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A Strategic Roadmap Towards the Next Level of Intelligent, Sustainable and Human-Centred SMEs

Project description

Small businesses taking big steps to Industry 5.0

The digital transformation is all around us. SMEs are no exception. The smallest of businesses can have the biggest potential to integrate digital value chains by adopting digital services. However, the rapid technological changes that define the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0 are slow in terms of uptake. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the SME 5.0 project will develop a strategic roadmap for making SMEs digitally savvy, sustainable, resilient and human-centric. In this next level of SME 5.0 factories, the human will play a much more important role. The project’s overall goal is to ensure SMEs reap the benefits of Industry 4.0 and reach the next level of Industry 5.0.


Over the last ten years many efforts have been made to transfer Industry 4.0 from research to practice. Recently, great progress has been made to introduce also SMEs to the use of Industry 4.0. The next big challenge for SMEs will be to implement the dual (or twin) transformation in sense of a digital transformation towards more intelligent manufacturing, while tackling and accelerating the sustainability transformation to enhance economically, socially and environmentally sustainable processes, factories and value chains. In this project we aim to take SMEs to this next level by developing a Strategic Roadmap for making them not only intelligent but also sustainable, resilient and human-centric. This next level of SMEs will be data and intelligence-driven, thus using available data to acquire new knowledge and to apply it for optimization purposes using artificial intelligence in a secure way. Further, a great attention is paid to how manufacturing and value chains in SMEs can become more circular, green and resilient by considering ethical, human and societal values for more socio-centred factories. In this next level of SME 5.0 factories the human will play a much more important, albeit changing, role. Besides identifying emerging future work profiles and competencies of SME employees, we will develop guidelines for rendering SME workplaces in industry more inclusive and diverse and for empowering them for increased well-being and attractiveness of SME jobs. The main outcome of the project is to develop and propose a Strategic Guideline and Roadmap that will facilitate SMEs in Europe and worldwide to achieve the above mentioned goals. To expand the impact and exploitation an SME 5.0 Stakeholder & Training Network will be build. The applicability of the results and guidelines is ensured through a close collaboration with non-academic partners, SMEs in the partner network and the aim to validate the results through demonstrators and case study research.


Net EU contribution
€ 317 400,00
39100 Bolzano

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Nord-Est Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Bozen Bolzano-Bozen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (9)

Partners (6)