• Dieter Meinhard

Platform Exploitation and Sustainability through EFF

The EFPF project is entering its final phase, and the exploitation and sustainability plans set-up throughout the last years are put into practice. In the very center of these activities, the European Factory Foundation (EFF, www.ef-foundation.com) acts as the main anker. Being a spin-off organisation of the EFPF project, established as a non-profit association in Austria by 12 founding members, it will become the owner and operator of the EFPF platform, particularly the Data Spine, the EFPF portal and federated marketplace, as well as the driver of the related ecosystem.

Once established, the EFF was added as a partner in the EFPF project, ensuring that its member interests are formally represented in the project and having the resources to successfully set-up the procedures and agreements for management, maintenance, evolution, and extension of the EFPF platform and its ecosystem in longer term future. Main activities of the EFF comprise:

  • Networking of stakeholders, providers, users as well as vendor and user communities.

  • Increasing the use of existing and future technology, product and service offerings, i.e. through a digital platform.

  • Improving the integration and interoperation of existing and future technology through the Data Spine

  • The promotion of technical, economic and legal innovation across European manufacturing and logistics sector, i.e. through the organisations of joint research and development activities of the association members;

  • The organisation of events and promotion of the latest offerings of members in the related fields of application.



Following the EFF vision to create and sustainably develop an ecosystem in the areas of Smart Factory, Industry 4.0 and Digital Manufacturing, it positions itself as a Broker between demand and supply in the domains concerned. Related offerings during the sales/purchase and operational phase, accessibly via portal.efpf.org, are:

  • The EFPF Marketplace to promote and provide an easy access towards 3rd party online shops and offerings.

  • The EFPF Portal, offering a unified interface and default service environment for technology solutions offered by different providers in the federation. In addition, the Portal provides comprehensive documentation and references on an application and technical level.

  • The Data Spine and Transaction layer, allowing for an efficient integration and interoperability of platforms, tools and/or services and related data exchanges.

As a main EFF revenue sources, the federated Marketplace framework is an essential component of its ecosystem. It provides a one-stop and structured access to the offerings listed on federated 3rd party marketplaces. The Marketplace is designed to enable easy access to the distributed offerings, filtering the products and services available in the ecosystem based on relevant categories, while providing sorting and text search features. For uploading a new offering, the provider is forwarded to the appropriate 3rd party marketplace, based on the offering´s category.



Revenues are generated by applying a broker fee for sales triggered by the EFPF Marketplace, as the buyer is forwarded to the appropriate 3rd party marketplace. The potential of these sales commissions to cover costs of the EFF operation has been elaborated during the EFPF project with provider and user representatives in the EFPF project team as well as the EFPF open-call sub-projects. The quantification of expected additional revenues in average per year when using the EFPF Marketplace is expected to be around Euro 85.000 as a median value. Applying a 3 % EFF sales commission, the average broker fee per provider and year is estimated to be around Euro 2.500.

Besides incomes based on the EFPF Marketplace, particularly EFF services like the organisation of events / booths, the participation in funded RD&I programs as well as consultancy, benchmarking, support and training within the ecosystem and EFF memberships contribute to the financial break-even of the organisation. Here, being of collaborative nature, the EFF and its ecosystem is more than open for new members from the domains of Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence and Supply Chain Management. Based on the membership structure, including Platinum, Gold, Associate and Individual Membership, the EFF is ready to serve the needs of organisations of various strategic and operational interests as well as types and sizes. More information: www.ef-foundation.com/membership/