TARGET (http://www.targetproject.eu/) 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 (http://grebeproject.eu/) 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.
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.