The Factories of the Future (FoF) initiative is part of the European Economic Recovery Plan launched in November 2008 to respond to the global economic crisis. This Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) aims at helping EU manufacturing enterprises, in particular SMEs, to adapt to global competitive pressures by improving the technological base of manufacturing across a broad range of sectors. The ICT contribution to this initiative aims at improving the efficiency, adaptability and sustainability of manufacturing systems as well as their better integration within business processes in an increasingly globalised industrial context. Both Challenge 7 and the relevant Challenge under NMP are supporting the FoF PPP in a co-ordinated manner and are focusing on actions with a strong innovation dimension.
The aim of Challenge 7 is to give support to industry for bringing together ICT suppliers and users for experiments that target the broad uptake of ICT towards a more sustainable, efficient, performant, and smarter European manufacturing industry. Focus is on emerging innovative technologies and processes, which need to be customised, tested and validated before being able to compete on the market. Special emphasis is on strengthening European SMEs, both on the supply and on the demand side.
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