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I4MS aims to support the European leadership in manufacturing through the adoption of ICT technologies

Technology innovations have a potential to make Ukrainian manufacturers globally competitive regardless of their size. In order to uncover this potential, a fruitful colaboration environment has to be established through activation of the local innovation ecosystem and enabling an effective transfer of technology and expertise between the key players.

The I4MS initiative of the European Commission (ICT Innovations for Manufacturing SMEs) is a large EU-funded programme aimed at the introduction of digital innovation among manufacturing SMEs. Launched in 2013, it has now formed a network of 30+ digital innovation hubs and competence centres which facilitate the functioning of local innovation ecosystems of manufacturers, academia, and digital solutions developers.

Such hubs create opportunities for SME like Zanussi or Koenigsegg to adapt new technologies into manufacturing process and to attract grant funding. Digital solutions developers benefit from chances for a quicker commercialisation of new products. The key technology areas of I4MS are:

  • HPC cloud-based simulation services
  • Advanced laser based equipment assessment
  • Industrial robotics systems for SMEs
  • Smart Cyber Physical Systems and Internet of Things

Digital innovation at manufacturing SMEs

Various European manufacturing enterprises benefited from a better access to research and development tools which boosted their capacity to innovate and create commercially-successful products. Here are some of the stories.

I4MS initiative helped Hobsons Brewery (UK) create a low-cost, cloud-based process simulation solution that allows for optimised beer production and delivery at an affordable price. This solution is estimated to lead to over €10,000 per year savings from reduced waste, energy consumption and more efficient cask utilisation and transportation costs for Hobsons.

Participation in an experiment run within I4MS programme has enabled KOENIGSEGG to reduce or even, in some circumstances, avoid wind tunnel testing. This allowed the company to save up to 60% of prototyping cost, up to 50% of aerodynamic testing cost, and reduced the time to market by 30%.