I4MS: Fostering digital industrial innovation in Europe
The ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) initiative, which was launched by the European Commission in 2013, has successfully completed its first year. We would therefore like to invite you to learn about what we have experienced and achieved, as well as the future opportunities in which you could take part in. People from across Europe, spanning different sectors and technologies, are expected to attend, including representatives from industry, SMEs, institutions and the European Commission.
Europe's competitiveness in manufacturing depends upon its capacity to deliver highly innovative products that are produced economically and to a high standard. The innovative part of these products often originates from advances in ICT, which are integrated in the products. At the same time, ICT-based solutions applied across the manufacturing process chain help to make the manufacturing of these products more efficient. Both combine to enable the delivery of more personalized, diversified and mass-produced European products and a flexible reaction to changes in the world market.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s manufacturing industry, providing roughly 45% of manufacturing value added and roughly 59% of employment in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is critical for emerging markets: new markets driven by advances in science and innovation will revolutionise Europe’s capability to expand manufacturing across traditional and new industries.
In 2013, the European Commission launched an initiative to enhance ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS). With a budget of 77 million Euros, this innovation initiative aims to help the manufacturing sector, and high-tech SMEs in particular, to profit from the latest advances in ICT, advanced robotic solutions, innovative laser applications, intelligent sensor-based equipment and HPC cloud-based simulation services.
Through more than 150 innovation experiments, the initiative connects European innovators across the value chain so that they can mature and adopt ICT-based innovations across the production value chain, from design and engineering to laser-based manufacturing and industrial robotics. Experiments are implemented with the help of pan-European networks of competence centres that provide knowledge and support for cross-border partnership building.
The first dedicated I4MS event will be held on 17-18th of June in Berlin, in joint cooperation with the launch of the German manufacturing programme, “Autonomik für Industrie 4.0”
This event will bring together high-level speakers from the European Commission and from relevant industries, competence centres, and key players in European manufacturing to share ideas on topics related to the reindustrialisation of Europe and the key role played by SMEs. The event will also feature talks by SMEs on the different application experiments that they are involved in, the latest technologies that they are using, and how ICT is a key innovation driver for manufacturing SMEs.
The event programme will cover the main aspects of the initiative, the experience of the participating companies, and some of the experiments and applications developed under the initiative. SMEs will have the opportunity to interact with the main actors within the I4MS community and will be informed on how their company can benefit from the initiative.
Organised by Innovalia Association