The European Commission has awarded funding to the Swedish network for Sustainable Digitalisation and Human-Centric Factory Transformation, ShiftLabs, led by Mälardalen University (MDU), Mälardalen Industrial Technology Center (MITC), and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE). The consortia is to become a European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) within the Digital Europe Programme, which aims to ramp up digitalisation and sustainability in the European Union. ShiftLabs is one of four Swedish hubs awarded EDIH status and a “Seal of Excellence”. Overall, 136 EDIH proposals out of 283 applications were selected to operate as part of a pan-European EDIH network.
ShiftLabs will support small and medium sized manufacturing companies in their digital transformation of production and in adaption of new digital technologies. The hub consists four already established and mature technology centres: MITC in Mälardalen, SIILab in Gothenburg, ASSAR in Skövde and LeanCenter & Södertälje Science Park in Södertälje, Stockholm. These centres are accompanied in the consortium by RISE and EIT Manufacturing who provides services and facilities at a national level. The purpose of the hub is to consolidate and strengthen the already established technology centres in order to strengthen Swedish manufacturing industries by providing services to industry within several areas, including testbed facilities, coaching in digital technologies, change management in digital transformation, digital skills, and support to find investments. ShiftLabs is part of the pan-European network of EDIHs, enabling international collaboration and means to enhance national offers through international partnerships.
The ShiftLabs consortium consists of eight well-established Swedish actors, including four leading universities in production research. Partners in the consortium includes Mälardalen Industrial Technology Center (MITC), Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), Chalmers University, Skövde University, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Södertälje Science Park, and EIT Manufacturing CLC North. The project is coordinated by Mälardalen University, in collaboration with MITC and RISE.
Utilizing its wide and specific expertise in digital technologies and digital transformation, including testbeds, data centres, and change management, ShiftLabs will support SMEs with their individual needs related to technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and high performance computing. Technologies in combination with the training, education and research resources provided makes ShiftLabs a national resource and well-integrated part of the Swedish innovation system.
“This initiative aims to considerably strengthen Swedish manufacturing industries, which is the backbone of Swedish economy. We are very happy that we are able to consolidate resources and competences of our already very capable regional technology centres in order to reach out to even more companies and level-up services through collaboration. The EDIH will also enable us to connect to other European organisations and resources to further strengthen Swedish industries through international collaboration. The focus on small and medium sized manufacturing companies is important as we can clearly see that this is a category of our industry that needs additional support to adapt digital technologies in order to stay competitive and work towards the sustainability goals.” – Mikael Hedelind, project coordinator, Mälardalen University
“For our technology center, this initiative will be a way to scale-up the regional and local investments made in our operations and facilities through national and European collaboration. This will lead to even better services to our regional industries and partners, as well as being a vehicle for reaching out to new companies that needs support in their digital transformation. For us this project represents a national arena where to scale-up our services in collaboration with other leading organizations in Sweden, and the rest of Europe.“ – Anna Bird, CEO of Mälardalen Industrial Technology Center