Between 25 October & 16 November 2021, the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub (L-DIH) team toured the country.
The L-DIH team toured the country with its yellow bus to meet manufacturing companies and discuss their digital transformation and implementation of an industry 4.0 approach. The exercise was deemed a success, and the team intends to repeat it in 2022.
“Industry 4.0 comes to you.” This idea was the driving force behind the L-DIH initiative to spend a month on the roads of Luxembourg and meet up with representatives of industrial companies in a way that would be both convenient and inspiring for them. From Lentzweiler in the north to Belval in the south, the L-DIH bus stopped in 12 different industrial zones and attracted no less than 160 participants from 100 different companies, both large groups and SMEs. Numbers that, for a first edition of this rather unusual type of event, are considered more than satisfactory.
Understanding industry challenges
The DIH ON TOUR was organised by Luxinnovation – which hosts the L-DIH – with strong support from FEDIL. The characteristic yellow school bus fitted out as a classroom cross-crossed the country’s main industrial sites and offered, at each stop, training sessions on digitalisation and cybersecurity. It also hosted round table discussions with digitalisation experts from leading companies as well as the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).
“Our objective was to spend time in the companies’ own locations and make ourselves easily accessible to all levels of their organisations – staff, managers and executives. We wanted to present ourselves and our services, but also to get an in-depth understanding of the challenges that Luxembourg companies face in their digital transformation in order to hone our services to meet their specific needs,” explains Nicolas Sanitas, Senior Advisor and Digital Community Coordinator at Luxinnovation.
The bus turned out to be an excellent setting for the discussions. “The limited size of each group, and the nice, convenient and informal atmosphere provided by the tour bus stimulated open-minded and constructive interactions,” says Joachim Clemens-Stolbrink, Senior Advisor Digital Transformation at Luxinnovation. “The often intense and sometimes even controversial exchange of ideas yielded a wealth of insights that will help us in the L-DIH team define and formulate new activities supporting digital transformation.”
Inspired by the DIH ON TOUR sessions, as well as by exchange with companies in other settings, the L-DIH is now detailing its roadmap for 2022. It will include, among other things, the continuous improvement of the L-DIH website and its “marketplace” where companies needing support with their digitalisation and specialised service providers can meet each other, the match-making between the needs and the ICT providers, and the launch of an industry 4.0 survey. “We will also continue with the popular L-DIH Talks webinar series, and hopefully take to the roads again in the beginning of the summer for another DIH ON TOUR,” says Mr Clemens-Stolbrink.
While industry 4.0 is sometimes mainly associated with large high-tech companies, the L-DIH team underlines that any manufacturing company can benefit from digitalisation. “The most obvious observation is that the implementation of digital processes help industrial firms maintain or even increase their competitiveness, but that is not all,” Mr Sanitas points out. “Digitalisation can also help them move towards more sustainable business activities and make them more attractive to talent. Industry 4.0 is not a destination to be reached; it is a path, and our role is to be a companion for all Luxembourg industrial companies wanting to explore it.”
Paperjam interview with Nicolas Sanitas