ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) is an initiative, funded through a grant by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to provide support to small and medium sized entreprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector in their digital transformation. I4MS is of the main initiatives, launched within the framework of digitalising the manufacturing industry and make Europe’s businesses fit for the digital age. I4MS is also one the key initiatives launched by the European Commission to shape the pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs).
Targeting SMEs and mid-caps (organisations, typically employing between 250-3 000 employees and generating more profit compared to smaller businesses), the I4MS platform offers a database with trainings on various technological applications in manufacturing. Trainings vary in format – online, blended, or face-to-face workshops – and include topics that have the potential to contribute to SMEs’ digital transition, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing in manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive maintenance, cybersecurity, and many others.
Through the initiative, SMEs and mid-caps can apply for funding in the form of technological and/or financial support and access relevant calls for expression of interest and service calls from the European institutions. Organisations can also use the infrastructure provided by I4MS to experiment with different technologies and innovative services and assess their benefit before investing in them. Resources for businesses on fostering the development of digital skills and skills for the digital transformation are also available.