To content

Coordinating Optimisation of Complex Industrial Processes (COCOP)

Key words: european dimension, innovation, industry, process-control, sustainability

Project duration: 01.10.2016 - 31.03.2020

copop logo. blue circle, around it a curved blue "C", around it a blue "P"
Flag of the EU

EU Horizon 2020

Banner with interlocking lettering "SPIRE". Underneath lettering "Project

SPIRE EU (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency)

The vision of the COCOP project is: Complex process industry plants are op-timally run by the operators with the guidance of a coordinating, real-time optimisation system. COCOP will combine the technological development with a social innovation process of co-creation and co-development.

  • Tampere University of Technology (Coordinator)
  • DSM Chemical Technology R & D B.V.
  • SIDENOR Aceros Especiales S.L.
  • MSi Grupo (Mondragon Sistemas De Informacion Sociedad Cooperativa)
  • OptimationAB
  • Outotec Oy
  • Tecnalia
  • Technische Universität Dortmund (Social Research Centre)
  • VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • 2-control ApS

The objective is to define, design and implement a concept that integrates existing industrial control systems with efficient data management and optimisation methods and provides means to monitor and control large industrial production processes.

Technical objectives
The technological solution will be a software system that can be integrated into existing DCS (Distributed Control Systems). This can be broken down into the following technical objectives:

  • Requirements and system architecture
  • Algorithms for optimisation, data management and state estimation
  • Predictive process and sustainability models
  • Prototype implementation and user acceptance

Environmental objectives
The aim is to increase the sustainability of the process industry i.e. reduction of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy/raw materials consumption as well as being better prepared to meet existing and emerging regulatory mandates in terms of environment, quality or safety aspects.

Business objectives

  • To reduce operation costs due to an optimal performance of the processes that allows reducing the use energy consumption and raw materials, the number of defects/rejects, etc.
  • To increase the productivity

Social objectives

  • To improve the working conditions of plant operators by developing new process-control tools which support operating work by providing new ways to control the process. Learning and development of competences will also be addressed.
  • To strengthen the societal and personnel development perspective by including the designed technological innovation in a concept of a social-innovation process. The development process will be integrated into a broader company strategy. It will do this by integrating all relevant stakeholders and end users, and thinking of the implementation and impact right from the beginning of the process.
  • To strengthen the competitiveness of the European process and automation industry, resulting in job retention, exportable high-value IT products for the industry and the corresponding jobs, and wellbeing in Europe. 

COCOP is based on the decomposition-coordination optimisation of the plant operations: the overall problem is decomposed into unit-level sub-problems, so then the solutions of sub-problems are coordinated to plant wide optimal schedule using high-level coordination. This will enable operators to understand the functioning of the plant as a whole, including the areas traditionally beyond their control, and take better decisions within their part of the process.

COCOP will combine the technological development with a social innovation process of co-creation and co-development for improving effectiveness and impact of the innovations and operators acceptance.

The work is divided into seven work packages (WPs). The operational work packages (WPs 2-6) are designed as an iterative technological development and improvement process. While WPs 3, 4, and 5 are in parallel iterative interwoven with each other, WPs 2 and 6 are a consecutive process: preconditions (WP2) at the beginning and continuous co-creation and final validation (WP6) during the technological development process.

WP1. Management
To manage the administrative, technical and financial terms of the project, monitoring compliance with the work of the overall project plans, the available resources and the timing in order to ensure the overall high quality of the project outcomes.

WP2. Requirements
To properly define user case studies, system requirements, impact evaluation criteria and operator work and co-creation requirements.

WP3. Architecture
To lay down the software architecture for the runtime system:

  • To develop a generic architecture for the runtime system
  • To define data models, repositories, interfaces and data flow for the common system
  • To define data pre-processing methods

WP4. Modelling

  • To develop simulation models of the case processes
  • To set guidelines for modelling work when applied to processes other than the cases
  • To produce a demonstration implementation of the development kit
  • To define novel on-line sustainability indicators

WP5. Optimization and implementation

  • To define the sub-process and coordination level optimization problems for all use cases
  • To implement the runtime system by implementing the selected methods

WP6 Co-creation, verification & validation

  • To ensure operator support and involvement via co-creation
  • To test the runtime system
  • To provide estimates of the benefits of the runtime system

WP7. Communication, Dissemination and exploitation

  • To ensure the maximum impact of the COCOP project through effective communication, dissemination, exploitation and IPR activities and to develop a structure to assure the continuity of COCOP after the project’s end.
  • To assess the feasibility of transferring the COCOP concept/developments. Two levels will be addressed: 1) Transferability within the sectors involved in the project (to analyse the transferability of the project results to other plants of the same sectors where the COCOP project has been demonstrated; 2) Transferability to other sectors not involved in the COCOP project.

Project leadership:



Location & approach

Exit 13 (Kreuz Dortmund Nord-Ost), direction Derne/Schwerte (B236), 1st exit direction Dortmund-Eving, next traffic lights turn right (Kemminghauser Str.), after 2.7km turn left (Evinger Str./B 54), after 1.1km traffic lights turn left (Deutsche Straße), after 500m on the left is the Evinger Platz.

From the Bundesstraße 1 (extension A40 or A44) to the intersection B1/B236 direction Lünen, 3rd exit direction Dortmund-Eving.

Exit Dortmund Hafen, turn left until the intersection Münsterstraße (B54), direction Eving, after about three kilometers turn into Deutsche Straße.

You can download an enlarged general map here

From Dortmund Airport, it takes just about 20 minutes to get to Dortmund Central Station by AirportExpress and from there to the university by subway (U-Bahn) 41. The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station. From there, you can get directly to Dortmund Central Station.

From Dortmund Central Station, take the U 41 light rail (direction Brambauer / Brechten). The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". The Minister Stein Center is located on the right in the direction of travel of the streetcar.

You can find an overview map here.