Considering the Covid-19 pandemic breakout affecting the world since the very beginning of 2020, organizations had to stop and rethink all physical activities considering social distancing rules and the impossibility to travel. Therefore, the partners decided to hold temporarily their Inno Provement project meetings online, accommodating to the current situation and ensuring to go on with most the project activities.

Inno Provement aims at improving SME policy instruments targeting innovation activities and adapting them to requirements set by Industry 4.0. The project is based on seven thematic issues which are explored by the eight project partners through intense international experience exchange in the first project phase. Three the thematic issues in the topics of “The Effectiveness of Public Money Used to Support Industrial Research and Development under the I4.0”; “Introducing I4.0 to traditional industries” and “Definition of I4.0 public policy initiatives“ were elaborated and presented by their host partners already in Czech Republic, Finland and Portugal during the project progress.

The fourth international experience exchange originally planned for March 2020, hosted by Lodzkie Region, the Polish partner, was turned into an online meeting in May 2020. During the meeting, the representatives and invited stakeholders of the project partners discussed existing maturity evaluation tools in the partnering countries, how these digital maturity models adapt to the needs of SMEs and what the expectations of the companies towards Industry 4.0 are.

As the Inno Provement partner organizations are managing authorities and intermediary bodies, the conclusions and experience will be useful during the improvement of relevant policy instruments in the future. Additionally, the partners agreed on the organization of an online workshop in the end of May 2020. The event will concentrate on the presentation of good practices related to Industry 4.0, identified by the project partners. The representatives ended the meeting with a plentiful exchange of experience, initiatives and forthcoming events.