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I4MS Going to Market Alliance

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - I4MS-Go (I4MS Going to Market Alliance)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-02-29

I4MS, ICT for manufacturing SMEs, is a European initiative that aims to support SMEs and mid-caps in the manufacturing sector to facilitate the uptake of digital technologies. To this end, I4MSGo has brought together the largest on-line community made of 1,138 stakeholders being DIHs and organisations supporting SMEs, END-USERS (manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps and ICT suppliers), TRAINING SUPPLIERS and REGIONS involved in industry 4.0 policy-making.

I4MSGo has carried out the following actions:

1. reinforce collaboration and joint brand visibility of the I4MS Innovation Actions results. An active role of SMEs has been promoted via success stories and the I4MS Disruptors Awards, selecting Compass and Elaphe as the most innovative companies.
2.increase the outreach of I4MS Innovation Actions, with more than 627M impacts and creating the online Community to raise awareness on the advantages offered by the I4MS technologies.
3. leverage cooperation with related ecosystems, such as EFFRA, SAE, FIWARE, BDVA, AIOTI and DIHs initiatives.
4. enhance the self-sustainability of the I4MS Innovation actions and Experiments driven by SMEs by providing:

a)I4MS-Accelerate for the 8 best I4MS experiments
b)I4MS-Connection with 44 Regions to facilitate the access of beneficiary SMEs to additional funding sources and present the Innovation Actions services and marketplaces
c)I4MS-Catalogue of 106 pieces of training to upskill the workforce
WP2: I4MS Community Building
The I4MSGo project launched the I4MS central information point, consisting of a website and online Community with the help-centre and matchmaking service to facilitate interaction among stakeholders and provide access to information related to best practice and trends in the manufacturing industry. To date, the Community has reached 1,114 members sharing 60 funding opportunities and 30 best practices.

WP3: Clustering I4MS: joint brand visibility and skills
The purpose of this WP has been to ensure coordination among the Innovation Actions of Phase III, plus the participation of DIHs in some common activities: AMable, MIDIH, L4MS and CloudiFacturing. Different calls and meetings have been organized to discuss a shared agenda for promotional activities and offering opportunities for collaboration. Among the topics of discussion, we can highlight the experience of past IAs in setting up marketplaces, the launching of the I4MS-SAE label, the engagement with SMEs and the possibility to organise a joint open call among different IAs.

I4MSGo Open calls have been promoted in more than 100 events. I4MSGO organised the DIHs Annual Event in 2018, held in Warsaw, and the 6th Working Group of DIHs in April 2019. Two Disruptors Awards Open Calls were launch, providing visibility to digital technology experiments run by SMEs. The winner was in 2018, the Spanish SME Compass Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A. and in 2019 edition, Elaphe Propulsion Technologies from Slovenia.
Finally, a catalogue of 106 training assets is already available covering the four technology areas supported by I4MS. The collaboration of the IAs and the DIHs in populating the catalogue has been one of the main achievements during this period, having contacted more than 250 DIHs.

WP4: Communication and dissemination plan
The I4MSGo strategy has been to continue disseminating the brand of I4MS. While the website, social networks and newsletter followed a similar visual identity, new elements and visuals were also incorporated.
Since the project launch, I4MSGo has carried out a communication campaign, which sought to build a strong, common brand of the I4MS ecosystem in Europe, and to support the positioning of I4MS technologies and solutions as an example for manufacturing SMEs. To make it possible 28 Press Releases were published with more than 627M impacts.

WP5: Sustainability plan: Mobilising ESIF and Private Funding
The sustainability of the application experiments has been promoted via the Acceleration Programme of I4MS offering business mentoring and the participation in international events. The participant SMEs have been able to raise more than 2M€ after their participation in the I4MS support programmes of the Innovation Actions.

Another key activity for the sustainability of the Innovation action has been the connection with Regions by creating the I4MS-SAE label as a way to increase the visibility of SMEs and expand the interest of Regions on I4MS activities. Regions have been contacted to explore additional funding opportunities for the SMEs in order to facilitate the full deployment of the technologies and to endeavour the creation of open calls with regional funds to facilitate the access to SMEs to the services and support programmes of the Innovation Actions.

WP6: I4MS Impact Evaluation and Observatory
I4MS website has received more than 128,000 pageviews. The page that has received the majority of the visits is the open calls (49.29%), which can tell the funding opportunities is the most interesting content for the website visitors.
During Phase III, the main objective of the Coordination and Support Action has been to facilitate the access of SMEs and mid-caps to funding, testing facilities and support services offered by the Innovation actions. The focus has been put on emerging innovative technologies and processes, which needed to be tested and validated before being released on the market, offering advanced training assets to re-skill workers and raise awareness about the benefits of I4MS digital innovations.

The I4MS central information point has facilitated a deeper engagement, allowing members to benefit from information about 60 funding opportunities, discover and explore state-of-the-art-technologies and best practices supported by DIHs and I4MS Innovation Actions.

Some of the learnings of the I4MSGo CSA has been that the I4MS FSTP is a high added value vehicle for SMEs and mid-caps to test digital innovations and to wide-spread the use of advanced manufacturing technologies. There is a need to explore potential synergies in the different technology areas to generate cross-cutting innovation workflows within the Application experiments to better represent the whole industrial landscape of the EU.

Another key activity to promote the I4MS initiative has been the Disruptors Awards. A competition to select the best cases or experiments illustrating a company's ability to innovate and implement ICT technologies and use them as inspirational sources of information for other SMEs.

The opportunities of international networking, such as the DIHs Annual Event in Warsaw and the MWC in 2019, as well as the visibility given to SMEs success stories through videos and interviews, contributed to highlight the benefits of using I4MS technologies to tackle real industrial challenges.

In terms of project sustainability, the regional authorities contacts show that the experience gained under the I4MS initiative is very valuable. 44 regions have received direct information from the I4MS collaboration opportunities and 14 have committed to support the SMEs in their region in finding additional funding sources. Moreover, the interest of several regions in using I4MS technologies by funding open call via regional funds opens a new way of collaboration among IAs and Regional Authorities.
Visit of Andrus Ansip, Vice-president of the EC for Digital Single Market at the MWC 2018
Presentation of I4MS opportunities to SMEs during the MWC 2019
Commissioner, Polish Minister and FBOX CEO handing over the Disruptors prize to COMPASS
Presentation of I4MS opportunities to SMEs during MWC 2018
Max Lemke presentation during the DIHs Anual event held in Warsaw 2018
Exhibitor of an SME supported by a DIH during DIHs Anual event
Disruptors Awards 2019- ELaphe winner and shortlisted SMEs