What is UAO?

UniversalAutomation.org is an independent, non-for-profit association managing the implementation of an industrial automation shared source runtime execution engine, based on the IEC 61499 standard. This new level of shared technology provides the basis for an ecosystem of portable, interoperable, “plug and produce” solutions and creates an entirely new category within industrial automation. UniversalAutomation.org is open to new members looking to advance the world of automation.

Industry Leaders Found UniversalAutomation.org to Launch New Automation Era

Industrial leaders and pioneers have joined together to form UniversalAutomation.org (UAO) and advance the world of industrial automation.

For the first time, vendors, users and academics will share a common automation software layer across their automation technology regardless of brand. This technological collaboration is driving the development of an ecosystem of portable, interoperable, “plug and produce” solutions, creating an entirely new category of industrial automation.


Portability is already a reality in other market sectors

Portability is already a reality in other market sectors. For example, mobile applications are developed to run across different smartphone vendors, enabling rapid advances through collective innovation. Until now, the industrial world has worked differently, with closed proprietary architectures and hardware-dependent software.

UniversalAutomation.org will create a new era of openness and collaboration, decoupling software and hardware by sharing a reference runtime execution engine implementation of the IEC 61499 standard.


Members are working together

Members are working together to develop and adopt the next generation of universal automation solutions by collectively incrementing a runtime execution engine following shared source principles. Improvements to the runtime are managed by UniversalAutomation.org and its members. Development of prioritized features will be financed by UniversalAutomation.org or contributed by members. Members will have access to the runtime and the ability to shape the next generation of automation.

This shared runtime execution engine approach not only accelerates the adoption of the technology; it also maximizes portability by standardizing on a common runtime platform. It is the technology enabler of the future world of plug and produce industrial automation apps.

UniversalAutomation.org is actively recruiting new members. All entities looking to help advance industrial automation are encouraged to join. 


Industry advancement with interoperable automation software 

Adopting a common runtime execution engine, shared across vendors, will provide limitless opportunities for growth and modernization across industry. The ARC Advisory Group found this move could save the industrial market $30 billion each year, which is currently spent servicing and maintaining the installed base of proprietary systems alone.

UniversalAutomation.org members anticipate the adoption of this reference implementation-based approach to industrial automation to deliver a range of benefits, including: 

  • Portability and reuse of software components on different systems, improving return-on-investment for automation application software 
  • Greater Innovation through the faster integration of IT and OT technologies and systems, development of new business models, easier connectivity, and more flexible/modular production systems to meet rapidly changing market requirements
  • Hardware-independent software applications, that can be distributed to and interoperate across multi-vendor platforms
  • Extending the lifespan of existing industrial tools, devices and systems, and easier upgrading of systems reaching their end of life
  • Simplified training and skills (with teams only needing to learn one common system), making automation industry OT entry more accessible to IT professionals and the new generation of automation professionals
  • Increased reliability and reduced time to market using proven in use plug and produce software components available on AppStore-like platforms 

The creation of UniversalAutomation.org is the dawn of a new era within automation technology

