The innovative business got acquainted with the challenges and funding tools of “Industry 5.0”
July 13 Representatives of the country’s industry, business, science and public sector gathered in the center of physical and technological sciences in large numbers for the conference “INDUSTRY 2030: how to get on the moving train?”. It presents the latest technological trends and challenges for business that arise in the transition from “Industry 4.0” to “Industry 5.0”, the green course, digitization, financing tools, the benefits of business-science cooperation.
Business must prepare for the challenges of “Industry 5.0”
The ambition of the European Commission (EC) is “Industry 5.0” as a way to ensure the security and resilience of the European economy and society. “Industry 5.0” is characterized by a double transformation, personalized production and the transition to sustainable development. “Reorganization is urgent and will be needed at all levels of governance, economy and society if Europe wants to pave the way to prosperity in the medium and long term,” – in detail about the European Commission’s plans said Tomas Garuolis, director of the Business Environment and Economy Department of The Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (LPK).
The EC’s priorities for 2019-2024 are an economy that serves people, the European Green Deal and Europe’s fit for the digital age. In order to transition to “Industry 5.0”, actions must be taken: transformation of business models, restructuring of value chains, transition to more efficient use of resources, improvement of interaction between public and private sectors, increase of R&D funding for industrial CO2 technologies for circular economy solutions, etc. “In this whole process, innovation is the engine of double transformation, leading towards a sustainable industry”, – emphasized T.Garuolis.
Digitization is the inevitability of manufacturing business
Great global competition, rapidly changing market conditions, constantly growing customer expectations, development of new products and services – these are the daily routines of today’s innovative businesses. Across Europe, as well as in Lithuania, rapidly emerging Digital Innovation Hubs are lending a helping hand to businesses.
“Digital innovation centers can help customers solve the pressing problems of digital transformation, so there is no need to “throw away” old, but functional and perfectly functioning equipment and buy new, extremely expensive, digitized equipment. Old equipment can be redesigned, given a “second life” and our engineers do it,” – said Gintaras Vilda, director of the Manufacturing Innovation Valley and coordinator of the Digital Innovation Hub.
The Digital Innovation Hub is worth applying to because it helps you save investment funds and make the necessary decisions before launching a product on the market, can test, help test ideas, create and test prototypes.
“The companies located in the Manufacturing Innovation Valley work together as a Digital Innovation Hub, we have partners from the Innovative Manufacturing Cluster. We work not on the basis of a “one-stop shop”, but on the principle of wide-open doors for technology developers and manufacturers from Lithuania and abroad. We invite you to become our members and settle in a modern production innovation laboratory, to use innovation support and consulting services”, – emphasized G. Vilda.
Although many companies are already starting their digitization processes, there are technological barriers that prevent them from innovating as quickly as needed. “Previously installed digital systems are aging and their updating or integrity problems limit companies’ ability to successfully meet their customers’ expectations,” – said Rolandas Lepardinas, Head of Technology and Innovation at the Manufacturing Innovation Valley.
Therefore, sustainable digitization solutions are a necessity. R. Lepardinas emphasized the following necessary steps to implement them: setting a common vision and goals, increasing data transparency and accuracy, redesigning production and service processes, developing basic digitization capabilities, investing in employees or even going beyond the set limits.
A wide variety of financing instruments
Public financial instruments offered by the Innovation Agency can help businesses successfully carry out innovative activities and overcome the challenges of “Industry 5.0”.
“Business is not yet sufficiently interested in the possibilities of innovation support. By concentrating the forces of the three agencies, the variety of services and tools we offer has increased, and we can help choose the most relevant ones taking into account the individual needs of each company, the stage of business maturity, the business problem being solved, therefore we invite you to take an active interest and apply”, – says Paulius Petrauskas, the head of the Breakthrough areas Department of the newly founded Innovation Agency. From now on, the Innovation Agency combines and focuses on the following areas of activity: development of technology and innovation areas, creation of a business-friendly environment, promotion of entrepreneurship, development of small and medium-sized businesses, promotion of exports and development of business internationalization.
During the event, between 2022-2023 of the most relevant financing instruments, the instruments for various possible recipients of innovation promotion support were presented: both for startups (Startup Acceleration Programs, CERN Incubator Startups, EIC Accelerator, Promotion of Internationalization of Startups), and for companies with high innovation potential (Promotion of Innovative Activities), and PhDs (Acceleration programs abroad), and business associations (promoting readiness to participate in BEISP), and industry (increasing energy consumption efficiency, installation of RES in industrial enterprises).
The Innovation Agency promotes the development of environmentally friendly products, re-certification and patenting of products of Lithuanian origin (R&D and patenting for starting innovators). The aspect of internationality is no less important, therefore the following measures are foreseen: participation of small and medium-sized companies in international R&D initiatives, international partner search events, promotion of the internationality of start-ups, partnerships of the knowledge and innovation community and the “Horizon Europe” of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology , the “EIC accelerator” competition, etc. The tool for evaluating R&D activities is also relevant for business, as the Innovation Agency provides expert conclusions to companies seeking to benefit from corporate tax benefits regarding the classification of their activities as R&D.
We are moving towards the Green Course
The European Commission has the ambition to move towards a green course to net zero greenhouse gases (by 2050) and decouple economic growth from resource use, leaving no person or place behind.
For an industrial company, this means investments in the transformation of energy and raw materials, the introduction of traceability. If we are talking about a product that meets the green rate, we have to show that our energy is green, and the raw materials are green or processed and returned to production. This can be demonstrated through traceability with the help of IT tools – the green passport. “The green certificate gives the company’s production greater prospects in the EU market, which leads to higher competitiveness”- about this at the event spoke Dr. Juras Ulbikas, international innovation expert of the Photovoltaics technology cluster.
Cooperation between business and science is the key to success
“Cooperation between business and science is necessary in order to bring more innovations to Lithuanian business” – said Karolis Stašys, innovation manager of the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology. Investing in R&D and new technologies is worth it if you want to compete at the international level, because if you don’t invest in time, if you don’t take into account the recommendations of scientists, companies are at risk of bankruptcy in the future. This is perfectly illustrated by the examples of international companies NOKIA, KODAK or Lithuanian company “Ekranas”.
Internationality is another prominent aspect of business development.”Exactly the competitive advantages of business are gained through international activities”,- at the event about the benefits of international digital innovation centers through the example of PhotonHub Europe spoke Kristina Ananičienė, Head of the Laser and Engineering Technologies Cluster (LITEK). Also she introduced with opportunities for companies to get benefit from the innovation support services of this extensive European photonics network that works on a one-stop-shop basis.
The event was organized under the project “Promotion and development of innovation networking (InoLink)”. The purpose of the project is to promote the joining of companies into clusters, to promote their growth and international cooperation. It is implemented by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) together with its partner – the Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC). The project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Check out the speeches given at the event here: