The CHARM (Challenging environments tolerant Smart systems for IoT and AI) project aims to develop industrial IoT solutions with an improved tolerance towards harsh industrial environment. Harsh environmental conditions in manufacturing processes and end user environment may slow down the opportunities brought by IoT and AI. The CHARM project is set to solve this challenge.
CHARM is an extensive three-year project with 37 partners from 10 European countries, and it started in June 2020. The project consortium consists of 11 small and mid-sized enterprises, 14 large enterprises and 12 research and technology organisations. They represent the industrial value chain from simulations, sensors and components to packaging, integration and reliability as well as connectivity, cloud and cyber security solutions. EU funding for the project is EUR 29 million.
CHARM is financed by ECSEL Joint Undertaking (equivalent to Key Digital Technologies in Horizon Europe) which is an EU-driven, public-private partnership, that funds innovation in electronic components and systems. Contractual Public-Private Partnerships were an important instrument under the previous European Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon 2020.
Valmet’s main reason for joining the consortium and applying for the grant was the scope of the project: it was fully aligned with the company’s own internal development work. Valmet would have executed similar activities even outside the CHARM project, but with smaller volume.
Another reason for applying EU funding was the company policy: it encourages to apply for EU funding as more often than not, national funding opportunities are insufficient.
Being part of the CHARM consortium has offered many benefits. The partners of the consortium were unknown to Valmet earlier, but the project has been valuable for both networking and for technological development.
Being a project coordinator is a challenging task
Valmet is the coordinator in CHARM but part of the coordinating work has been subcontracted to Spinverse. Without Spinverse, the work load would have been too heavy and coordinating task simply too burdensome to accept. Especially when a company is participating in an EU funded consortium for the first time, a coordinator’s role can require too many resources.
Valmet’s experience on coordinator’s role has been positive. All the responsibilities have been known well in advance, and Valmet has had enough time to be prepared. There has not been any unpleasant surprises. Naturally, many things have changed since project planning was launched two years ago, so there have been some changes in the project work packages of some partners, but this was expected. In general, CHARM has progressed well despite the COVID-19 pandemic.