CHAIN – Changing SME business by industry 4.0

  • Post category:Erasmus+

Project title: Changing SME business by industry 4.0

Project acronym: CHAIN

Reference number: 2018-1- PT01-KA203-047330

Project duration: 24 months (01/11/2018 – 31/10/2020)

Project website:

Programme: Key Action 2 Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices within Erasmus + programme

Project summary: The industrial sector remains a driver of growth and employment in EU. The industrial sector comprises 2 million firms and 33 million jobs. It is also responsible for over 80% of exports and 80% percent of private research and innovation. Currently we are suffering a ‘de-industrialization’ process, in part due to the rise of manufacturing in other parts of the world and to automation. In 2012, in response to this decline in the relative importance of industry, the EC set a target that manufacturing should represent 20% of total value added in the EU by 2020. Industry 4.0 (I4.0) could boost the productivity and value added of European industries and stimulate economic growth. As part of its new Digital Single Market Strategy, the EC wants to help all industrial sectors exploit new technologies and manage a transition to a smart industrial system. What I4.0 is trying to achieve is the improvement of the manufacturing process by utilizing automation and data collecting (Hermann & Otto, 2016). The effects of which are brought on by the implementation sensors, microcomputers and transceivers that allow the whole factory to not only have its physical embodiment, as also as a cyber-physical structure. These new technologies will allow better performance, larger flexibility in product customization, decrease in labor costs, lower waste creation and the downtime of machines would be optimized (Radziwon, et. all, 2014)

Aims & Objectives

CHAIN project aims to:

  •  Support the creation of new competencies for HE students and SMEs
  •  Promote lifelong learning
  •  Deal with the digitisation of EU industry
  •  Understand the impact of I4.0

Target groups

CHAIN addresses the needs of the higher education system and SMEs and more specifically the following target groups:

  • Higher education students
  • Managers of SMEs
  • Heads of departments (production, logistics, etc.); employees and workers in SMEs

Results & Intellectual outputs

In the lifetime of the project, the following intellectual outputs will be developed:

  • IO. 1 – Industry 4.0: A Comprehensive Approach
  • IO. 2 – Battery of Case Studies
  • IO. 3 – Course: Strategic Digitisation of Organisations
  • IO. 4 – Strategic Guidelines
  • IO. 5 – Interactive Documentary: Industry 4.0 – What future for European SMEs in the digital economy?

Note: all these outputs will be available in: PT || FR || BG || DE || EN

Project partners:

  • Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPLeiria) – Portugal,  Website: www.ipleiria.p
  • Aidlearn, Consultoria em Recursos Humanos Lda. – Portugal, Website:
  • European Center for Quality Ltd. (ECQ) – Bulgaria, Website:
  • ESTIA Institute of Technology – France, Website:
  • FH JOANNEUM GmbH – Austria, Website: