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Interreg’s SMARTY project identifies good practices and develops policy-focused regional action plans to help European SMEs leverage the full potential of Industry 4.0


13 Dec 2022


Innovation & Enterprise

SMARTY, the interregional cooperation project, promoted by fourteen partners from seven European regions, improves the implementation of regional policies and programmes aimed at increasing the adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions and technologies by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Twenty-six good practices have been identified within the SMARTY project, an interregional cooperation project launched in the fall of 2019 by fourteen partners from seven different European regions to support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in their awareness and adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions. To fulfil this objective, the project targets regional policies and programmes related to Structural Funds, where action plans for policy change are then developed and deployed based on the lessons learned from the regions’ exchange of such practices.

The exchange of experiences was built on a series of learning activities (a methodology consisting of Interregional Thematic Seminars and Interregional Policy Brokerage events) to identify, analyse, and share approaches which have already been tested in one of the participating regions and that can help the innovation processes of other European regions’ industrial ecosystems. The selection process was based on a review by each region, considering the achieved impact and track record of the presented good practices, their transferability from one region to another, and their relevance to the region that would potentially adopt them.  

This process delivered 26 good practices focusing on four main themes: Regional platforms and clusters supporting SMEs to adopt Industry 4.0 related technologies and increase their competitiveness; Digital Innovation Hubs for supporting digital transformation in SMEs; Digitalisation for the Green Transition and Sustainability; and Digital Innovation and Skills in Industry 4.0. All of the good practices identified are published and accessible at the EU’s Interreg Policy Learning Platform.

Action plans to transfer good practices to the regions

After identifying the good practices, the SMARTY partner organisations, local stakeholders and European regional managing authorities involved in the project prepared action plans to implement improvements to the regional policy instruments that aim at facilitating Industry 4.0 transitions, based on lessons learned from the interregional practices shared. These regional action plans, available at the SMARTY project website, are being implemented by project partners during a year, between Q4 2022 and Q3 2023.

SMARTY is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the umbrella of the European Union programme Interreg Europe, with almost 2 M EUR funded by the programme (2.42 M EUR Total Budget). It will have run for a period of four years, from August 2019 through July 2023.