May 2021

Better Factory unlocks equity-free funding opportunities and premium services for collaborative experiments to bring the European Manufacturing Industry to the forefront of the digital transformation.

Better Factory invites European Manufacturing SMEs, Artists, and Technology suppliers to engage in a set of one-year collaborative experiments to redesign the manufacturers’ product portfolio. The Manufacturing SMEs journey towards a digital transformation will be supported by mentors from the areas of business, art, and technology. The participating teams can receive up to €200K equity-free funding per experiment.

The project will enable Manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps to enter new markets with customisable products or service portfolios, Artists with an industrial background to create new business models for themselves and reach new prospective clients, and Technology Suppliers to reach out to new potential customers and test technologies in real-life situations with low financial risk.

The project prioritises the following industry sectors: Plastic and Rubber; Furniture and Wood; Food and Agriculture; Construction; Metal and Machinery; and Textile and Leather.

How will Better Factory do this?

The first Better Factory Open Call process starts with a Call for Expressions of Interest from Manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps, and a Call for Experts from Artists and Tech suppliers. With the support of the Better Factory consortium, the pre-selected applicants will follow a matchmaking process through the Robotics and Automation Marketplace (RAMP). The teams will be composed of one Manufacturing SME/Mid-Cap, one Artist, and one Technology Supplier.

An Open Call for co-created proposals will be launched in May 2021 in order to select the 8 best Experiments presented by the teams. They will receive up to € 200,000 from EU funds and premium services support through a period of 12 months.

About Better Factory 

Better Factory is an EU initiative that helps Small and Medium-sized (SMEs) European manufacturers to enter new markets by providing:

  • Reduction of production costby optimising the use of resources and production planning – Better Factory will connect manufacturing SMEs with companies who have proven technologies in production optimisation.
  • Redesigning productsby connecting manufacturing SMEs with experienced design artists. And III) Financial and business consultancy to improve production, develop new products and create new business strategies.

The consortium coordinated by VTT (Finland), includes 28 partners from 18 European countries representing the Arts ecosystem (INOVA, GLUON and WAAG); Technology providers (Fraunhofer IPA, AIMEN,  Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Slovakia National Centre of Robotic, INESCTEC, Technologiko Panepistimio Kyprou); Industrial clusters (Transylvania Furniture Cluster, Slovenian Tool and Die Development Centre, Latvian Federation of Food Companies / Food Products Quality Cluster, CLUTEX ‐ Klastr Technicke Textilie, Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pécs‐Baranya, ICT Cluster and University of Oulu).

Technology suppliers (INFOTECH, Top Data Science, Holonix, GESTALT Robotics and European Dynamics); Art’s supplier (In4Art); Business developers (FundingBox, Hermia Yrityskehitys Oy); Legal framework (time.lex); and Communication and Dissemination (Mobile World Capital Barcelona).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 951813.