Instituto Pedro Nunes - Newsletter project AT-VIRTUAL
IPN     IPN Incubadora
Newsletter project AT-VIRTUAL

 Newsletter #1 project AT-VIRTUAL

AT-VIRTUAL aims to accelerate the digitalization of Maritime Safety Training Centres (MSTCs) in the Atlantic Area, through the introduction of new emerging Industry 4.0 related technologies (Internet of Things, Big Data/Data Analytics, and Vision Technologies) in simulation-based training systems, contributing to more effectively and efficiently tackle of maritime security and safety in the Atlantic Area.

This project is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by the Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación del Principado de Asturias, comprising also the following organizations from France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain: Laval Mayenne Technopole, Cork Institute of Technology, South West Business & Technology Centre, Instituto Pedro Nunes, Associação de Estudos e Ensino para o Mar, Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima and Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation.

To achieve this, MSTCs will be first diagnosed about their current state of digitalization in order to find needs in which the introduction of these technologies could make the difference. MSTCs will also become testing, piloting and demonstration sites of technology solutions to common needs identified in the Atlantic Area. The process of digitization will be carried out through a collaborative hybridization process, facilitating the cooperation between 3 MSTCs and start-ups who will act as digital enablers, supported by a research organization (TECNALIA FOUNDATION) and I4.0 experts. It will be developed by using a new advanced platform, which will be ready to be transferred after the project to favour the digitization processes in new organizations and areas in an outside the AA.

Signature of the subsidy agreement of the AT VIRTUAL project
In the last evaluation committee of the European Union Interreg V-B Atlantic Area 2014-2020 Program, held in October 2018, the project “AT-VIRTUAL” turned out to be one of the 27 projects approved in this second call. This project has an approved budget by the European Commission of 1,888,308.72€, with an ERDF financing of 1,416,231.54€ to carry out all the planned actions.

The Signature of the subsidy agreement of the AT VIRTUAL Project took place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Acuario Poema del Mar) on March 20th 2019. The signature was done by the President of the Northern Region of Portugal (CCDR-N), and president of the Atlantic Area Programme Managing Authority, Prof. Doutor Fernando Freire da Sousa and the main beneficiaries of the grant contracts for the projects approved in this second call of the Atlantic Area Interreg Program.

CEEI Asturias, as the lead partner of the AT VIRTUAL project was invited by the General Directorate for European Funds of the Ministry of Finance and the Joint Secretariat of the Atlantic Area Program to participate in the signature of the subsidy contract of this project.

AT VIRTUAL Kick off meeting in Asturias
The Kick-off meeting for the launch of the AT VIRTUAL Project was held in Asturias (Spain), last April 9th and 10th by the lead partner, Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación del Principado de Asturias. The event took place in city of Gijón in the I4.0 Incubator, located in the Science and Technology Park of Gijón.

The meeting counted with representatives from the following European partners involved in the project: LMT - Laval Mayenne Technopole (France), IPN - Pedro Nunes Institute (Portugal), Cork BIC - South West Business & Technology Center LTD (Ireland), SASEMAR - Life and Maritime Safety Society (Spain), AEMAR - Associacao de Estudos e Ensino para o Mar, CIT (Cork Institute of Technology) and the TECNALIA FOUNDATION (Spain). During the meeting there were treated the key aspects of the project and the expected results such as: Diagnosis questionnaire for the evaluation of the digital maturity level of the MSTCs, calls and procedure for the submission of the proposals by startups, validation and selection process for the creation of the binomials (startup – MSTC) and finally the design and implementation of the different solutions (prototypes).

Diagnosis tool for the evaluation of the digital maturity level
In this period since the project began, Tecnalia as responsible for the self-diagnosis tool has made significant progress in its development.
Meetings with the MSTCs have been held to learn about the context and reality of these organizations' day-to-day life, the framework of the self-diagnosis model has been developed and its offline version has been developed.
This self-diagnostic evaluation model is based on analyzing 5 characteristics of digital maturity 4.0 (Connected, Smart, Flexible, Social and Extended) to assess the barriers and improvements (based on 4 levels scale) to integrate technologies such as Big Data, IoT or Artificial Vision.
Two of the three MSTSC have already made their diagnosis and have received the corresponding report. In addition, visits have been made to these centers to carry out an in-depth interview that helps identify the specific challenges to be solved by Start-Ups.
The next steps will be to make the reports identifying the possible technological challenges (3 challenges for each MTSC) and the deficit of the bases so that Start-Ups can solve these challenges.

AT VIRTUAL website functionalities
As the main dissemination tool of the project, the website aims to keep all partners, stakeholders and the general public informed about the project's progression. It will provide a diagnosis tool to allow the evaluation of the maturity level of digitalization and the analysis of existing needs of the MSTCs and it will also be very important in the management of calls and proposals and in the selection of the appropriate solutions and startups. In addition, the website will play a relevant role in the training, designing and prototyping, by providing access to webinars and documentation. The launch of the website will happen shortly and you can found it here. Meanwhile, you can share this email with your contacts and invite them to subscribe the newsletter


31 of October of 2019