Arrowhead tools

In short

The Arrowhead Tools project aimed for digitalisation and automation solutions for the European industry, to close the gaps that hinder the Information Technology/Operational technology integration by introducing new technologies in an open source platform for the design and run-time engineering of Internet of Things and System of Systems. The project provided engineering processes, integration platform, tools and tool chains for the cost-efficient development of digitalisation, connectivity and automation system solutions in various fields of application.

Provide a profile of the people involved and the way in which collaboration within the team is established (both researchers and support staff can be included. Please include the name, position, dept. and brief description of the role of the members of the team.)

The Arrowhead Tools consortium is industry driven and dominated, 33 large enterprises, 24 SME’s with the support of 31 RTO’s. In total 104 million EUR is invested by the industry (46%), 17 EU countries (30%) and the European commission (24%), with the joint ambition to improve Europe’s competitiveness in automation and digitalisation engineering.


Within TU/e the following senior researchers collaborate:

  • Mark van den Brand (full professor Mathematics & Computer Science (M&CS)
  • Loek Cleophas (assistant professor M&CS)
  • Jan Friso Groote (full professor M&CS)
  • Michiel Hochstenbach (associate professor M&CS)
  • Michel Reniers (associate professor Mechanical Engineering (ME))
  • Jeroen Voeten (full professor Electrical Engineering (EE))
  • Marc Gijlen (associate professor EE)
  • Twan Basten (full professor EE)

On a use case and subproject level, frequent (weekly) meetings were held between the senior researchers, PhD candidates and postdocs involved. Frequent interaction between academic team and industrial partners was ensured by hosting PhD candidates as well as some of the more senior researchers at the industrial partners for one or more days per week.


From everyday uses to large-scale industry applications, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding at an accelerating speed. The EU-funded Arrowhead Tools project will create advanced new digitisation and automation tools for the European engineering industry. These tools will bridge the gap that currently prevents total integration of operational technology – for example how efficiently the engineering industry is leveraging IoT and the ‘system of systems’ into its products. The project is expected to reduce the costs of developing and introducing flexible and secure digitisation and automation solutions by about 20 to 50 %. This will make Europe more competitive and create new jobs and business opportunities, while also reducing energy consumption and the environmental footprint.

The team has close interactions with our industrial partners. The PhD candidates, PostDocs and researchers visited frequently our industrial partners to discuss the progress in the projects and demonstrate the findings. Some of the PhD candidates and PostDocs had an on-site desk with the industrial partner. This facilitated the interaction on the use cases and ensured a fast feedback loop with respect to the progress in our research. The interaction between the researchers of the different disciplines was mainly via working together on the industrial use cases. We had an active program coordinator that took care of organizing meetings to bring TU/e researchers together. The project coordinator also took care of the communication with program management.