In mid-April Simvirtua received an email from Jamie Meehan, Senior Researcher at V-LINC a CIT research group that informs and develops policy recommendations through mapping, visualising and analysing the strength of key relationships within Cluster Ecosystems.
Jamie suggested that Simvirtua would be suited to participation in the EU Interreg Atlantic Area project IN 4.0 which is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of companies in the naval sector through their adaptation to the production model of Industry 4.0. The project has also been developed to create synergies and collaborations between firms involved in the marine sector in Ireland, UK, France, Spain, and Portugal.
Jamie proposed Simvirtua’s participation because Augmented Reality is one of 5 technologies prioritized by early research. We were invited to join a panel to validate these research conclusions in Vigo, Spain on May 14th, as part of the “International Forum on 4.0 Technologies, Applicable to the Shipbuilding Sector”.
In advance of the forum Simvirtua was sent research outputs so we could form an opinion based on our experience. The validation forum itself had 2 parts - (1) A presentation of the main results by the project partners to the general public, and (2) A dialogue among experts, project partners and representatives from shipbuilding/maritime sector companies through round tables.
On the day we discussed the viability, pros, cons, and real use cases relevant to implementing the 5 technologies identified as having the greatest level of readiness to be imminently adapted and implemented in shipbuilding and in the maritime sector in general.
The objective of the validation forum was to achieve a dialogue regarding these 5 technologies and their potential for adaptation to the shipbuilding/maritime sector. Representatives from shipbuilding/maritime companies, as well as the general public, were also represented at the round tables, in the beautiful Teatro Afundación, a late 19th century architectural gem in the centre of Vigo which certainly added a touch of glamour to the occasion.
Simvirtua greatly enjoyed participating on the validation panel during which we learned a lot about the shipbuilding sector and the ways in which Augmented Reality is being embraced by some parts of the industry while not yet in others. It was good to observe down to earth realism regarding the challenges ahead but our sense is that there was enough willingness and leadership in the room to make dramatic changes happen within the sector through the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.