DIGITAL REGIONS project partners have recently developed eight Regional Action Plans (RAPs) inspired by the expertise and good practices shared with each other. This week, we virtually travel to Upper Franconia in Germany to find out more about the plan developed by our partners in the Institute of Information Systems (iisys) at Hof University of Applied Sciences (HOF).

According to our German partners, SMEs in Upper Franconia often face difficulty in actively and efficiently joining R&D activities and learning about and incorporating new technologies, updating their old, and training their workforce along. The main action of this RAP will be the 'Moonrise Project': Mass Customisation for the Introduction of Production-Related IT Systems in Corporate Networks. This project aims at gathering existing industry networks, based on active good practice exchange and two ERDF projects at iisys, and offers solving challenges of digital transformation with participatory collaboration.

The project brings together five companies (mostly SMEs) from northern Bavaria and ten SMEs from southwest Saxony who are manufacturers, IT service providers and process consultants. They will be working with an open innovation combined with a collaboration engineering approach to replace the cost-intensive project model, common among process consultants, to an SME-specific process model with a positive culture of error. The goal is to introduce various prototypical IT-solutions to the manufacturing SME partners. Furthermore, two universities (Hof UAS and Chemnitz) will participate on the research and development tasks of the project, while the networks IT-Cluster Oberfranken (73 IT SME members from Upper Franconia and a member of the DIGITAL REGIONS Regional Stakeholder Group), and SüdWestSachsen Digital (71 mostly manufacturing SME members from Saxony) ensure sustainable transfer and network communication.

A source of inspiration for this RAP comes from a good practice shared by project partners at CIEBI - Centro de Inovação Empresarial da Beira Interior (Portugal): 'SAMT- Spread of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and advanced materials Technologies'. The SAMT Portuguese project developed links and synergies between enterprises, R&D centres, clusters, higher education and R&D+I governmental and regional institutions. Like SAMT, the Moonrise Project will promote collaboration between organizations throughout the value chain, corporate investment on R&D and engagement between the industry sector with clusters and universities in R&D activities. Our DIGITAL REGIONS German partners expalin that with this action, they envisage the improvement of technological knowledge and solutions and the development of a culture of innovation within the project network.

 Find here the Regional Action Plan.