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NPA funded GREBE and TARGET Projects meet at the Technology Festival of Northern Norway (TINN)

TARGET ( is an NPA funded project designed to enhance the capacity of manufacturing companies to innovate and embrace new technologies – making regional manufacturing globally competitive.

GREBE ( aims to develop and share support for the renewable energy sector in the NPA region.

In their deliberations during the TINN festival and conference, the parties, including the Narvik Science Park, concluded that renewable energy (GREBE) and digitalization (TARGET) represent two key factors in the global market competition.

Building regional competencies

Manufacturing in the NPA region has many important strengths. These include regional and niche specific competencies where companies are world leaders in specific sectors unique to the region. However, the majority of manufacturing companies are predominately small in size and face considerable challenges, such as geographical isolation from major markets and a lack of the benefits offered by more populous and urbanised economic urban clusters. When combined with global trends we see a shift in manufacturing to lower cost and developing economies. Rapid advances in new technologies mean that support measures are needed to strengthen the manufacturing sector in the NPA region. This is precisely where the TARGET project is positioned.

Norwegian project leaders, both from Narvik: Prof. Wei Deng Solvang (TARGET) and Fred R. Johansen (GREBE).

A collaborated competence platform

The primary focus of the TARGET project is to provide a toolbox to facilitate manufacturing companies in the application of innovation and embracing new processes and practices. These include virtual and parametric design and simulation, reverse planning, modelling and 3D printing, remote monitoring and programming of CNC machines and robots, 3D measurements, application of digital data and vision based quality assurance. Coupling these with key market analysis skills such as trending, testing, and integrating products into a whole cycle of service delivery, will build the competitive advantage and value of manufacturing firms. The key is to converge all of these technologies to produce an integrated, automated and highly efficient manufacturing environment – putting the knowledge economy into manufacturing.

Global competitiveness

The TARGET project will develop supports to build future global competitiveness of NPA region’s manufacturers giving them a new influx of innovation, technology and novel processes. This will open up new and promising opportunities, and reduce the competitive and knowledge gap, through the introduction of new processes, techniques, knowledge and skill, and will demonstrate the benefits to be gained through the application of these supports, to position NPA manufacturing industries as world leaders in their sectors, and building sustainable competitive advantage.

TARGET Partners following meeting at UiT Narvik – The Arctic University of Norway.


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International Symposium on Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (SIMS) and TARGET Partner Meeting, Norway, June 2016

The TARGET partners are coming together, and will input at, the 1st International Symposium on Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (SIMS) being hosted in UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Narvik, Norway.

SIMS “International Symposium on Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems” is the leading international forum for academic and industrial experts to disseminate information on the most recent theories, practices and research results in the field of Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems.

Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (SIMS) is an emerging concept, and it is of paramount importance for improving and enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of manufacturers, especially SMEs, in order to survive in today’s rapidly changing market. SIMS aims to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies with leading edge management methods in order to achieve continuous improvement in flexibility, reliability, productivity and sustainability of manufacturing systems.

A special meeting of the TARGET partners will be held during the symposium to review progress since the Tromso meeting, to set out and agree the work programme for the months ahead.

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TARGET Participant Engagement, Cavan, Ireland, May 2016

TARGET Particpant Engagement Ireland 12th May 2016

The Irish partners, South West College, Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre and Cavan & Sligo Local Enterprise Offices hosted an industry briefing and networking event for participating companies. This event was hosted in Cavan (Ireland) on 12 May 2016 with a keynote input from the Irish Government’s Chief Digital Advisor, who addressed the topic of Industry 4.0 and its impact on digital /manufacturing.

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TARGET Steering Group Meeting, April 2016

The first NPA TARGET Steering Group Meeting was held on 13 April 2016. Membership is drawn from across the NPA region, meeting twice a year in an advisory capacity, and lending their expertise and experience to the TARGET Project. An overview and progress report was presented by the Lead Partner South West College. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 05 October 2016.

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TARGET Partners meet in Tromso, Norway, February 2016


Standing (L-R):
Heidi Kaartinen (Centria University of Applied Sciences, Finland); Anne Loughran (South West College); Edel McCusker (South West College); John Moore (South West College); Vincent Reynolds (Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre); Asa Ericson (Luleå University of Technology, Sweden); Lasse Jansson (Centria University of Applied Sciences, Finland); Gabor Szeibig (UiT-The Arctic University of Norway); Johann Holmqvist (Luleå University of Technology, Sweden); Wei Deng Solvang (UiT-The Arctic University of Norway); Johan Wenngren, (Luleå University of Technology, Sweden); Tor Schive (UiT-The Arctic University of Norway)

In mid February 2016, representatives from all of the partner organisations came together at the Tromso campus of UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, to discuss progress in the implementation of the project, and to agree tasks and priorities going forward. The event brought together delegates from UiT – The Arctic University of Norway; Luleå University of Technology (Sweden); Centria University of Applied Sciences (Finland); South West College (Northern Ireland), Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre and Cavan and Sligo Local Enterprise Offices (Ireland).
The meeting discussed, inter alia, the challenges faced by manufacturing companies in the region, the range of skill-sets of the partners, the most appropriate mechanisms and approaches to be used in the transfer of knowledge and expertise, and the form and structure of engagements with the companies selected to participate.