BIFOCAlps newsletter n°2
Project progress:

BIFOCAlps activities really got going with the Industry Workshop, a public event held in Milan the 30th March 2017. This event provided to specific target groups, such as SMEs and policy makers, several information on the state of the art and growth opportunities in the manufacturing sector related to the implementation of Factory of the Future practices and technologies.


Workshop on "Factory of the Future" adoption in manufacturing value chain

The Workshop delved into specific themes, focusing also on the exploitation of collaborative robots, virtual and augmented reality models for the manufacturing, applications of Artificial Intelligence in the many fields on Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things paradigm for services. Each group actively discussed the challenges related to their adoption guided by moderators.


Collaborative robots:

CNR-ITIA presented a brief introduction to all the participants and delved into the approach for the design of collaborative applications involving robots. Examples of layouts, typical configurations, collaborative tasks in handling, assembly and robot machining were also provided.


Internet of Things:

The speech by Cisco faced the journey a company has to face, moving from a traditional framework to the novel service-oriented approach. The importance of working with a cross functional team – composed of policy makers and vendors – was highlighted and supported with evidences from live customer projects.


Artificial Intelligence (AI):

After a due presentation of the AI, the speech of Franco Scolari from Polo Tecnologico di Pordenone analysed the role of Artificial Intelligences into the manufacturing and Industry 4.0, focusing also on the day to come – where AI will be more and more pervasive – and on the importance to take the best it can offer in terms of global improvements.


The turnout to the Industry Workshop was very good, since the number of participants amounted to more than thirty – including policy makers, SMEs and Factory of the Future Researchers.


The workshop had also a dissemination objective: an overview of the BIFOCAlps project was given and first results of work package 1 were presented. In particular, the running activities of work package 1 and related preliminary outcomes: the FoF manufacturing framework in the Alpine Space and the survey on awareness and adoption of Factory of the Future solutions in the manufacturing companies of the regions involved.



The FoF Manufacturing Framework

The document provides a framework to investigate the FoF scenario in the Alpin Space highlighting visions, priorities, actors and key research issues at each regional level. The work starts from the definition and identification of concepts related to the Factory of the Future as drivers, megatrends, enabling technologies and challenges affecting the sector. Then the national initiative for the implementation of the FoF in the five countries involved in the project (Austria, France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia) are summarized.


National and regional implementation actions for the FoF represent another relevant section which particularly highlights clusters and related roadmaps, enabling technologies considered, strategic priorities and long term visions.


Finally, the manufacturing priorities and competencies defined in each of the different Alpin Space regions are described according to the specific Smart Specialization Strategy defined. The schema for the analysis, starting from the specialization areas related to manufacturing, considers an overview of the regional production and research systems, the priority themes of technological development and the most significant enabling technologies of each area.


The survey of Factory of the Future in AS manufacturing sector

The aim of the survey was to investigate the state of the art of Factory of the Future issues in manufacturing companies of the Alpine Space countries and the adoption level of related technologies.

The questionnaire was structured in five main sections: general information, strategy, organization, management, technology and was made available online. Round 90 companies participated in the survey providing a picture of the shift of manufacturing companies to Factory of the Future (FoF) technologies according to four main domains analysed. The results of the survey are being currently processed and will be made publicly available soon on the project website. Stay tuned!


What's next?

As last steps of this work package, manufacturing sector maps at national level derived from both the framework and survey analysis and related transnational comparison are going to be released. In the following months, the BIFOCAlps project will then focus during work package 2 on the definition of best practices and the identification of a set of Critical Success Factors for Alpine Space manufacturing chain interviewing round 100 companies, SMEs and large, operating in the manufacturing fields. 


Workshop: Innovation processes for the digital age in the Factory of the Future

We are glad to announce and invite you for the second BIFOCAlps workshop, held at the University of Udine (16th October, 10:00 - 14:30 h).


The goal of this workshop is to share and test with all the BIFOCAlps target groups the best practices and lessons learned "Identification of good practices in manufacturing sector" in order to offer practical guidance on how to motivate, create, implement and evaluate the adoption of Factory of the Future (FoF) practices and technologies. The focus will be on:


  1. Ways to stimulate spread, innovativeness and transfer of FoF technologies and practices in different contexts
  2. Stimulating a cross-fertilisation of competences and experiences
  3. How can we share actions at national and European level? What role for actors along manufacturing value chain and virtuous growth of the sector?


