I4EU: supporting the digital transformation of the EU industrial sector

The project, I4EU (Industry 4.0 for European Union), is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership project, coordinated by the University of Bordeaux.

  • 30/10/2019

Drapeau européen © Grecaud-Paul - Fotolia Drapeau européen © Grecaud-Paul - Fotolia

Launched in September 2019, this three-year project aims to prepare and equip the workforce for the digital transformation of European companies in the industrial sector, according to the Industry 4.0 paradigm. With its digital transformation of production and logistics chains (smart manufacturing) and products (smart interconnected objects), this fourth industrial revolution has generated new opportunities and challenges for companies. At the same time, it has triggered significant educational requirements with the need to review, communicate and provide training about these brand new systems and technologies.

Up until now, different countries have developed specific national training activities. The I4EU project, managed by a consortium of eight European partners, proposes something different – an integrated, coordinated approach to support the digital transformation of the EU industrial sector

Focus of the I4EU project

  • The sharing of best practices and new business models to raise awareness about the new technologies that support the digital transformation of European industrial companies;
  • The creation of VET (Vocational Education and Training) qualifications for employees within European companies with the development and up/re-skilling of employees regarding digital competencies and Industry 4.0 skills.

The project is dedicated to the creation of teaching tools for those collaborating within these Industry 4.0 companies. These tools include:

  • handbook: a practical guideline including examples, best practices, scenarios and suggestions for the implementation of an Industry 4.0 model
  • an Industry 4.0 observatory: an online platform for case studies and articles (to boost awareness and carry out constant monitoring)
  • competence meter: an online tool to evaluate the level of maturity of companies vis à vis Industry 4.0
  • qualification established jointly by the 8 partners, based on EU standards and awarded to those trained by each partner
  • virtual laboratories that allow users to access Industry 4.0 virtual prototypes from a distance and that may be used as experimental environments
  • short, multilingual qualification programs, proposing text, exercises, case studies and videos  
  • website where all the project data is accessible up to 3 years after the end of the project

The I4EU project places the University of Bordeaux at the forefront of Industry 4.0, bringing its extensive expertise in multidisciplinary research translation and technological innovation, as well as its strong engagement in European networks and the industrial sector.

Pr Mamadou Kaba Traore — Project coordinator

The partners, who represent 6 different countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain), are 3 Higher Education Institutions, 1 University spin-off, 1 technological park, 2 company networks and 1 consultancy company. The consortium thus ensures a wide geographical coverage and unites complementary competencies. As coordinator, the University of Bordeaux plans to use the results of this project not only for lifelong learning purposes but also for initial training.

In line with the strategy of the European Digital Single Market, the long term benefits of the I4EU project will be to facilitate and accelerate the transition to Industry 4.0 models across all economic sectors and consequently foster the overall growth of the European economy.