Twenty Pound notes

Innovation Vouchers: Up to £5k for expert advice

Through InnovateUK’s “Innovation Vouchers” scheme SMEs can get up to £5k to pay for expert advice on innovation: This specifically includes product design and engineering. Panchromos qualifies both as Design Advisor and as Technical Consultancy, which makes this scheme suitable for kicking off a product development project with new clients.

At the start of a product development project there are a number of big questions that need to be answered: What is the main problem we’re trying to solve? What will the solution roughly look like? What are the main technical or project risks we’re facing? What is the project plan—resources, timing and deliverables?

Refuse collector

Horizon 2020 SME instrument

I’m once again involved in writing two Horizon 2020 proposals. One of them is for the “SME-instrument” where a single SME can apply

The SME-instrument offers support for the commercialisation of innovations that are fairly close to market. A phase-1 project is a feasibility study, where the EC will give a lump sum of EUR 50k to conduct a (commercial) feasibility study and come up with a detailed business plan. In phase-2 this business plan can be further developed through prototyping, operational validation etc. An SME does not have to do a phase-1 project but can directly apply for phase-2 if they have a detailed business plan. In phase-2, 70% of the eligible cost are funded by the EC—which is a pretty good deal.

Horizon2020 logo

Horizon 2020 success!

I have just been informed that a Horizon 2020 proposal I co-wrote has been positively evaluated.

The proposal I co-wrote earlier this year was one of only two proposals evaluated positively to receive funding from the 20 that were submitted for the FoF-4 call. It deals with how the ubiquitous ITC infrastructure and data-gathering that is part of the Factories-of-the-Future (Industry 4.0) concept can be utilised to improve the attractiveness of factories as a place of work for the well-trained employees the manufacturing sector needs.

Carbon fibre chassis Alfa Romeo 4C

Designer materials: modelling novel composites

The Horizon 2020 proposal I’ve been writing—submitted earlier this week—deals with improved numerical simulation tools for the behaviour of complex, composite materials.

Think about carbon-fibre reinforced car bodies, aircraft wings, or surf boards. The performance of composite parts not only depends on the constituent materials, but to a large extend on fibre/matrix structure and material interactions at the molecular scale (e.g. fibre/matrix adhesion).

production worker measuring part

Industry 4.0: Factories of the Future

As in previous years I am again working with Bax & Willems Consulting Venturing of Barcelona (a company founded by my brother Laszlo), co-writing two proposals for calls from the Horizon 2020 EU innovation programme. This initiative is a successor to the FP7 framework programmes of the past few years with a somewhat changed approach.

Digital Human Body Model

Virtual cars, virtual drivers

I’ve co-written and submitted another FP7 proposal.

Over the past few months I’ve been co-writing another proposal for a European FP7 project, collaborating with Bax & Willems Consulting Venturing in Barcelona (a company run by my brother). For a consortium of 12 academic and industrial partners from the automotive industry – including major car makers – we wrote a hefty 85-page document to propose research on the use of Digital Human Body Models for safety testing, especially with regards to new “active pre-crash” systems that are entering the market. These systems will autonomously apply the brakes if a crash is imminent and the human driver fails to do so.