Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs Set The Path To Digitize European Manufacturing Industry

BRUSSELS — October 2, 2017 — EIT Digital together with 20 partners starts today the Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hub (MIDIH) initiative. Funded by H2020 within the Factories of Future cPPP and I4MS programs, MIDIH aims to support and link up national and local initiatives for the digitisation of manufacturing industry, to boost investment and collaborations through strategic partnership and network. This initiative will bring innovation partnership between solution providers and industries and bring Europe to the forefront of Industry 4.0 market by 2023.

Towards the digitization of industry

Industry is one of the pillars of the European economy — the manufacturing sector in the European Union accounts for 2 million enterprises, 33 million jobs and 60 percent of productivity growth. Europe stands on the brink of a new industrial revolution, driven by new-generation digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, big data, robotics, 3-D printing, etc. With Industry 4.0, production systems are currently evolving into global, highly integrated cyber-physical systems that go beyond pure production and that cover all parts of the value chain and operation of smart production systems. ICT technologies, in particular CPS technologies and the industrial IoT, are seen as vital to preserve the competitiveness of European industry. Recent studies estimate that digitisation of products and of the manufacturing process can add more than 110 billion euros of annual revenue in Europe in the next five years.

Digital Innovation Hubs

By supporting companies in their digitalization travel, Digital Innovation Hubs are crucial ingredient of the Digitising European Industry (DEI) initiative. Adopting a common operational model, they act as a one-stop-shop helping companies in own region(s) to digitalise their business providing them with a variety of services that would not be readily accessible elsewhere, ranging from technology support to skill building and business development. While still in the their infancy, Digital Innovation Hubs have already proven their effectiveness, the concept finding its limits only in the available technical skills and the difficulty to scale business beyond regional/national borders.

The Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hub (MIDIH) will connect operating Digital Innovation Hubs focusing on CPS and IoT into a pan-European network capable of more effectively addressing the needs of European industry, notably SMEs and midcaps. By pooling the skills and resources of individual Digital Innovation Hubs and providing a cross-European unifying operational framework, MIDIH will allow developers, corporates, SMEs and start-ups across Europe to:

  • Understand and master a broad range of new technologies and related business models, by accessing skill building services;
  • Experiment and test new processes and products by accessing the latest technologies in a wide range of testing facilities and receiving qualified support to customization and project design; and
  • Boost and internationalize own business through cross-border demand-offer brokerage, access to market and access to finance.

Fabio Pianesi, Head of External Collaboration at EIT Digital, explained the importance of MIDIH: 
“In order to play a major role in the digitization of European manufacturing industry, European SMEs and midcaps need to be able to access a pallet of services in a unified manner: access to new technological opportunities; support to the development and assessment of new services and products; help to develop and scale up own business; support in re-skilling workforce. By pooling together existing Digital Innovation Hubs, Competence Centres and Teaching Factories across Europe and joining forces with major industrial players and platform providers, MIDIH will incubate a pan- European network acting as a “one stop shop” of services allowing SMEs and midcap to successfully meet the challenges of digital transformation.”

MIDIH partnership brings together 21 partners: EIT Digital, Engineering, Fraunhofer, Institute Mines Telecom, Fortis, VTT, Technical University of Kosiciach, CEFRIEL, Technical University of Lulea, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry – Polish Academy of Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Irish Manufacturing Research, Atos Spain, Nissatech Innovation Center, Hop Ubiquitous, Politecnico di Milano, Innovalia, FIWARE Foundation, Industrial Data Space, Centro Ricerche FIAT, Nueva Herramienta de Corte

Posted October 2, 2017

Source: MIDIH