DIGITAL REGIONS project is completing the exchange of experience phase of the project with the publication of 8 Regional Action Plans (RAPs) that will facilitate adapting innovation policies to support the manufacturing sector as a result of the emergence of Industry 4.0 (I4.0).
Aiming at increasing the number of SMEs from manufacturing sector cooperating with other innovation actors in the participant regions, project lead partner ERNACT, with the input of Northern and Western Regional Assembly, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Atlantic Technological University - Donegal and Enterprise Ireland, has developed a Regional Action Plan for the Border Midland & Western Region in Ireland.
The policy instrument addressed in this RAP is the 'Border Midland & Western Operational Programme 2014-2020'. One main action is highlighted in the RAP: 'Programme to assist manufacturing businesses build capacity for I4.0 transition', which has been inspired by two partners and two good practices shared within the partnership: 'Digitalization Parkour' by Swiss Smart Factory (Switzerland) and 'SAMT - Spread of Additive Manufacturing and advanced materials Technologies' by CIEBI - Centro de Inovação Empresarial da Beira Interior (Portugal).
The main objective of this action is to provide senior managers with the capability to assess options for introducing I4.0 solutions into their businesses and to build an I4.0 strategy. Furthermore, the value that this action will bring into the region is a better understanding, resources and tools among managers to appreciate the impact that continued evolution of I4.0 is having on the competitiveness, innovation potential and market position of their business and the capacity to uptake I4.0 in a strategic way.
Image by Swiss Smart Factory, one of the two partners that have inspired the action in this RAP.