Smart Industry Hub

Twelve organizations intensively involved in the Northern Netherlands industry have joined forces in the Smart Industry Hub Noord (SIH-Noord) to support manufacturing companies from the manufacturing and process industries in digitalization and Smart Industry. Here you can read how SIH-Noord can support companies. SIH-North is independent and not-for-profit. Most services are free of charge for manufacturing companies from the Northern Netherlands.

SIH-North in brief:

Are you new and want to learn more about Smart Industry and what you can do with it first? Join the webinars or register for one of the workshops. You can also sign up immediately for the Smart Factory Assessment to find out where you stand and what your ambitions (should) be. Success guaranteed. Convinced of the necessity of Smart Industry for your company? Then it's time to invest. Nothing for nothing. Join our master classes where companies explore themes in small groups and develop them for their own company. And come to our network meetings where you meet peers and meet companies that can help you further. Then it's time to get concrete. SIH-North offers experienced consultants to create a customized roadmap. Larger companies can also "take to the moor" with Solution Providers to draw out the Industry 4.0 version of their business (Smart Factory Accelerator).

Once you are on your way, we are happy to think with you about funding or about training your people. You can prepare with other frontrunners to participate in European innovation programs. In the short term, you can visit our Skillslabs to test Smart Industry solutions and have your people trained. Before you know it, you'll be a real Smart Factory - and you'll be able to move forward for years to come!

SIH informs companies about Smart Industry

Everything starts with good education. What is Smart Industry, what can you do with it and how do you get started? SIH- North informs companies through workshops, webinars and network meetings, among other things.

Workshops: What is Smart Industry?

Elle month (subject to sufficient interest), SIH-North is hosting an introductory workshop on Smart Industry. Based on the nine 'Smart Industry transformations', we will explain what Smart Industry is, gauge with a mini-assessment where the participating companies stand, and discuss the steps one can take from there. In between we will show inspiring practical examples. These free workshops are intended for board/MT members of northern manufacturing companies. The workshops are online, with a maximum of eight companies.

Webinars on current Smart Industry topics

Almost every month we host an online webinar on a current Smart Industry topic, such as robotics, maintenance, Digital Twins or cyber security. An expert names trends, we show best practices, and Solution Providers tell how they help manufacturing companies get started. In 60 minutes, you'll be completely updated. The webinars, with regularly more than 50 listeners, are published on our YouTube channel, scan the qr code.

In conversation with specific clusters

We regularly invite specific clusters to join us in thinking about the potential of Smart Industry in their sector or region. Currently, we are working with the construction, water and shipbuilding sectors. The format is always that first we do an introductory workshop with the companies (What is Smart Industry?), then we take the assessment individually and finally we meet with companies and
Solution Providers to draw conclusions and make agreements. We like to cooperate with cluster organizations, business associations and regions in this.

Want to help your constituency get started with Smart Industry? Then contact Hans Praat(

SIH-North shows companies the way

Smart Factory Assessment as a route planner

The Smart Factory Assessment is the beating heart of the Smart Industry Hub. This assessment describes in detail the growth from an "ordinary manufacturing company" to a Smart Factory in nine transitions. You immediately see where you stand and what steps you need to take. The assessment works as a route planner: it provides an overview and a basis for further actions and investments. We have already conducted this assessment at 80 companies (March 2022) and everyone is extremely enthusiastic.

We developed the assessment ourselves in cooperation with many companies. There are assessments for manufacturers of finished products, for suppliers and for companies in the process industry (flow production). The assessment is free of charge and is administered by trained advisors from the SIH partners. You do have to sit for it. Going through the assessment takes five hours, usually spread over two sessions, involving several people from the company. Afterwards, a comprehensive report follows with non-binding recommendations for participation in the further program. Also want to know where you stand and what steps you need to take? Then report to Marije Bakker( or to the contact persons of the SIH partners. Success guaranteed!

Become an expert yourself and build a network

Convinced of the usefulness and necessity of Smart Industry for your company? Then it's time to invest in new knowledge and in a relevant network. SIH-North would like to make a substantial contribution to this through
our master classes and networking program.

