• Seven European regions meet in Leuven to boost Industry 4.0 adoption among SMEs 
  • SMARTY partners shared good practices to support SMEs in their uptake of Industry 4.0 solutions

The SMARTY project partners met in Leuven on 25-26th February, 2020, to exchange good practices on regional policies aimed at supporting Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in their awareness and adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions. The research centre Flanders Make in Leuven, Belgium, hosted this Interregional Thematic Seminar event, which was combined with a study visit to the Genk based company Provan.

The first Interregional Thematic Seminar within the Interreg Europe project SMARTY brought together 19 partner representatives from seven European regions. The seminar kicked off with the presentation of the regional analyses, consisting of in-depth studies on the innovation ecosystems and needs of SMEs in the participating regions: Tuscany (Italy), Mazovia (Poland), Lapland (Finland), Leeds City Region (UK), Slovenia, Castilla y León (Spain) and Catalonia (Spain). Representatives of each region also exchanged experiences and good practices regarding policies to foster the uptake of the Industry 4.0 paradigm by the SMEs.

 Some of the good practices exposed were:

Building blocks, tools and systems for the factories of the future (GOSTOP) programme - Ana Cvetko, Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and European Cohesion Policy

Industry of the Future Platform - creating and supporting the Industry 4.0 ecosystem at the national level - Anna Pajak, Łukasiewicz Research Network-ITeE

Industry 4.0 Alliances: improving collaborative connections through innovation challenges - The IoT Catalan Alliance case - Eduard Balbuena, i2CAT

Plant Run - Craig Lawrance, Textile Centre of Excellence

Regional 4.0 Audit for SMEs in Tuscany - Paolo Guarnieri, Municipality of Prato

Access Innovation - Alex Clarke, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership / West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Centr@Tec Program - Victoria Molpeceres, Head of Unit. Industry 4.0, Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León

Arctic Development Environments Cluster  - Kristiina Jokelainen , Regional Council of Lapland


For the second day of the seminar, participants headed to Genk to visit one of the first factories of the future in Flanders: the metal processing company Provan. Through the study visit, the project partners gained an in-depth understanding about the practical implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies in a business environment.

Further interregional activities to support SMEs

With the project now fully underway, SMARTY moves forward towards its next milestone. An Interregional Policy Brokerage workshop will be hosted by the Regional Council of Lapland to deepen the analysis of good practices and build the partners’ capacity to increase the uptake of Industry 4.0 solutions. To this end, the workshop will address two key topics: Industry 4.0 Audit actions and Clusters policies. The event will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 4-5 June, 2020.