The Smart Machines and Manufacturing Competence Centre (SMACC) underwent an external review in April 2018. The international Scientific Advisory Board concluded that SMACC demonstrates excellent potential to deliver significant impacts to key industrial sectors in Finland.
The Smart Machines and Manufacturing Competence Centre (SMACC) was established in 2015 by bringing together research groups from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to create a unique critical mass in the area of smart machines and digital manufacturing. SMACC has rapidly evolved into a lean research centre and delivered a number of projects while working closely with Finnish industry.
After SMACC's first two years of operation, TUT and VTT wanted to assess SMACC's performance in fulfilling its mission to promote research and collaboration with industry in the fields of smart machines and smart manufacturing.
The international Scientific Advisory Board set up for the purpose was impressed by the laboratory facilities and state-of-the-art research equipment provided by TUT and VTT to support SMACC. SMACC is building a strong foundation for its continued success by bringing young and experienced researchers together to pursue multidisciplinary collaborative projects. According to the Scientific Advisory Board, the centre provides an excellent environment for flexible and agile research work.
The Scientific Advisory Board recommended SMACC to consider housing the project teams that are working together under one roof at least temporarily to foster even closer collaboration. SMACC was also encouraged to develop even more innovative operating models, for example, for industry collaboration.
SMACC has an overall strategy to create methods and models for next-generation digital processes and human-machine systems. The Scientific Advisory Board found the strategy ambitious and adventurous. SMACC and its Steering Board have recognized the multidisciplinary nature of scientific and industrial challenges and brought together a critical mass from a number of disciplines represented at TUT and VTT. This offers a strong foundation for defining technology roadmaps for different research areas.
"The final report emphasizes SMACC's position as one of VTT's strategic measures to provide services efficiently to industrial companies of different sizes," states Vice President Kalle Kantola from the Smart Industry and Energy Systems Group at VTT.
The assessment conducted in April 2018 focused on the level of SMACC's scientific output, the significance of SMACC's scientific and societal impact, and the level of its research environment compared to the best units in the world. In addition, the Scientific Advisory Board was requested to give recommendations on SMACC's research strategy and how to improve SMACC's activities and the overall quality of its research.
The Scientific Advisory Board was made up of three international experts in the field, namely Professor Ludger Frerichs (TU Braunschweig), Professor Svetan Ratchev (University of Nottingham) and Professor Rossi Setchi (Cardiff University).
"TUT is committed to developing SMACC. The report shows that we are on a right track towards building a truly international, high-impact centre" says Dr Pauli Kuosmanen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at TUT