The SPIRE Public-Private Partnership (cPPP) has just launched its position paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the European Process Industry. The paper highlights the new challenges faced by the Process Industry, as well as the expected impact of AI on it. SPIRE sees that AI and big data technologies have a huge potential to transform the European Process Industry, strengthening its global competitiveness, and contributing to carbon neutral and circular economy solutions. According to Cefic’s recent Mid-Century Vision document ‘Molecule Managers’, AI is one of the critical digital technologies to be mastered in Europe.
AI refers to systems or applications which can make decisions and can take actions without being openly programmed to do so, based on data collection, usage analysis and other observations. AI is not one universal technology, but an umbrella expression that includes multiple technologies such as machine learning, reasoning, computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) that, individually or in combination, add intelligence to applications.
Besides the positive aspects of the application of AI technologies in Process Industries, the paper also underlines the barriers and threats that need to be overcome before AI applications can be implemented successfully, such as technical, economical, organizational (internal), etc.
Finally, the paper brings the discussion on the future trends and application of AI. The main task in the Process Industry for the next years is to find the right applications of AI technologies which bring the most benefits in terms of reducing energy consumption, reduction of environmental pollution, realisation of a full circular economy, cost reductions and product quality improvements.
AI technologies are developing quickly, but their adoption in process industries involves challenges, such as the support for research and innovation actions. The new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA), which will be published in November, will elaborate a portfolio of research and innovation priorities in AI to support a sustainable chemical sector, towards Horizon Europe.
Read the full 'Artificial Intelligence in EU Process Industry a View from the SPIRE cPPP' here.