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Project overview:

The COREF project is developing two innovation labs which implement innovative connectivity technologies to investigate the benefits of connected industrial environments and smart technology.

These labs have been designed to enable Thales, and their supply chain, to gain experience in these cutting-edge systems, whilst accelerating deployment and the development of digital skills across the UK. The key technologies incorporated include smart tooling, cobotics, MES & remote connectivity, automated quality
and augmented human solutions.

This project is made possible with the help of project partners;
Thales, MESTEC, Control 2K, KX, NMIS and Queen’s University Belfast.



MESTEC is the cloud-native manufacturing productivity solution that defines, plans, controls and analyses shop floor data to make better factory performance decisions, faster. This SaaS solution integrates with both modern and legacy machines and systems (e.g. sensors, RFID) on the shop floor, providing increased visibility of process parameters and quality characteristics.


Control 2K Ltd is a specialist provider of industrial controls and software solutions, such as the Industreweb™ Data Integration Platform, designed to provide seamless connectivity between shopfloor systems and analytics platforms. Data can be visualised across the enterprise to create a truly vendor agnostic environment.


The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities with a network of partners across Scotland brought together to boost the manufacturing community.


Organizations are facing challenges, despite ongoing investments their data systems are not keeping pace with their decision-making needs. These companies turn to KX to help them act on time-sensitive opportunities where speed, scale and reliability matter.

KX built its technology and reputation in the most demanding data environments in the world.
Since the company’s inception, KX’s singular goal has been to provide its customers with the fastest, most efficient and most flexible tools for processing real-time and historical data to derive actionable insights that drive critical business decisions.


Queen’s University Belfast is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. From the University, and key to enabling industrial engagement, is the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC), a technology and
innovation centre. Within COREF, the NITC is focused on infrastructure & networking, enabling technologies, cost modelling, assisted automated inspection and digital twin technology.


Thales is a global technology leader in the aerospace, transportation, digital identity, security and defence markets. In 2020, the company generated sales of €17 billion. Thales’ UK team has over 7,000 experts, located across 9 key sites.

The two digitally connected innovation labs, based in Thales’ Crawley and Belfast locations, are the focus of COREF and will be ‘open access’ to the supply chain and the public through partner invitation.