European Roadmap for Industrial Process Automation under Renewal

Project Manager Seppo Saari from Lapland University of Applied Sciences describes ProcessIT.EU elements in the project as follows:

ARTEMIS Technology Platform and ProcessIT.EU (

ARTEMIS is the official European Technology Platform (ETP) on Embedded Intelligence. It is an industry-led stakeholder forum as key actor in driving research and innovation, community building, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness. One role of the ETP is to develop the strategic research and innovation agenda with roadmaps.

A Centre of Innovation Excellence (CoIE) is a group European R&D actors and businesses with a role to advance development in its specific industry sector. CoIEs exist to create new, self-sustaining businesses. It is driving force in planning future roadmap in this sector.

ProcessIT.EU has the role in mainly in process industry automation. It gathers automation technology, integrators and service providers with process industry, research organisations and public authorities to improve competitiveness through cooperation. ProcessIT.EU’s role is to incubate and implement strong RDI projects that both innovate and develop new globally competitive automation solutions.

ProcessIT.EU Roadmap

A major effort conducted by ProcessIT.EU is the European Roadmap for Industrial Process Automation some years ago ( The core team consisted of research organisations in Sweden and Finland. A number of experts from other European organisations participated the work, and companies giving feedback. ARTEMIS-IA approved the roadmap and other national and European financers have used it as base for development.

The work started with analyzing of ETPs (European Technology Platforms) and their strategies. Then we defined research and development areas. This led to a selection of prioritized ideal concepts: instant access to virtual dynamic factory, increased information transparency between field devices and enterprise wide systems, real-time sensing & networking in challenging environments, process industry as an agile part of energy system, management of critical knowledge for maintenance decision support, automation service and function engineering, open simulator platform, and automation system for flexible security and production flexibility. For each one there is a vision, description of ideal concept, state-of-the-art analysis, proposed actions, and business potential.

In the latest years, a lot has happened in the sector. Companies in cooperation with researchers have conducted roadmap based RDI projects for more than 100 million euros.

The Update Process

The update process started with two European meetings, which updated the ideal concepts. A number of new topics has risen in these years: cloud services, IoT, product as a service and several other technologies and ideas are now actual. These enable new functions and sourcing of expert services. Existing legacy systems in the European factories set their limits to use all the newest enabling technologies. On the other hand, this sets challenges for development.

Now we are in a phase of analyzing, writing and discussion. After the summer, it is time to bring the results to European discussion.

Lessons learned

One reason for planning the original roadmap was that in our opinion Europe had forgotten its process industry even though it is one of the major sources of economic wealth in Europe. The goal was to raise the needs of the industry to the awareness of decision makers, and get the research topics financed. In a few years, the roadmap has been used by several European and national financers.

We want to involve the key actors in Europe, and of course, in the North, to participate the discussion and evaluation so that we can provide a new European Roadmap for Industrial Process Automation, which – for its part - can lead to new steps forward in keeping European industry competitive.

For Lapland UAS and LTU, the work has enabled participation in major European RD projects in our focus areas.

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