Virtual Annual Meeting of the Research Initiatives BRAGECRIM and CRI-SCMfg

(19.10.20) The annual meeting of the two German-Brazilian research initiatives BRAGECRIM (Brazilian-German Collaborative Research Initiative on Manufacturing Technology) and CRI-SCMfg (Collaborative Research Initiative on Smart Connected Manufacturing) took place on 29 September 2020. Due to the corona pandemic, this year's meeting was purely virtual. The originally planned personal meeting in Hamburg was postponed to 2021.

Greater interaction between basic research and industry

Greater interaction between basic research and industry

© Foto Divulgação Freepik

The 70 participants included representatives of the German and Brazilian funding organisations DFG and CAPES, Brazilian and German researchers as well as industry representatives and BRAGECRIM alumni.

The virtual meeting started with welcome addresses of the coordinators of the initiatives – Professor Dr. Michael Freitag from the University of Bremen and Professor Dr. Enzo Frazzon from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). Prof. Freitag emphasised the importance of the annual meetings for the exchange within the two initiatives, also and especially in times of the corona pandemic, when travel is strongly restricted. Prof. Frazzon was pleased about the good participation, especially from industry representatives.

Further welcome addresses were given by CAPES President Professor Dr. Benedito Aguiar and Dr. Dietrich Halm, responsible for international cooperation with Latin America at the DFG. In his opening message Prof. Aguiar emphasised the relevance of this cooperation for the “formation of networks of structured research, in which Brazilian knowledge production is also becoming more internationalised through joint research projects.” Dr. Halm emphasised that “Smart Connected Manufacturing is a future sector that plays a central role for sustainable development in many countries.”

Professor Dr. Tilo Pfeifer from RWTH Aachen University, former coordinator of BRAGECRIM on the German side, presented the history and success story of the initiative to the participants. He emphasised the traditionally close cooperation between German and Brazilian companies and highlighted the added value that joint basic research in the field of production technology has generated for the value chains in both countries.

The importance of the research initiative for industry was also addressed in a presentation by Marcus Coester, CEO of Grupo Coester. Coester highlighted the importance of collaboration with universities, in particular with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRS), with which the company has been collaborating for over four years: The most innovative technologies of the Coester Group have been transferred from the Electronics Department of UFRS to the company.

In the second part of the meeting the Brazilian and German researchers presented their current project results within two parallel sessions by means of short presentations. The topics ranged from manufacturing processes to production planning and logistics and addressed in particular the possibilities of digitalisation in these fields.

First impressive results and publications from the four CRI projects, which started only recently and under the difficult conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, were presented, and contacts with industrial partners were reported.

At the beginning of the third part, a Brazilian and a German alumnus shared their personal experiences with BRAGECRIM. They emphasised the positive effects of the initiative on their personal career in science and industry. Finally, the further development of the cooperation was addressed by statements of Professor Dr. Heloisa Hollnagel (CAPES) and Dr. Sebastian Heidrich (DFG).

BRAGECRIM and CRI-SCMfg unite more than 30 Brazilian and German universities, research institutes and industrial partners in a research network on the strategic topics of production technology and digitalisation. The main objective of the collaboration is to strengthen the industrial sector in both countries in a sustainable way through basic and applied research and through the exchange of knowledge and researchers.