Dmitrii Drozdov Chief Technology Officer at Flexbridge

They joined us
I joined UAO because by being open, by being an international standard, by being already supported by quite a certain number of relevant companies, it paves the way for a new generation of not just automation systems, but a new way of conceiving automation systems. Because in the end it leaves behind the problem of hardware and unleashes the power of software, which has not yet happened in automation.
Franco Cavadini
Chief Technical Officer
We joined UAO because we strongly believe that we have to decouple the application from the hardware. The value of our automation is not in the hardware and (yet today) we design every plant in hardware-centric way.  That is no longer possible with the regional complexities of cyber security, more maintenance, more complex software requirements. On our current path towards Industry 4.0 that hardware-centric approach no longer good. So in short, we must decouple hardware & software to make sure that we are able to survive as an industry in Europe.
Dominic de Kerf
Plant Systems and Controls COE
Open Automation technologies like UAO’s will allow us to deliver innovative automation systems faster and at lower cost.  That enables more efficient manufacturing and faster time to market for green solutions. We plan to starting using IEC 61499 to innovate on top of existing infrastructure and technology as our first use cases.  Longer term, more efficient integration of technology from different OEM machine and automation suppliers will have a major positive impact. To those considering joining UAO, don’t join if you like being locked into expensive proprietary PLC platforms and enjoy using the same old thing!
David Campain
Global Product Manager, Process Control Systems
I’m following UAO and IEC 61499 because it’s an object-oriented system, and what we do in our automation system, how we do it, is object oriented. So that gives us the opportunity to focus on how to build good applications based on function blocks. You build applications, then you decide how to deploy them. And that means we can test the complete application, and it’s easy to reuse. These are important things when we have many sailing ships.
Sølve Raaen
Principal Architect OT
We operate several thousand third-party installations, so we find ourselves with a large volume of equipment from different brands. This requires great complexity of skills to maintain them. This is why the association’s approach interests us greatly: to simplify the multi-vendor complexity. Pooling the skills of our employees on a limited number of platforms is a guarantee of operational efficiency, and a vector of success for the dissemination of standards.
Michel Arroyo
Operations and Performance Director
On our hydroelectric power plants, we have technology from the 1950s that we need to modernize it. UAO’s technology will allow us to decouple software from hardware and create portable libraries of functions to replicate across our assets, independent of the automation hardware. We want to completely change our approach, focusing on functions rather than hardware constraints. This functional approach from design to implementation is a revolution for us. Our automation teams were quickly impressed with this new approach and have understood it very quickly.
Laurent Bacon
Head of Industrial Information and Control​
Wood is excited to be part of defining the future of automation and transforming profitability and productivity for the customers in our industrial markets. UniversalAutomation.org technology will enable business innovation, increase digital adoption and agility with its open, interoperable and portable solutions- building business resiliency and empowering our clients to be future-ready.
German Carmona
Global President of Wood’s Digital Consulting business
We are excited to be part of UniversalAutomation.org because it promises to be a complete game changer. It opens up a new world of possibilities for organisations like ours. Unlocking valuable data currently buried in proprietary systems, making the connectivity and deployment of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence quick and simple. As part of UniversalAutomation.org we are actively collaborating with and supporting like-minded organisations to create an exciting new open era in operations and automation.
Valeriy Vyatkin
Professor of Electrical Engineering at Aalto University
We support UAO because it drives adoption of a standard implementation of IEC 61499. This technology enables the new way of programing we want to achieve. It enables built-in state-based control. It is not competing with OPAF, it is a great platform in operation real time control space, that can work seamlessly with other standard elements​.
Jac Opmeer
Principal Automation Engineer at Shell
The creation of UniversalAutomation.org is the dawn of a new era within automation technology; over the course of the next five years, it will create a sea change for the future of automation software development. We are delighted to be a part of UniversalAutomation.org, driving the development of a “plug and produce” system which will help the industry keep up with the increasing demands of flexible manufacturing. There is no doubt that as members continue to join the organization and reap the benefits of collaboration and openness, that industry-wide change will follow.
Dmitrii Drozdov
Chief Technology Officer at Flexbridge
Franco Cavadini
Dominic de Kerf
Dave Campain
Sølve Raaen
Michel Arroyo - Veolia - Operations and Performance Director
Laurent Bacon
German Carmona
Valeriy Vyatkin
Jac Opmeer
Dimitrii Drozdov
  • ExxonMobil
  • TriSystems
  • Analog Devices
  • BASF
  • Bucher automation
  • Bilfinger
  • Schneider Electric
  • KTL - Korea Testing Laboratory
  • JW
  • Cargill
  • The University of Warnwick
  • Bihl+Wiedemann
  • Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology - SIMTech
  • UFRN - Universidade Federal do Rio grande do norte
  • Onify
  • ODOT Automation
  • CMR Group
  • Indeff
  • ICT Group
  • Raster Industrial Automation
  • Hyundai
  • RoviSys
  • Enterprise Automation
  • Platinum Electrical Engineering
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • Upstate Automation
  • Westcon
  • JKU
  • Mayer Electric
  • Flexbridge
  • GR3N
  • KPI Automation
  • ISAAC Engineering
  • Crescent Electric
  • MatriBox
  • Meisterschulen am Ostbahnhof
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Fare Ingénierie
  • AFRY
  • ASRock Industrial
  • Technical University of Kosice
  • ENG
  • https://summit.com/
  • Master Systèmes
  • Edith Cowan University - Australian University
  • Taotech
  • Radical Ingenuity Group
  • Stahl
  • Morson Projects - Ematics
  • Armony System
  • Sciyon
  • shell
  • Kongsberg
  • Veolia
  • TenLink
  • eDF
  • Omron
  • BPX
  • FLSmidth
  • Digital Manufacturing Ireland
  • ESME
  • Cognex
  • AAC
  • CloudRail
  • Graybar
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
  • HNAC Technology
  • NeoDyne

News & Events


The Open Group and UniversalAutomation.org

UAO goes Live - TCO

Unveiling Universal Automation: What Advantages Beyond Total Cost Ownership?

UAO goes Live with TriSystems!

Unveiling Innovation: Exploring IEC 61499 Technology in Projects with Trisystems