Workshop Format:

There will be three interactive panel sessions focusing on:

  • Investment in digital technologies
  • Ability in perceiving and facing the path towards digital transformation
  • Knowledge transfer

At the end the buffet lunch will be the occasion for an informal networking session to foster communication and learning among workshop participants.


Tentative agenda:


9:00 – 11:30         Registration, Welcome, Keynote speech “The digital Innovation processes challenge”, Q&A


11:30 – 13:30       Panel sessions: Fostering the digital transformation and knowledge sharing in the FoF value chain


13:30 – 14:30       Buffet Lunch & Networking Session, Conclusions


Upon request, translation will be provided in English

Intermediate Conference 2: How to Become a Factory of the Future

We are glad to announce and invite you to the second BIFOCAlps intermediate conference in Munich, 15th of November 2017 (15:00 - 17:00 h + networking (open end)). The overall topic of this intermediate conference is "How to Become a Factory of the Future" and adresses questions as like "How can a company best deal with the constant development of new technologies and which difficulties do companies have to face in the process?", "Which technologies are promising and sustainable and which one are not?"



AGENDA (15th November 2017)

Booth of Cluster Mechatronik & Automation (hall A2, booth 540)


15:00 – Welcome – Cluster Mechatronik and Automation
15:05 – The BIFOCAlps Project – Massimiliano Bertetti, Polo Tecnologico Pordenone (LP)
15:15 – The Alpine Space Innovation System – survey results and mapping – Marco Sacco,
15:25 – Bavarian activities to foster and transfer FoF technologies into companies – Daniel Gottschald, Technische Universität München
15:35 – Baden-Württemberg activities to foster and transfer FoF technologies into companies – Ralf Kölle,
15:45 – Roundtable Discussion
Presenter: Rudolf Mietzner, bwcon GmbH
Participants: Horst Maywald (Elabo), Ralf Kölle (, Klaus Funk (Plattform Digitale Produktion Bayern), Ralf Ziegler (KUKA), Krzysztof Kamiński (ALNEA Sp.z o.o).
- How can companies implement FoF technologies?
- What are the benefits/values of the implemented FoF technology for the company itself as well as its stakeholders?
- What are success factors to implement a FoF technology and change the business model?
- What kind of support do they need form policy makers?
16:15 – Pitching Who are the companies at the stand?
- Where are they from?
- What is their product/technology?
- What is their FoF strategy?
16:45 – Networking and discussion
17:00 – Bavarian Stand Party



This intermediate conference will be in conjunction with the trade fair "Productonica" at the Messe München GmbH (Messegelände,81823 München; outward journey: The conference will take place at the booth of Cluster Mechatronik & Automation (hall A2, booth 540). The participation at the event is free of charge. Here you can register for the event: . With the confirmation of participation, you will get a code to download your day-ticket for entry to the fair “productronica”. You will get further information to this process with the confirmation of participation.


Workshop: How to improve policy tools and methods in order to sustain companies towards the Factory of the Future (FoF)?

We are glad to announce and invite you for the third BIFOCAlps workshop, held in St. Etienne (France).


Key Dates

November 28th, 2017

16:00 p.m. – 20:00 p.m.

Saint-Etienne, France



Aim of the Workshop

The goal of the Workshop is to discuss challenges and best practices for gaining better knowledge on successful and sustainable implementation of practices towards the FoF paradigm and creating synergies among actors along manufacturing value chain.


The workshop will focus on:

  1. Feasibility of good and best practices for the FoF
  2. Ways to stimulate their spread, innovativeness and transfer in different contexts
  3. Cross-fertilization of competences and experiences
  4. Sharing actions at national and European level and role for actors along manufacturing value chain and virtuous growth of the sector


Workshop format:

4:00 p.m.        Welcome and introduction, BiFocAlps highlights

4:15 p.m.        Presentation of FoF keypoints, Key Enabling Technologies (KET) and domains

4:30 p.m.        Interviews restitution: synthesis and outcomes; Companies transformation and trajectories for the FoF

5:00 p.m.        Discussion with the audience: feasibility of good and best practices for the FoF

5:30 p.m.        Panel discussion: ways to stimulate the spread, innovativeness and transfer of good and best practices for the FoF in different contexts

6:30 p.m.        Questions from the audience – Conclusion

7:00 p.m.        Networking Cocktail

8:00 p.m.         End of the session


Please notice that the workshop will be in French. Upon request, translation will be provided in English.

European Regional Development Fund