After a number of successful Smart Factory fieldlabs (see below), all northern organizations have joined hands to take the next step together with industry in our region. We are going to start with the Smart Industry Hub North Netherlands!
The Smart Industry Hub North is there for all northern companies in the manufacturing industry and process industry. So for large and for small companies, for the frontrunners, but also for companies that have yet to start digitizing and Smart Industrie.
What does the Smart Industry Hub offer?
The program of the Smart Industry Hub is set up as a menu from which you can choose. You can go through the entire program, or parts of it. For most activities, participation is free of charge. The content depends on the preferences and questions entrepreneurs have.
- You will be educated about Smart Industry and Digitalization. This can be through a talk at the company and through Smart Factory Workshops.
- We have put together a Smart Factory Assessment that will help you determine how far along your company is with respect to Smart Industry and what steps you can start taking.
- You can work with an expert to map out your own Smart Industry roadmap and create an investment plan.
- There will be master classes in which specific themes will be worked out in small groups. Think of master classes on 3D printing or new business models.
- There will be network meetings where companies engaged in Smart Industry can meet and get to know providers of Smart Industry solutions. This network will be organized into sub-clusters, each with its own Smart Factory dynamics: manufacturing companies, suppliers, machine builders, process companies and technology providers.
- You can "hit the moors" with experts and technology providers to develop a blueprint of your own Smart Factory.
- We are going to help companies join the major European Smart Industry programs.
- We will work with all educational institutions to create an action plan for education.
- And we are going to organize innovation programs around specific themes, think Smart Industry for the food sector or Smart Industry for energy transition. Topics enough.
An important part of the Smart Industry Hub is the so-called "Skillslabs." These are demo locations where companies can view and try out Smart Industry solutions. We will also retrain workers in digital competencies and train students there. The Skillslabs will be set up as a collaboration between companies and education - MBO, HBO and university. There will be three Skill Labs in the Northern Netherlands: in Drachten, Groningen and Emmen. Almost around the corner for everyone. This is how we bring Smart Industry to the companies.
One Northern Platform
We want to have one recognizable platform in the Northern Netherlands for digitization and Smart Industry. Together we are stronger. That is why all northern organizations have joined forces through the Smart Industry Hub:
- Industry organizations FME and the Metal Union.
- NPAL (which specifically targets process industry companies).
- The four northern field labs: "Region of Smart Factories," Technologies Added in Emmen, 5G-Groningen and the Drachten Innovation Cluster.
- Ynbusiness in Friesland and Ik Ben Drents Ondernemer in Drenthe.
- Education (the RUG, Hanzehogeschool and NHL Stenden. MBO will also be connected).
- NOM (coordinating the program until the Smart Industry Hub can continue as an independent partnership).
- The provinces and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (the Smart Industry Hub is made possible in part by a grant from the SNN).
Other organizations will certainly join the Hub in the coming years. Anyone who can contribute to Smart Industry and digitization of the northern economy is welcome to join.
From companies for companies
Incidentally, expertise on digitization and Smart Industry is mainly in the companies themselves. In the Northern Netherlands we see more and more companies offering interesting Smart Industry solutions. These come from the corner of IT and software, industrial automation and machine builders, equipment suppliers, providers of digital products - for example ERP, accounting or marketing, providers of big-data solutions or artificial intelligence, engineering companies and experienced smart factory consultants.
These "technology providers" can accelerate digitization of our industry. This is how we are going to organize it, by mapping supply and demand and connecting them in a smart way. So it's "From companies for companies." That's how our Smart Industry Hub is supposed to work.
Kick-off Sept. 25
The kick-off of the Smart Industry Hub North will take place next Friday, Sept. 25, and will be an online meeting from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
During the kick-off we will explain what you can expect from the SIH North. We will show three examples of companies that are already working hard on Smart Industry (Ge-tech, ZIUZ and the Suikerunie) and you can meet the SIH team. We also do some official acts, because of course it is the formal launch. So in one hour you get to know everything.
The kick-off will take place at JB Besturingstechniek in Oosterwolde and will be broadcast in full.