i2CAT Foundation joins Zero-SWARM, a European project oriented to boosting the green transition in the European manufacturing sector through advanced 5G technologies


i2CAT Foundation has recently joined Zero-SWARM (Zero-enabling Smart Networked Control Framework for Agile Cyber-Physical Production), a project launched in June 2022 aiming to accelerate the uptake of advanced 5G technologies by the European manufacturing sector. The European Commission funds the project with eight million euros, and an additional two million euros are brought to the 30-month initiative through private funding.

The project mission is to achieve climate neutral and digitized production via a multidisciplinary, human-centric, objective-oriented innovative approach resulting in technical solutions for open swarm framework, non-public 5G network, active information continuum and digital twin.

The Mobile Wireless Internet (MWI) and Software Networks (SN) research areas from i2CAT Foundation are involved in the project. They will contribute to the work package “Shaping 5G in the Industrial Domain”, oriented at designing and developing innovative solutions towards enhancing 5G communications for CPSoS along with zero-touch resource management and 5G AAS. It will also implement a secure framework and 5G enabled device-edge-cloud continuum for microservices offloading at the edge cloud. i2CAT will lead Task 3.2: Cyber-physical system of system (CPSoS) zero-touch network and service management of 5G resources.

“ZeroSWARM will allow i2CAT to continue developing its 5G private network management assets. Among others, we will focus on extreme edge orchestration and computing capabilities for industrial domains, developing a smart industrial CPE that provides a policy-driven aggregation of 5G and WiFi6 bandwidths. For example, a bandwidth hungry industrial application will be able to aggregate capacity, whereas a latency sensitive application will duplicate packet transmissions across the two networks. These innovations will be integrated into the ZeroSWARM South Node”, explain the i2CAT researchers.

Zero-SWARM provides 16 testing facilities in 3 main nodes in Northern, Centre and Southern Europe with the main goal of delivering at least 10 trials over them, each of which focuses on end-to-end proof of concept of the envisioned solutions and their KPI quantification as defined in the project. The project aims at the innovation sweet spot, looking for viable, feasible and desirable solutions by pursuing the following large-scale demonstrations and trials.
Specifically, as a part of the South Node, i2CAT will be working on developing three trials in close collaboration with the industrial area of ​​the Zona Franca:

  • Smart assembly in cabinet production
  • Sustainable powertrains
  • Improved resilience with remote operation in mass customized production

i2CAT Foundation will be among 27 organizations with complementary expertise and skills from 10 European countries working on the Zero-SWARM project and henceforth prioritizing such in line with the European Union as the Green Deal and a Europe fit for the digital age. Among the consortium partners is Neutroon, the first i2CAT spin-off in the 5G field created one year ago. Its main contribution to the Zero-SWARM project will be focused on supporting the development, implementation, and further testing of zero-touch and AI-enabled operations management in 5G NPN, integration of multi-radio access technologies and aggregation between 5G NR and Wi-Fi 6 for reaching higher throughputs or enabling smarter QoS policies to guarantee service levels with direct impact on the manufacturing assets.

In short, the Zero-SWARM project aims to reinforce the European industry’s competitiveness and its environmental, economic, and social sustainability to fulfil leadership, resilience and sovereignty.

Find out more here.