BIFOCAlps & Industry 4.0: An ecosystem for the digital transformation of SMEs
The interregional ''BIFOCAlps'' project (Boosting Innovation in Factory Of the future value Chain in the Alps), has a vision to create an innovation ecosystem, which develops the best technologies for digital and sustainable manufacturing among Italian, Slovenian, Austrian, French and German partners.
For manufacturing SMEs which are working on Smart factories and consider implementing Industry 4.0 it is an excellent opportunity to join the innovation ecosystem. They will learn from the BIFOCAlps partners about the pragmatic approaches leading companies use and could be engaged proactively in particular activities.
What do manufacturing SMEs get?
Typicaly manufacturing SMEs are quite different comapred to larger companies. They usually don't have dedicated IT employees, investments are lower in absolute numbers, they can't afford to hire a new manager dedicated only for implementing Industry 4.0.
To achive goals companies need to have better understanding of the I4.0 in terms of technologies, business, market and finance. Before any serious steps and investments in I4.0 companies need to understand their current level of the I4.0 readiness compared to competitiona and other partners in their value chain. On the other hand they need be aware of those business functions which they have to put on high priority for I4.0 implementation. There is no way SMEs would be in position to invest and implement I4.0 completely, on all levels in the company, not even in few years.
With the I4.0 and Smart factoy interregional cross-industrial innovation ecosystem, their journey to I4.0 will be less bumpy, with lower risk taken, much faster and also less expensive with many cost savings.
What is the difference?
The major advantages of the BIFOCAlps ecosystems are:
• It's interregional, engaging partners from Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia;
• It connects three levels: single companies, national associations and regional/national policy makers;
• it inlcudes comapnies from different industrial segments to learn fast.
Who drives the BIFOCAlps innovation ecosystem?
Members are the University of Udine, Department of Management Engineering, the National Research Council (Industrial Automation Group), the University and the Technology Park Ljubljana, the Fraunhofer Institute and the University of Grenoble.
The ecosystem in perspective
BIFOCAlps will map the best technologies and most advanced performances of manufacturing processes in the Alpine area, by involving stakeholders linked to mIndustry Project 4.0. This project aims to stimulate collaboration and synergies among the main protagonists of the Innovation System within the Alpine Region for sustainable, intelligent and competitive development of the manufacturing value chain, towards the practices of the Factory of the Future (FoF). The project inestment is worth approximately 2 million euro. BIFOCAlps will focus on the IoT - Internet of things, the relationship between humans and machines, collaborative robots, transformation of workers into suppliers of custom-made processes and sustainable manufacturing (ANSA).
More about BIFOCAlpsTo learn more about challenges and opportunities in Industry 4.0 join us @ Living bits and things 2017.Sources:http://www.ansamed.info/nuova_europa/en/news/countries/germany/2016/11/05/industry-4.0-eu-funding-for-the-project-of-polo-pordenone_03a8ca8d-0d67-44d9-98d0-983355c02dea.html