A bottom up initiative of industry representatives under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy to develop a cluster in the field of industry 4.0.
Industry4UM may be regarded as a successful example of interaction between policy makers and business players and bottom-up cluster establishment as a reaction to the current need perceived both by the public and private sector. It was originally established in 2017 by private company SOVA digital and Revue priemyslu as a discussion forum, both because the discussions on Industry 4.0 (i4.0) in Slovakia were “gliding on the surface” and as a response to Concept of “intelligent industry” (2016) that is a base document of national initiative for transformation of Slovak industry to 4.0 – a result of cooperation of Ministry of Economy (MoE) and industry representatives. Its goal was to provide responses through expert discussion forums on various topics related to i4.0 based on the current needs of companies and topics of Slovak industry. The forum further evolved and recently transformed to a cluster with the ambition to be an independent, expert, opinion-making authority in the field of company transformations and to bring industries together for common goals in the field of i4.0. Through their web platform and dedicated activities including discussion forums they want to raise awareness and educate both private companies and general public on the subject of i4.0, support growth of young researchers and start-ups, cooperate with professional, scientific and academic institutions for the needs of the production industry and be a partner for the state institutions in the topic.
Costs (EUR 16.500) were so far linked only to the human resources. One person was provided by SIEA for 6 months (app. 40 h/month) to support the launch of the cluster, establish international cooperation with Austrian Platform Industrie 4.0 and organise the 1st event of the cluster on cybersecurity.
Evidence of success
Both discussion forums and own Industry 4.0 survey in Slovak Republic carried out by the Industry4UM since 2017 are regarded as a high profile actions providing valuable information for professionals and the general public. This confirms successful mission of the platform started as a privately and also publicly driven response to perceived current needs. The successful transformation from discussion forum to cluster is evidenced by recently obtained bronze ESCA certificate.
Potential for learning or transfer
Like other 2 best practices proposed by SBA in the INNO INDUSTRY project, Industry4UM was selected by project partners as the most interesting for learning and possible transfer. The main reason behind it may be the successful combination of both top down and bottom-up approach and cooperation and combination of public and private efforts at various stages. Created as a response to public document (Concept of “intelligent industry”, itself a result of a cooperation/common effort of Ministry of Economy and industry representatives) and private initiative on perceived common need, the platform progressively established as a respected expert in the field of Industry 4.0. Recently the initiative was encouraged to further evolve to a better suited organisational form - a cluster - by a public body, the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency.
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