DIGITAL REGIONS: Understanding and awareness of Industry 4.0

< Go Back
"Unless businesses adapt using industry 4.0 technologies to become more flexible, efficient and innovative, they risk becoming non competitive".
04 October 2021 - DIGITAL REGIONS  project
ERNACT Programme Manager Dr Margaret Quinn talks about the ERNACT led and Interreg Europe funded DIGITAL REGIONS project, its importance in the North & West region and the Border Midland Western region (Ireland), regional stakeholders engagement, lessons learnt and the inspiration obtained from the rest of the project partners. 

Why is the project needed in your region?
Manufacturing is an important sector in our region, the North & West region and the Border Midland Western region. It is a sector expected to be significantly impacted by what is termed, the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, I4.0. It concerns transformation of industry through the intelligent networking and automation of machines and processes through application of digital technology. Unless businesses adapt using industry 4.0 technologies to become more flexible, efficient and innovative, they risk becoming non competitive. It is a real challenge especially for smaller manufacturing enterprises which represent a substantial number of jobs in our region. However, our projects shows that locally awareness and understanding of I4.0 is quite low. Our aim is to impact innovation policies in our region so that more SME’s will engage with innovation, upskill workers and become more resilient and be able to benefit from I4.0.

What have you learnt from project partners? 
We have learnt a great deal about the approaches of each partner on Industry 4.0 supports, initiatives and facilities. Though unable to visit facilities in person, our partners have provided virtual site tours which have been extremely valuable. Thematic workshops on skills and SME engagement have also been useful learning vehicles.

Are you inspired by any good practices shared?
Inspiration has been provided on a wide range of very relevant areas for stimulating industry 4.0 uptake: regional strategies, funding supports, I4.0 demonstration centres, co-learning laboratories between university and industry, technology audits on digitalisation.

How are stakeholders engaging in your region? 
We have established a regional stakeholder group who are engaging very well. They are a mix of enterprise agency, training centre, research centre, innovation hub and technical institute. Some of the stakeholders are developing new facilities and initiatives around Industry 4.0, so the timing is good to take advantage of learning from other regions. 

What are the next steps planned?
The work continues with the DIGITAL REGIONS partners and the local stakeholders to shape a regional action plan which will aim to improve the understanding and awareness of Industry 4.0.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

Project Logo Project Graphic

Other Stories

Virtual Reality to host site visits and improve interregional learning
22 October 2021
VR and Online Collaboration Tools to upgrade the effectiveness of study visits and staff exchanges.
more »
Artificial Intelligence to Improve Project Communications
20 October 2021
How can we demonstrate and use AI in our domain of project management to improve the quality of our communications outputs?
more »
Donegal Connect 2021: Your location for business success!
19 October 2021
Donegal Connect 2021 has been officially launched with an exciting Programme of Events to take place virtually on Thursday October 28th.
more »
"We stimulate the companies’ digital transformation"
18 October 2021
DEVISE partners from France talk about the Policy Instruments they are addressing in this ERNACT led project.
more »
Core ERNACT regions
Newfoundland & Labrador
South Ostrobothnia
West Romania
San Sebastián
Derry & Strabane
United Kingdom