Baden-Wuttemberg (DE), Norte (PT) and Rhone Alpes (FR)-, facilitating Innovalia to be in contact with a large number of competence centers and manufacturing SMEs. Innovalia is a multiplier being the main contact to the ICT for manufacturing SMEs.
Q: What is the novelty of XMANAI and the main benefits envisaged for your organization?
A: The digitalization of manufacturing companies represents a new working scheme based on the generation of knowledge through the acquisition and intelligent processing of data in real time on the production line. The key of the XMANAI Project lies on generating knowledge about efficiency and productivity at multiple levels, and in the case of Innovalia, it will also allow to integrate the Kow-How of experienced workers facilitating its transmission to new workers, improving the management of the processes in a global way. Incorporating automation and explainable interface elements that include the operator in intelligent processes contributes to increase operational excellence.
Q: Which target groups can benefit from XMANAI?
A: Innovalia is leading I4MS-Gate (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs) FoF-PPP. I4MS is a 100 million € initiative designed to help more than 250 high-tech manufacturing SMEs to exploit through ten open calls the experimentation of more than 150 innovative ICT services for advanced manufacturing processes, in collaboration with more than 120 ICT partners and competence centres across Europe. Innovalia will include the outcomes of XMANAI in our technology transfer activities to SMEs contributing to spread the benefits of AI for manufacturing companies.
Q: As an R&D partner, how do you envision the XMANAI progress beyond the state of the art?
A: One of the main challenges that AI is facing nowadays is the elimination of biases in its learning systems. The intervention and integration of people in the AI control processes is a key step to achieve this, but at the same time it implies the possibility of including new biases generated by the users themselves. Eliminating black-boxes through easy-to-understand access paths for different types of user profiles will contribute to ensuring the objectivity of AI-based processes.