Industry 4 Panevėžys: is an initiative that incorporates different activities aimed at the development of the Industry 4.0 in the region of Panevėžys
The Panevėžys region has been facing major socio-economic challenges for some time. The biggest regional company “Ekranas” that had 4200 employees filled for bankruptcy in 2006. During last 15 years, the population of Panevėžys region has decreased by 1/4. Economic development is below the Lithuanian average.
Nevertheless, Panevėžys region stands out by its specific resources. It has a deep industry tradition and the potential to become a hub for future technologies. This means that there is a lot of potential that remains untapped. However, regional development plan and co-operation between key regional stakeholders is not strategically coordinated, the activities for the development of Industry 4.0 are carried out in a fragmented manner, stakeholders are not provided with indicators, and the sustainability of their initiatives are not ensured.
Two independent Lithuanian NGOs established the Regional advisory board that took a responsibility to consolidate the collaboration between different stakeholders and initiate activities that would help to revitalize region.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to investigate changes in the development of Industry 4.0 in the Panevezys region, to identify challenges, to make proposals for solving them and to make other strategic decisions. The board helps to streamline the city’s vision as a hub for industrial robotics and automation: from regional strategy to "learning robotics" in local educational institutions.
• RoboLabas: 470 000 EUR for establishment + staff costs and building maintenance
• STEAM Centre: 350 000 EUR from municipality + 450 000 from EU funds for establishment + staff costs and building maintenance.
• Regional development agency: 290 000 EUR annual budget.
Evidence of success
- RoboLabas. The first robotics competition center in Lithuania, was opened in Panevezys.
- Regional STEAM centre. Formal and informal education centers that encourage children to familiarize themselves with the latest technologies, learn programming, build engineering solutions and other future competencies.
- Established regional development organization – to develop and strengthen panevezys business competences and represent the region of Panevėžys as a centre for the Industry 4.
- Articulating the benefits for regional stakeholders especially business companies. It is important to have a high demand for the new initiatives.
- Identification and persuasion of key driving actors that would take care of further actions.
- Getting funding from public institutions.
Potential for learning or transfer
This good practice was indicated as a really valuable project, because it brings tangible results for Panevezys region. Parts of this good practice could be easily transferred into other region for example the composition and organisation of the working group, as well as the method used for the engagement of the most important regional actors for constructive discussion. There is also learning potential in relation to how start the transformation of the regional strategy in whole innovation ecosystem: starting from primary schools and informal learning and continuing with the R&D institutions that develops solutions for local companies. Of course, everything could be successfully implemented if sufficient financial and human resources are allocated for these tasks, therefore one of the main conditions for transferability is the support from managing authorities or other institutions that have legal power and financial resources to implement those good practices.
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