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Innovalia Association coordinates I4MS initiative through I4MS-Growth project funded by the European Commission

30-09-2014

The European Commission is launching a new 131 million Euro innovation initiative for the manufacturing sector and in particular its high-tech small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), to profit from newest advances in ICT: I4MS (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs).

The European Commission is launching a new 131 million Euro innovation initiative for the manufacturing sector and in particular its high-tech small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), to profit from newest advances in ICT: I4MS (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs). Europe´s competiveness in that sector depends on its capacity to deliver highly innovative products that are produced economically and at high quality. The innovative part of these products often originates from advances in ICT integrated in these products. At the same time, ICT-based solutions applied across the manufacturing process chain help to make manufacturing these products efficient. Both in combination allow for more personalized, diversified and mass-produced European products and flexible reaction to changes on the world market.

In the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) initiative, in each of the more than 150 innovation experiments to be launched in the next 3 years starting from July onwards, European innovators are connected across the value chain to mature and adopt ICT innovations across the production value chain spanning from design and engineering down to laser-based manufacturing and industrial robotics. Experiments are implemented with the help of pan-European networks of competence centres providing the knowledge and support for partnering beyond national boundaries. Companies interested will have the opportunity to apply to Calls for Experiments launched by these centres in 2014 and 2015.

About 200 SMEs across Europe are foreseen to participate in I4MS, roughly half of them being innovative suppliers of ICT, and the other half being early adopters of ICT innovations. SMEs will benefit in three ways: (i) direct financial support to improve their products or manufacturing processes, (2) acquiring new technologies and knowledge and (3) access to new markets and partners outside their local ecosystem.

I4MS is part of the Public Private Partnership Factories of the Future (PPP FoF), which has shown to be a valuable tool in ensuring that industrial priorities are well reflected in EU funding programmes and that European SMEs with innovation requirements are able to benefit from EU research and innovation funding through open, light and fast support schemes. I4MS complements a portfolio of research and development projects, which focuses on exploiting advances in ICT across the complete manufacturing process chain leading to a modernization of manufacturing in Europe. The I4MS initiative is considered a first trial to pave the way for wider integration of research and innovation in the context of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

 


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