Transforming industrial processes through digitalisation

Part of Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.

What is the aim of this project?

The Smart Industrial Concept (SIC!) aims to develop ways to optimise the use of energy in industrial plants, including energy conversion, distribution and storage, and to investigate their interaction with the basic conditions of the energy industry.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

SIC! focuses on holistic approaches to the digitalisation of industrial processes. A complex energy systems model is being scientifically developed and tested that will provide the basis for targeted implementation in all industrial production systems and energy-supplying environments.

What is the value of this project for society?

  • increases the productivity and flexibility of industrial processes
  • reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
  • improves integration of renewable sources of energy

At what stage of development is this project?

SIC! is an interdisciplinary SIC! doctoral school with a strong industry focus that include eight PhD students from six faculties and centres. The team began work in 2018, focusing on the key topics of information models, knowledge bases and component model development. SIC! enables the coupling of energy efficiency and process flexibility with digitalization in the industrial environment. The team is working with five industrial companies on methods of data-driven modelling, mathematical optimisation, energy markets, controller development, process analysis and process integration.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • Funding for research to further develop digitalisation methods in industrial applications, including both for prototype and demonstration projects
  • Policies that ensure fuel and electricity prices reflect fair market value and externatlities, such as removing fossil fuel subsidies and applyinc CO2 prices, which can incentivise reduced energy use
  • Energy performance bench-marking and/or standards that specify performance targets for individual projects and process units, incentivising improvements where possible (see for example the ‘Perform Achieve Trade’ scheme in India).

Holistic approach of the Smart Industrial Concept! Source: TU Wien


  • TU Wien, Austria
  • Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria
  • Fundermax
  • ILF Consulting Engineers Austria
  • Evon
  • OSIsoft
  • EVN


Funded by the above partners

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Industrial Energy-Related Technologies and Systems (IETS TCP)

The IETS TCP focuses on energy use in a broad range of industry sectors with significant potential for reducing emissions and costs. The IETS TCP work programme ranges from development of processes and energy technologies, to overall system analysis and energy efficiency in industry.

Contact: or