With our Technology Circle events, we bring industry 4.0 technology topics to the Basel Area. As the industrial transformation team of the Basel Area, our main focus in this section of the event is on the manufacturing industry.
“The industrial metaverse is not merely a single technology. Rather, it represents an integrated ecosystem.”
—Isabel Steinhoff, Transformation & Metaverse Strategist, Co-Founder at Dimenteers
Isabel shows us the positive impact of metaverse on the manufacturing industry with three examples.
For Nestlé, ensuring that all manufacturing safety procedures are followed correctly is critically important. With its digital twin of the Nescafé factory in Girona, northern Spain, Nestlé teaches safety, hygiene and traffic rules of the large facility in a safe, virtual environment. Employees can go through vital safety training without endangering themselves or the factory without even being on the premises.
Swissgrid faced challenges with outsourcing and risk management. With the help of Rimon, one of our former i4Challenge winners, they digitized their monthly inspection process and enabled untrained people to execute it using augmented reality (AR). They streamlined inspections, improved quality, standardized the process and enhanced know-how management.
BMW built a digital twin of a factory before actually building it and simulated 6 months of production. Thanks to the learnings of this simulation, BMW changed the design before construction. This made the planning process 30% more efficient, saved 10% in production costs and about 80% of meetings could be skipped or streamlined due to high information availability.
There are many more opportunities that save cost, improve safety and efficiency and have an overall positive impact on people, the environment and the company’s bottom line.
”The metaverse is here to stay. It will impact all facets of our private and business life. You should start engaging and experimenting today.Isabel SteinhoffTransformation & Metaverse Strategist, Co-Founder at Dimenteers
As Europe’s leading life sciences ecosystem, healthcare is most dear to our hearts and was our primary focus in this event. The opportunities for healing in the metaverse are endless.
Philippe Gerwill presented a few apt use cases, followed by a tour of the Avalon health city by Aimedis, where he is Executive Advisor.
”Nobody anticipated the transition from paper to smartphones. Now, the future lies in moving from smartphones to the metaverse.Philippe GerwillDigitalization Humanist
Personal fitness and mental health
Healthcare is most often sick care. We tend to treat people instead of preventing illnesses. But this trend is shifting towards wellness and preventive care, especially with the younger generation.
A way to nudge people towards preventive care is by giving them incentives. Today, these incentives already exist as tokens or NFTs. With the metaverse, we can gamify preventive healthcare even more.
For example, with a fun home workout:
The metaverse also offers interesting opportunities for one’s mental health.
Imagine doing a yoga exercise in an immersive environment that makes you feel like you’re on a beach rather than in your own room. The same goes for meditation.
The idea is not only to transport yourself elsewhere but also to access the expertise of people anywhere in the world. You could experience guided meditation by monks in Tibet, or join a workout session with your favorite fitness star.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to minimize doctor visits to avoid potential exposure to the virus. Telemedicine was heavily worked on before, but COVID accelerated its acceptance across the board.
With the metaverse, people from all over the world could walk into a virtual hospital and receive care from the best health professionals around the globe – neither of them would even have to leave their living rooms.
”We should only go to hospitals or doctors when necessary and handle as much as possible from the comfort of our own homes. I believe most people prefer to avoid hospitals whenever they can.Philippe GerwillDigitalization Humanist
While cameras and a conversation are a start, they often aren’t enough to diagnose health issues accurately. That’s why we need to use new sensor technology like smartwatches, home medical equipment and even smart pills.
Someone has to be a doctor’s first patient. Aspiring doctors can practice as many procedures as they want inside the metaverse without risk to an actual patient.
Students can gain hands-on experience or learn in an immersive, reactive environment instead of reading books in a cold classroom.
In the metaverse, we can access the best technology and expertise from top professionals worldwide. We’re not limited by our physical surroundings. For example, in surgical procedures, we can pilot robots from afar and have as many steady hands as we need:
Few hospitals are equipped with this kind of technology. But even with normal VR goggles, you can effectively use the metaverse for medical procedures. For example, distracting children with games during injections has proven effective.
The Titan-e project ran for the past three years. It aimed to bridge the gap between scientific institutions and entrepreneurs, fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange and technological advancements in the Upper Rhine region, encompassing Switzerland, Alsace, and Baden.
The project focused on advancements in innovation and technology. Academic institutions, entrepreneurs and various organizations came together to advance the region’s economy and contribute to overall well-being.
”Looking ahead, I hope we can continue with new projects together. We have done significant work in networking and in communicating the possibilities in the Upper Rhine region.René OhlmannManaging Director at ADDI-DATA
As part of Titan-E, ADEUS has developed a cross-border network on health technologies in the Upper Rhine. This cartography takes the form of a dynamic visualization of the ecosystem through the representation of its actors and the interactions in which small and medium-sized enterprises are involved.
”Our project's uniqueness lies in not only showcasing the ecosystem of the high-tech region but also focusing on the collaborations and innovation projects between organizations.David MarxDirecteur d’étude at ADEUS
Under Titan-e, we also brought the i4Challenge to live. It provides mentoring, support and visibility to startups and SMEs with promising ideas in various industry 4.0 topics like robotics, AI and sustainability.
In the years 2021 and 2022, a total of 71 projects applied to the competition. A tri-national jury of experts from both industry and academia evaluated these projects to identify the best ones and offer them further development opportunities.
”The i4Challenge winners showcased innovative solutions in various fields and many of them have achieved great success. Their testimonials speak for the positive impact of the competition.Albert HilberManager Upper Rhine, Industrial Transformation at Basel Area
The last iteration of the i4Challenge is now closed. And while the Interreg project Titan-e is over, we’re still committed to providing the latest insights and promote collaboration in the community of the Basel Area and across its borders.
So stay tuned for our next Technology Circle event. We’ll announce its topic soon via email.
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Sébastien Meunier Director Industrial Transformation.
Sébastien Meunier joined Basel Area Business & Innovation in 2016. Prior to this, he was Cleantech Manager at i-net innovation networks switzerland.
”Are you interested in innovation and networking? In our Trinational Industry 4.0 Technology Circles we bring together researchers, developers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders for cross-disciplinary exchange.Sébastien MeunierDirector Industrial Transformation