Information Catalyst

Information Catalyst



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DIGICOR – Decentralised Agile Coordination Across Supply Chains

Project abstract

DIGICOR will provide an open platform, tools and services that allows European companies and serivce providers to create and operate collaborative networks across the value chain. This collaboration will enable increased competition amongst SMEs with tier 1 suppliers within OEM supply chains.

DIGICOR will develop novel collaboration and management concepts implemented into a collaboration platform with related tools for the setup and coordination. DIGICOR addresses the integration of non-traditional, small but innovative companies into the complex supply chain of large OEM

DIGICOR will significantly reduce the burden to setup production networks and collaboration between SME, will shorten the needed time to jointly respond to business opportunities and to enter supply chains of large manufacturers and management, control, and execution of production and logistics


Complex and highly customized products lead to complex production and supply networks with slow setup and execution of supplier management processes, in particular for small, new or ad-hoc suppliers

To fully exploit the digital models of processes and products and to synchronise the digital and physical world respecting security and IPR protection requirements.

Global competition and individualized products make it difficult for manufacturing companies to share information, to produce products in collaborative networks across value chains.

Today’s supplier policies of large OEMs are very restrictive for collaboration with small companies and supplier networks. The formalisation of governance rules and procedures and of knowledge protection into the platform will support SME to enter new business areas.

Advances are needed in value- and supply-chain centric communication and collaboration that assist machine and human collaboration to enable manufacturing companies, especially SMEs, to respond to ever stricter requirements and enabling integration into the production process chain.

Weak integration of suppliers into the OEM legacy IT (no real-time, missing features like collaborative planning & control), weak standards or open and accepted platforms. 


To develop an open IT platform and tools and services to support the management and control of collaboration networks using Industry 4.0 methods and means

To develop governance rules and procedures for the collaboration in production networks and the knowledge protection model for ad-hoc collaboration and SME clusters

To develop novel business models for operation and further maintenance and improve the collaboration platform, tools and services

The platform shall provide basic services for security, safety, governance and knowledge protection together with seamless access to automation systems and smart objects in the IoT.

The platform shall host additional tools and services provided by third parties, e.g. for planning and optimization. DIGICOR will develop a set of reference implementations of those tools and services for the distributed planning & scheduling of the operations in a production network and supply chain and risk management.

To encourage the role of third parties and service providers operating the platform. To create specific tools as well as understand the role and payment approaches available to the collaboration partners (SME, industrial clusters / associations) and OEMs.

To demonstrate the improved efficiency and speedy setup and operation of the open collaboration platform in production networks and the supply chain of large companies. To prove the technical, operational and economic performance of the DIGICOR solution and to provide end-user training.

To demonstrate the improved efficiency and speedy setup and operation of the open collaboration platform in production networks and the supply chain of large companies. To prove the technical, operational and economic performance of the DIGICOR solution and to provide end-user training.

To generate a market place for the ad-hoc setup of collaborations.

To establish a community of interest.


Concept of virtual enterprises (alliance of businesses that come together to share skills or core competencies and resources in order to better respond to business opportunities) are not new, multiple initiatives known

Actual collaboration platforms focusing on market places (initiation), document / data exchange, partial integration of IT (planning and control)

Novel Industry 4.0 paradigm (IoT, CPS) related technologies for real-time control (integrated planning, control and tracking etc.) -> missing standards for integration of heterogenic legacy IT

Beside technical aspects of integration the virtual enterprise, governance, security and safety aspects are subject of research needs

Challenges are inexperienced users, security, expense control, and the level of incorporation required to create a successful virtual enterprise

Benefits of those virtual enterprises include more economical connections with suppliers, greater opportunities to create revenue, more efficient operations, and a reduction in administrative costs


Core technologies

Knowledge processing technologies:

Multi-Agent-Systems for distributed, local decision support and its coordination and optimization across multiple local instances, risk evaluation and simulation

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA):

Interoperability standard for secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space, in particular use of semantics for expressing information models ant to exchange not only data but meaning in a machine interpretable way

IoT and CPS based system integration:

Integration of production and logistics across the collaboration network by seamless integration of CPS solutions for real-time data acquisition, analytics and feedback of status, quality and delivery time of orders

Architecture of DIGICOR Platform

DIGICOR Architecture


Structure of Work Program

DIGICOR Structure



European leader in aerospace and defense products and related services

Industrial cluster with more than 150 Aerospace related companies, mainly SME in Hamburg region and suppliers for all major Aerospace OEM

Industrial cluster service provider in Welsh region supporting companies from the Welsh Automotive and Aerospace forums with some 450 partners

Global supplier of industrial automation systems and services mainly for the automotive manufacturing sector

Leading software vendor and largest Integrated IT Solutions Group in Greek

Leading software company for industrial multi-agent based solutions

High-tech research company for self-organized critical agent-based solutions like agent-based risk evaluation and real-time management analytics

Research institute associated to TUM in the field of adaptive production systems and advanced software engineering methods for industrial control applications

Consultancy assisting partners on commercial, RTD, software development and RDI activities and for validation and dissemination and exploitation

UK academic research partner for service-based architecture and platforms, multi-agent systems, semantic data and cooperation models

Academic research partner from Czech Republic with expertise in smart manufacturing, multi-agent systems, distributed and service-based systems


DIGICOR Exploitation Manager

Dr. Usman Wajid,
Information Catalyst (ICE), UK
+44 745 394 3997