DIGITAL REGIONS project partners from Government of Cantabria in Spain have organised the second online session for partners and stakeholders on the 29th of September: 'Policy measures for stimulating participation of SMEs in regional I4.0 initiatives'.

The workshop aimed at helping industrial associations, clusters, companies and SMES as well as regional policy developers to take in consideration the experience of companies and industrial sectors from Cantabria, the tools implemented, and the results achieved. Mr. Jorge Muyo, DIGITAL REGIONS project partner and Regional Director of Innovation at Government of Cantabria, explained that the workshop provided a global perspective about the digitalisation impact on the methods, skills and technologies that the companies and organisations are offering, especially in the automotive and health sectors.

The online session commenced with the welcome of our Cantabrian partner. He presented Cantabria as a digital region, the most important action in the digitalisation of the industry, Factory of the Future Cantabria, and the key areas in their regional strategy: connectivity, industry 4.0, education and health. Jorge mentioned that this programme has the approval of the Digital Innovation hubs. Furthermore, he talked about the main targets of the regional strategy on Digital Transformation (such as, knowledge on I4.0 concept, awareness support and funding, among others). He also added an explanation on some of the good practices at regional level: Technology Enables, Audits and Skills. Finally, he made a reference to the key action of Cantabria’s ongoing Regional Action Plan that targets Less Innovation Aware (LIA) SMEs to Upgrade Digital Skills (LIA UPGRADE)

Afterwards, Mr. Santiago Garcia, DG Information systems - SCSalud at Regional Government of Cantabria, presented the regional technology solutions to the COVID situation. He brought into the spotlight some good practices on health and digitalisation. Santiago talked about their regional healthcare service and its digital transformation plan.

The next speaker showcased some of the good practices on I4.0 at health sector. Mr. Ignacio del Moral, General Manager at Hospital Virtual Valdecilla, located in Santander, guided workshop attendees through the digital transformation measures and tools utilised. From the Hospital they have developed two important areas in the digitalisation of the activities implemented: Additive manufacturing applied to Healthcare and extended reality to improve patient care. Both projects are running different activities in the Healthcare regional system and it has been applied to other clients and suppliers.

The workshop continued with an analysis of the regional trends about Industry 4.0 and the sharing of more good practices developed for the policy measures for stimulating the participation of SMEs in the regional I4.0 initiatives.

The next speaker, Mr. Juan Balsa, from SEG Automotive Spain, focused on digital manufacturing and company’s good practices in I4.0. Furthermore, he pointed out the benefits of digitalisation, such as improving the productivity with interactive communication platforms for the manufacturing industry, information quality when changing over checklists or information value through quality records.

Finally, the last speaker presented the transformation through people empowerment and the digital transformation from the shop floor. Mr. José Antonio Torre, from Edscha Santander S.A., presented the product portfolio and Edscha’s starting point using 3D printers, artificial vision or, 3D measuring machines. Afterwards, he shared more digitalisation and I4.0 good practices from Edscha.

“This session has made a compilation of different policies at regional level and their impact on the industrial digitalisation”, concluded DIGITAL REGIONS partner Jorge Muyo.