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Akselos and EPFL score grant to bring ground-breaking technology

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Akselos S.A. and world-leading technology institute EPFL, have finalised a $1-million deal with the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) to empower predictive maintenance with engineering simulation, big-data and machine learning technologies.

The CTI is a Swiss Government Agency responsible for promoting the highest standards in science-based innovation. This includes financial support through grants awarded to research and development projects that have the potential to make a significant global impact. The exclusive grant has been awarded to facilitate joint research and development between Akselos and EPFL to bring the concept of a smart, connected asset to market.

Akselos refers to the smart, connected asset as a Digital Guardian - a concept that will combine the company's engineering simulation software with sensors and big-data analytics to create an exact virtual replica of an asset in its current environment. This will give asset operators real-time access to the condition of their asset anywhere and at any time, and allow a move towards predictive maintenance.

Thomas Leurent, Akselos' Chief Executive said: 'Akselos is headquartered at EPFL's Innovation Park, a major global innovation hub, and so we're very connected to the scientific community at EPFL. The internationally renowned research teams at the institute have played a huge role in helping us to develop our simulation technology, specifically when it comes to coupling it with sensor data.'

'The Digital Guardian will revolutionise how large assets are managed all over the world. The unique mix of ground-breaking technology will allow us to fix things before they break, opening up new levels of operational efficiency across industry and society.

'I firmly believe that businesses and academia need to work together to make true innovation a reality and to create a robust ecosystem to support that innovation. We're extremely grateful to the Swiss government for encouraging this through the CTI, which has provided a significant amount of essential funding over the years to help us get to where we are today.'

The team at the Chair of Computational Mathematics and Simulation Science at EPFL, led by Professor Jan S. Hesthaven, will work on accelerating the simulation speed of Akselos' technology for non-linear problems, optimising the placement of sensors on structures to maximise data quality, and the calibration of the models with sensor data.

'This is a very exciting project that merges recent developments in mathematics and computational science with techniques from machine learning and big data to address problems of substantial societal and financial importance' said Professor Hesthaven, who is also the Dean of EPFL's School Basic Sciences. 'With a goal of developing advanced Digital Twin technology for complex structures to enable predictive maintenance and risk assessment, it will result in a computational data-driven workflow that can be adopted across numerous sectors.'

The CTI funding, together with further financial support from the billion-dollar Eurostars innovation fund, and the support of oil and gas supermajors, is being used to test the solution through a two-year Joint Industry Project (JIP). The JIP will prove the transformative power of the sensor-enabled engineering simulations for the oil and gas industry and beyond. Akselos' simulation technology can be applied to any asset-centric industry.

The Chair of Computational Mathematics and Simulation Science at EPFL has significant experience in supporting R&D across industries. Among many other ground-breaking technology applications, the department was instrumental in the design process for the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd America's Cup, working on simulations during the design process to maximise the performance of the hull.



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