Support of industrial research and experimental development to transfer industry 4.0 technologies from research organisations to manufacturing companies.
Manufacturing is facing a new industrial revolution, the 4th, due to the introduction of electronics and information and communications technologies (ICTs) throughout its value chain. This is known as industry 4.0. Their introduction will be determining for manufacturing companies’ competitiveness in a relatively short-term.
Basque research centres have plenty of industry 4.0 technologies available to be transferred. Therefore, Basque authorities included a transference programme in its innovation policy mix of advanced manufacturing: Basque Industry 4.0. It supports industrial research and experimental development projects that involve the transference of the following technologies from research centres to manufacturing companies:
- Cybersecurity & industrial communications
- Cloud Computing
- Big Data
- Advanced Analytics & Business Intelligence
- Collaborative robotics
- Augmented reality
- Artificial vision
- Sensor systems
- Design & additive manufacturing
- Advanced materials & processes
Projects must have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 5 to 9. Their minimum budget is €75,000 and the maximum duration is 16 months. They can get a subsidy up to the 25% of the eligible costs.
This programme could be considered a good practice as it complements the Basque innovation policy mix for advanced manufacturing by supporting manufacturing companies adopting industry 4.0 technologies in the short-term taking the most from existing knowledge in the region.
The annual call has a financial allocation of €2.5M. The Basque Regional Operational Programme (ROP) of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 co-funds the 50% of the call.
The programme owner is the Department of Economic Development and Infrastructures of the Basque Government.
Evidence of success
Since 2015, 53 companies have been supported to incorporate electronics and ICTs for advanced manufacturing within their organisations. The total expenditure made by the companies was of 8,261,205 Euros.
Increasing awareness among companies (mainly SMEs) that their competitiveness will be determined in the short term by these technologies. Demonstrating their usefulness in their current activity is key.
Supporting the right technologies for the Basque companies (they are under constant revision).
Potential for learning or transfer
This initiative is focused on fostering the technology transference from research and technology centres to the manufacturing sector. Its aim is to reduce the gap existent between the research and development (R&D) activities in electronics and ICTs related to industry 4.0 and the introduction of their results into the market. It also pursues the demonstration of the utility of such technologies in order to boost their adoption by manufacturing companies.
Basque Industry 4.0 reflects the need to define programmes adapted especially to advanced manufacturing, a RIS3 priority in the Basque Country, in order to introduce disruptive technologies that could make a great contribution to manufacturing companies’ competitiveness.
Thus, this programme has a great potential of transferability to other regions that need to face the challenge of fostering the adoption of cutting-edge technologies resulted from previous R&D activities of research centres among manufacturing companies.
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