Better Factory recently closed its Second Call for Expressions of Interest. This second round received 185 applications from manufacturing SMEs, artists and tech suppliers all across Europe.
This year’s applications came from 29 different countries
The second expression of interest was open from 25th April 2022, until 25th June. The application phase successfully closed with 185 submissions, with 58 manufacturing SMEs, 72 artists and 55 tech suppliers making up the applications.
It comes as no surprise to see Italy (33 applicants) again as one of the top the source countries. The second-highest concentration of participants was equal between Spain, UK, and Poland, each with 13 applicants.
Top 3 sectors: Plastic and Rubber, Furniture and Wood, and Metal and Machinery
Did you know that 59% of all enterprises within the European manufacturing sector are SMEs, and that these companies generate about 45% of the total added manufacturing value? This industry also employs close to 5 million people in Europe, and is one of the highest polluting. For Europe to remain competitive internationally, these companies must be able to benefit from digital opportunities.
The manufacturing SMEs applying for the second Expression of Interest are mostly working in these top 3 sectors: Plastic and Rubber, Furniture and Wood, and Metal and Machinery. The next most popular sectors are Textile & Leather, Food & Agriculture, and Construction.
Better Factory aims to target each manufacturing sector with the goal to redesign their current product and/or services portfolio together with Business and Arts mentors and Technology experts.
The next steps
After a thorough assessment and evaluation by the Better Factory consortium members, the best-fitting applicants will pass through to the matchmaking stage, where they will be matched into teams of 1 manufacturing SME, 1 artist and 1 technology supplier, via the RAMP platform. After forming the final teams, the applicants will receive the right support in order prepare a successful application for the Open Call, which opens on 1 September, 2022.
If successful, the teams chosen to take part in the second round of Better Factory will explore new markets using digital tools, test and develop new lean-agile production technologies, make deals through the Robotics and Automation MarketPlace (RAMP), access training to re-skill staff, receive business support and mentoring, and to get up to €200K funding.