Mastering Complexity in high-tech industry

Mastering Complexity in high-tech industry

Industry and academia unite for future high-tech engineering methods

TNO-ESI drives academic research agenda to create industry value

The complexity of systems is on the rise, but who will be equipped to manage this complexity now and in the future? TNO-ESI has challenged its partners, who are leaders in the high-tech industry, to collaboratively define problem statements that will serve as the foundation for focused university research. The outcome is that students are already tackling current and pertinent social challenges during their education. This not only fosters close ties between the participating universities and the involved companies but also ensures that graduates are well-prepared for a career in the industry, ready to dive in right after their studies.

MasCot day 2023
Core values of society related to industry

MasCot, a 3 million Euro academic program co-funded by TNO-ESI and NWO, has been in operation for three years now. Just last week, during the annual MasCot day, PhD students, their academic mentors, and industry case-owners gathered in Nijmegen, hosted by Radboud University. Sjoerd Verduyn Lunel, interim Head of Research at ASML, emphasized in his keynote address the core values of society, particularly in the context of industry. The complexity of high-tech equipment is escalating in response to mounting market demands for functionality, customization, adaptability, and autonomy. This complexity permeates every stage of system development, from initial design to implementation, verification, and evolution. For a company, failure to grapple with this complexity can lead to mistakes, delays, and budget overruns. At a national level, this has repercussions for the preeminent position of the Dutch high-tech equipment industry, as well as the economic potential of the country. The shortage of skilled individuals exacerbates this complexity issue, necessitating a substantial increase in engineers' productivity over the next decade to enable the efficient development of the next wave of systems. This cannot be achieved without groundbreaking engineering methods that tackle the mounting complexity across all design phases.

MasCot day 2023
MasCot day 2023

TNO-ESI is confronting the complexity problems alongside the Dutch high-tech equipment industry and prominent universities in the Netherlands. They're achieving this by coordinating innovation in the ecosystem and conducting practical research to address industry challenges through innovative model-based development methodologies, thereby integrating the cutting-edge academic knowledge into industry practices.

In a concerted effort to drive progress in engineering methodologies, TNO-ESI and NWO jointly finance strategic academic research initiatives like the Mastering Complexity (MasCot) program. This program brings together industry and academia to pave the way for the next era of engineering methods, fostering cost-effective and high-quality development of future high-tech equipment.

The program encompasses four projects:

  1. Scheduling Adaptive Modular Flexible Manufacturing Systems

  2. Programming and Validating Software Restructurings

  3. Testing in Times of Continuous Change, and

  4. Design Space Exploration 2.0: Towards Optimal Design of Complex, Distributed Cyber Physical Systems.