How Industry 4.0 can help to face the epidemic: open calls, national and EU initiatives

Submitted by Guillaume Roux on 04 April 2020

Due to the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) EMERGENCY, the IoT4Industry consortium would like to share some relevant initiatives to mitigate the socio-economic impact in the European Union thanks to the introduction of the Industry 4.0 solutions. Technology is in fact proving to be a critical tool in the war against the unexpected: adopting smart health solutions, use of robotics for the delivery of goods and transportation of people, building automated and flexible production lines and supply chains, adopting online and remote capabilities for education, healthcare and meetings. The Internet of Things will soon play a major role in the modernisation of healthcare and disaster prevention, public safety and security, supply chain, manufacturing and production

INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERS AGAINST THE VIRUS: the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) has created a webpage to support the efforts of industrial clusters to address the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe and to facilitate the interaction of the industrial cluster community to allow fast and direct responses. Over 1100 offers from companies have already been presented to the European Commission via clusters with the support from the European Cluster Alliance. Details here

EUROPEAN SUPPORTS FOR COMPANIES: On March 19th 2020 the European Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy during the current COVID-19 outbreak  that provides for five types of aid which can be granted by Member States: details here

  • Direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments
  • State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks
  • Subsidised public loans to companies
  • Safeguards for banks that channel State Aid to the real economy
  • Short-term export credit insurance

The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2020: More information on the temporary framework and other actions which the Commission has taken to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here

AI-ROBOTICS vs COVID-19: The European Commission launches an initiative to collect ideas about deployable Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics solutions as well as information on other initiatives that could help face the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. AI in fact is useful in several applications like virtual healthcare assistant (chatbot) to provide reliable information and clear guidelines, recommended protection measures, check and monitor symptoms, or facial recognition and fever detector (thermal cameras) for detecting people with fever that have been deployed in airports, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. details here

AMable CALLS FOR IDEAS (COVID-19): The 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) allows to produce specialized surgical instruments and medical devices quickly and cost-effectively like valves, masks and everything that may prove to be of primary importance in the fight against COVID-19. AMablethe consortium supported by the European Commission under the framework of I 4MS  (H2020 framework program), published an open Call for Solution Ideas to fight COVID-19 adopting  Additive Manufacturing. The proposal needs to be short - only about two pages, and it will need to be submitted within two weeks. The selection of such proposals will be done quickly and support of up to 10.000 Euros will go to the applicant to experiment on the realisation of the "solution idea". This call opens on April 1st 2020 and will close on October 1st 2020. Details here.

CECIMO, as the European association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies, including additive manufacturing, has been invited by the European Commission to address its membership in helping to produce equipment (valves or ventilators). CECIMO has decided to expand the call for action to all companies, urging everybody who has the possibility to do so, to assist the needs of hospitals all over Europe. Details here 


BELGIUM  (DSP Valley, Pole Mecatech) Les partenaires de MedTech Wallonia se mobilisent et lancent 2 plateformes pour faire face à la crise sanitaire (details here)


Mesures économiques Etat & Région SUD en faveur des entreprises ; details here 

URGENT : Appel à solutions innovantes pour lutter contre COVID-19; details here 

COVID-19 : Renforcement vigilance cybersécurité & Gestion du télétravail details here 

CORONAVIRUS COVID 19 Informations aux industriels ; details here1 and here2

Covid-19 : Plan d’urgence pour l’économie en Auvergne Alpes de 600 M€; details here

GERMANY (mTSW ) Presseberichte und Newsbeiträge unserer Mitglieder und staatlichen Informationsquellen zum Thema CORONA/COVID-19; 

Presseberichte und Newsbeiträge unserer Mitglieder und staatlichen Informationsquellen zum Thema CORONA/COVID-19; details here

ITALY (Polo Mesap)

Emergenza Corona Virus: ultimi aggiornamenti e provvedimenti; details here 

#CURAITALIA: i provvedimenti del MEF; details here

INNOVA PER ITALIA: I provvedimenti del MID; details here  

UNITED KINGDOM (MTC) Action on Covid-19 (coronavirus) ; details here   


To contain the spreading of the virus, the European Commission recommended on March 16th for Member States to administer a temporary 30 days coordinated restriction of non-essential travel from third countries into the EU. All EU citizens and citizens of Schengen Associated Countries, as well as their family members, are exempted from this restriction for the purposes of returning home (here). The European Commission has also taken measures to ensure continued and uninterrupted land, waterborne and air cargo services that has crucial importance for the functioning of the EU's internal market and its effective response to the current public health crisis (details). 





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