Industry 4.0 is undoubtedly the trending topic in the world of business and innovation in the last years. Industry 4.0 refers to organizational methodologies for the production of goods or services that integrates production systems with digital technologies. Only time will tell if the instruments proposed by policy makers will have been able to promote the development of Industry 4.0, but certainly the economic and cultural context makes it challenging and promising at the same time.
Several studies reveal that the opportunities offered by the Industry 4.0 turn out to be an unexplored frontier by the majority of companies, and most of the European companies are not sufficiently skilled to embrace the new paradigm. One of the major obstacles to the development of Industry 4.0 is the lack of digital culture within European companies and its spread can only rely on new training courses and on the hiring of highly specialized professional figures.
SPRINT 4.0, “Strategic Partnership for Industry 4.0” (2018 – 2020) is an European Project that works on filling the existing knowledge gap training university students on Industry 4.0 topics.
As Industry 4.0 is called the “4th Industrial Revolution” it is fundamental for universities to adopt actions for developing new skills in studentsto be employed in the companies adopting (or that will adopt shortly) the new applications or for starting new businesses in line with the new requirements. However the skills necessary in the 4.0 era are still missing either in university curricula and in industry standard training courses. And here comes SPRINT4.0!
The project aims at achieving new skills and competences for students, on one side directly related to Industry 4.0 domain (thus enhancing the quality of their knowledge), on the other, supporting them in acquiring key competences, such as entrepreneurship (or intrapreneurship), to foster their employability and professional development. Entrepreneurial skills and an entrepreneurial mind-set are necessary for successfully working in the new paradigm, as redesigning an enterprise following a 4.0 approach means also being ready to reshape the traditional business model of a company. For such a reason teaching entre/intrapreneurship methods and tools is a key asset that can not be separated from the technology based training.
Project activities include the realization and implementation of an audit methodologies focused on industry 4.0 technologies, the design and realization of a training course, and the launch and execution of a Pretotype competition for the students of the training course that will have the possibility to be hosted by a partner company to putting into practice their idea.
The audit methodology that will be created is a tool that helps companies to understand possible opportunities and threats coming from Industry 4.0. It supports companies during the first steps of identifying and implementing solutions based on Industry 4.0 concepts
The training courses will be implemented through an innovative approach, strongly student-centred, which will put in the same class students, entrepreneurs, employees, experts from Industry 4.0 domain, in order to trigger co-creation and contamination processes among the participants. Thanks to this training structure, the links between students and employers will be strengthened, giving also the chance to students to discuss about their product/services/business ideas directly with business representatives.
Through the completion of courses’ assignment (prEtotyping of an Industrial 4.0 application), the students will also have the chance of strengthening their innovation skills and creativity, thus putting into practice the knowledge acquired during the trainings.
The students’ team winning the prEtotype competition will have two benefits: receiving a coaching support by the host University and having the possibility of experience a 30 days transnational mobility within one of the partner company.
As main output, the Universities will have a fully renewed set of tools for educating students to Industry 4.0 related topics, increase their entrepreneurship skills and increasing the chance of students to get new qualified job, thus implementing the recommendations of EU Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education.
All the results of the project can be downloaded in “Learn” section when available.
SPRINT4.0 is a Strategic Partnership for Higher Education project. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.