After 15 years at InTech, where he successively held the positions of Software Developer Technical Lead, Account Relationship Manager and finally Innovation Manager, Nicolas Sanitas joined Luxinnovation this spring to take on the newly created position of Senior Advisor and Digital Community Coordinator.
Mr. Sanitas, what exactly are your missions?
“The main one is to contribute to the creation of the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub (DIH), hosted within Luxinnovation. More precisely, I use my good knowledge of the Luxembourg ICT players to identify, qualify and federate all those who can bring their expertise and experience to the transformation of the country’s manufacturing sector into Industry 4.0.
This means, in concrete terms, to contribute to bring the companies concerned to interconnect all the players of a manufacturing process: from the demand to the final customer, through the production and the supply chain; this by exploiting all the means offered by digital technologies.
I have another activity in parallel, which consists in assisting Luxinnovation’s business and financing experts in their understanding of the digital aspects of the projects they support. I also help these same projects to present their innovations in the best possible way in order to maximise their chances of taking off or accelerating by obtaining financing and/or getting in touch with partners.
What is the state of play regarding the digitalisation of manufacturing companies in Luxembourg?
“I’ve only been here a few weeks: too short to judge! But what I can see from the contacts I’ve already had with the sector is that there is a core of manufacturing SMEs among the 400 in the country that are ready to innovate and show the way to their peers.
However, all these companies, as dynamic as they are, do not always have the human or financial resources to embark on a digital transformation. And when they do, they don’t always know where to start…
This is precisely where DIH comes in: it is a real one-stop-shop for decision makers in the industry who want to (re)launch their digital transformation.
What are the next key steps in this area?
“We have started an in-depth cycle of education and acculturation within the DIH. This will not only allow manufacturing companies to discover the extent of the possibilities offered by digital technology, but also IT service providers to better understand the world of industry. It’s about building the foundation of the community. This is what we are already working on in concrete terms.
Then it’s time to bring the players together and exchange ideas. For this, we are counting on the organisation of short, but targeted meetings (Meetup format), which will initially allow digital companies to come and present their solutions and services, but also to collect the needs of manufacturers.
The ultimate goal is that all members of the community, regardless of their size or field of expertise, should feel comfortable proposing challenges to others, the realization of proof of concepts or the establishment of long-term partnerships.
Beyond simply putting people in touch with each other, our role within the DIH is to enable the emergence of innovative projects, resulting from the exchange and mutual inspiration of its members.
Finally, I would like to add that the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub should be networked with other European DIHs in the coming months (E-DIH network) and thus increase collaboration opportunities tenfold.”