Research Focus

Key Research Areas

  • Intelligent

    Making sense of data through Artificial Intelligence

  • Sustainable

    Make SMEs more "green" and environmentally & socially sustainable

  • Human-centered

    Create attractive, inclusive workplaces and leverage empowering technologies

Intelligent SME Factories

The MSCA RISE 2016 project "SME 4.0-Industry 4:0 for SMES conducted research to enhance the introduction of Industry 4.0 in smaller and medium-sized enterprises. Although SMEs now have technologies for gathering and managing huge amounts of data, the project found that they still face difficulties in exploiting this data. The aim of the next level for SMEs is to create intelligent SME factories, enabled by Artificial Intelligence.

Cybersecurity and Biological Transformation in manufacturing will also be addressed by the SME 5.0 project. Society 5.0 and Industry 5 0 are terms that describe a societal revolution using advanced IT technologies, loT robots, Al or augmented reality Industry 5.0 aims to accelerate the twin green and digital transitions of industry to build a more sustainable and resilient society and economy, by making production more respectful of the planet and placing the well-being of industrial workers at the center of the production process.

AI and human hand touching, represents future of intelligent factories
man pressing a virtual button

Need for Sustainable SME Factories

SME 5.0 also focuses on creating sustainable SME factones, SMEs are important for the European economy and the environment, but their cumulative environmental impact is considerable. Thus, the re- design of traditional SME factories into sustainable ones is a challenge that SME 5.0 aims to address.

Additionally, Industry 5.0 is an EC strategy to accelerate the twin green and digital transitions of industry to build a more sustainable and resilient society and economy. The Industry 5.0 approach contributes to the European Commission's priorities of an economy that works for people the European Green Deal, and Europe fit for the digital age.

Need for Human-Centred SME Factories

SMEs need to become human-centered entrepreneurs and adapt to the work of the future. This involves identifying the competencies and skill sets required for future roles and upskilling the existing workforce.

Operators need to be trained in Operator 4.0 skills, and workplaces should be inclusive and diverse improving working conditions and introducing technologies that empower workers and compensate for deficits are also important goals. SME 5.0 will provide guidelines for achieving these objectives.

man holding a mobile phone