RICAIP Annual Report 2022: Progress & Achievements in the Forewored by Prof. Vladimír Mařík

The RICAIP Centre has published its third annual report and the first to browse through it were the most dedicated readers – guests at a celebratory event on 30 May on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the CIIRC CTU, one of the RICAIP founders, and the host institution and coordinator of the RICAIP project.
We offer you this document in an interactive electronic format to guide you through further information and news on the RICAIP website. All in a clear manner. If you are interested in a printed copy, please do not hesitate to contact us at pr@ricaip.eu. The contents of this publication are the highlights of the last year, as presented below in the full foreword by Prof. Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director of the CIIRC CTU, who is also the principal investigator of the RICAIP project.

“I would like to welcome you to the third annual report of RICAIP. During the year 2022, we have worked hard on reaching our goals to finalize the installation of state-of-the-art equipment both in Prague and Brno. Nearly all of the proposed technologies have been delivered.”

Prof. Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director CIIRC CTU, Principal Investigator of the RICAIP Project, Member of the RICAIP Steering Committee
Prof. Vladimír Mařík at the 10th Anniversary of CIIRC CTU, 30 May 2023 (Photo: J. Ryszawy, CTU)

That is why we were able to organize the RICAIP Prague facility re-opening in April 2022, and the RICAIP Brno facility ceremonial opening in November 2022.  The team has shown a great collaborative effort with contributions by all four partners, from the Czech Republic and Germany. Within RICAIP, we are now in a position where the testbeds are in full use and we have started to develop our own use cases. These will help to demonstrate implementations of the Industry 4.0 ideas to our scientific and industrial stakeholders. All partners, in collaboration with our tenure track researchers, are collaborating on them. The RICAIP results are regularly presented to the public, e.g. during the RICAIP Conference and the ROBOTIX Academy organized during the RICAIP Days in April 2022.

Photo: Jiří Ryszawy, CTU

In the last year, we have made further progress in setting up the organizational structure for RICAIP. DFKI and ZEMA do represent excellent key RICAIP partners for mutual scientific collaboration. The Czech partners learned a lot from these German institutions and do continue to prepare additional projects together. The RICAIP Consortium has accepted two new associated partners to the RICAIP project, particularly the Fraunhofer IWU Institute in Dresden and the Technical University Ostrava in April 2022. We plan to continue in these efforts to extend our cooperation with additional associate members in 2023, but this time beyond Czech and German borders.

Also, the everlasting support of the industrial leaders, like Siemens, T-Mobile, Škoda Auto or Lego, represents an essential element of our progress: e.g. Siemens did help with the SW equipment for automated production lines,  Škoda Auto and Siemens together helped to install and run specialized Delta robot, and T-Mobile contributed with the first fully furnished 5G station in the University environment in the Czech Republic.

The RICAIP facilities have been used in many EU projects, national research initiatives and – what is most important – in cooperative projects with industry. Both the National Centre for Industry 4.0 and the National Centre of Competence NCK KUI have started to organise their research and know-how transfer around the RICAIP Project in Prague and Brno. They became the core of the AI Ecosystem for Manufacturing being built in the Czech Republic. We are also very proud that we were successful in our applications for both the EDIH and the TEF projects – these will be opened in 2023. We have started to be engaged in a German-Czech bilateral project AIQUAMA which is focused on the latest trends in Industry 4.0, e.g. zero-error production, human-machine team cooperation, 5G communication on the factory floor and others. The AIQUAMA project is focused on the needs of Škoda Auto and VW companies.

Photo: Jiří Ryszawy, CTU: 10th Anniversary of CIIRC CTU, Prague, 30 May 2023

In connection with the RICAIP Project, we have started to be proactively engaged in additional international events, like EU-US workshop on Intelligent Manufacturing which did happen under the support of the National Science Foundation in June 2022. 10 leading US and 10 EU experts gave their interesting, top-level speaches.  In May 2022 the RICAIP Center was one of the key organizers of the Czech-Israeli Innovation Forum CIFI. In September 2022, the RICAIP became one of the core contributors of the Czech-French workshop on AI.

The RICAIP team is paying a lot of attention to the education and growth of the future generation of engineers and Ph.D. graduates. The built Prague and Brno facilities regularly hosts regular education of students from different faculties of CTU, but also from the other Czech universities and universities from EU countries within the Erasmus program schemas. More than 60 Ph.D. students are using the facilities in Prague and Brno to complete their study.

The RICAIP Project has invoked a lot of interest in the governmental circles. We have been visited e.g. by the Czech Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ivan Bartoš, Minister of Research Mrs. Helena Langšádlová, the German Federal Vice Chancellor Mr. Robert Habeck, the Vice President of the European Commission Mr. Frans Timmermans, Slovenian Minister for Research Mrs. Emilija Stojmenova Duh etc.

We expect to continue according the RICAIP plan in 2023, focusing our attention mainly on the development of the use cases and on the dissemination of the results achieved. The organizational structure to adopt after finishing the RICAIP project remains in our focus as well.

The AI Ecosystem around the RICAIP Center, as a core facility surrounded and supplemented by many various projects, teams and know-how transfer efforts, is considered as a basis for the long-term sustainability of the RICAIP Centre after the RICAIP Project is over. Therefore, sustainability is entering in the very focus of our attention in 2023. The RICAIP project is on the right track.

Photo: Roman Sejkot, CIIRC CTU: 10th Anniversary of CIIRC CTU, Prague, 30 May 2023