Master classes

Through the master classes, companies with similar priorities explore Smart Industry themes under the guidance of experts. Master classes often deal with specific transitions, for example, "process control" or "industrial automation. The intention is for the participants to translate the theme into application within their own company. They are assisted in this by knowledge institutions and Solution Providers. A master class usually consists of five meetings. Participation is free of charge and limited to a maximum of eight
companies per master class. Contact: Auke Piet van der Meulen:

Networking Events

Now that corona is behind us, it will again be possible to meet during networking meetings. These will take place twice a year. In an appropriate entourage, companies engaged in Smart Industry can exchange experiences. This will be graced with content, company visits to best practices and side events.

Collaborating with Solution Providers

Companies that offer turnkey or customized solutions for digitization and Smart Industry (Solution Providers) play an important role in the transition of manufacturing companies into Smart Factories. Together with SIH partner NPAL, we are therefore organizing a new Northern cluster of Solution Providers.

We also map the offerings. In various ways we organize meetings (Meet & Greets) between manufacturing companies and Solution Providers to get acquainted, exchange information, learn from each other and do business. Information about cluster Solution Providers at Auke Piet van der Meulen of NPAL(

Make a good plan that works for you

Customized Roadmap

Everything starts with a good plan. SIH-North has selected consultants who can work with the companies to develop a practical roadmap. This may be a complete strategic plan for the 'Industry 4.0 version of the company' or it may zoom in on specific transitions which are then worked out in detail. We are then happy to talk further about funding the plans, deployment of qualified employees and good Solution Providers if desired. Preparing a customized roadmap is
not free of charge, but vouchers are available. If you have real ambitions to accelerate, contact us. We can help you. More information from Hans Praat:

Smart Factory Accelerator

The Smart Factory Accelerator is specifically designed for larger manufacturing companies with concrete ambitions and plans to invest in Industry 4.0. Together with selected Solution Providers, we go 'out on the moors' to create a concrete plan. We call this the 'Smart Factory Accelerator'. For example, new construction can be a good reason to use the Accelerator, or a new establishment of a production company in the Northern Netherlands. The Smart Factory Accelerator is organized in collaboration
with NPAL's Solution Providers cluster. Contact: Auke Piet van der Meulen:

Getting and staying employed

Growing into a true Smart Factory is a process that is usually taken one step at a time. Of course, it is not just about the destination, but rather the journey towards it. SIH-North can be
be your sparring partner. Digitalization and Smart Industry often require additional investments. We like to think along with you about the funding thereof. Are you looking for companies that can help you? SIH-Noord has a team of Solution Providers who have a lot of experience with the implementation of Smart Industry solutions. Do you need new people or do you want to train your employees in Smart Industry skills? The educational institutions behind SIH-North are happy to help you with that.

Gaining experience in Skillslabs

SIH-North is working to build Smart Industry Skillslabs. Here, companies can gain inspiration and experience with Smart Industry solutions and the knowledge institutions will provide in-service training for students and workers. The Skillslabs are being set up as a collaboration between companies and educational institutions and will be located in Drachten, Emmen and Groningen. Want to know more? Then contact Skillslab Drachten via Joost Krebbekx(, Skillslab Drenthe via
Wilbert van den Eijnde( and
Skillslab Groningen via Justine Dickhof(

Connecting in Europe

Europe is investing a lot in the development of new Smart Industry (Industry 4.0) technologies and digitalization solutions. It can be very interesting for the frontrunners to participate in this. There are also many opportunities for SMEs. Play the Champions League! SIH-North is organizing a cluster of Northern companies that want to join the European innovation programs. Want to know more? Ask Joost Krebbekx of the Innovation Cluster Drachten(

Ask us

SIH-North offers all kinds of services for manufacturing companies that want to take steps with Smart Industry and digitalization. We work for SMEs and large companies, for beginners and/or leaders, for doubters and for pushers. Is what you are looking for not listed here? Please let us know. SIH-North is a large and ambitious network. Together we are sure to succeed.

Go to the website of SIH- North