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A marketplace to help companies develop personalised products and become digital

19th October 2020

“Basically, it's about creating a digital platform, a central point, where SMEs in the industrial sector can buy products and services from technology suppliers, designers, trainers or financial support providers”, explained Rafael Arrais, a researcher at the Institute for Systems and Computers Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC). INESC TEC is one of the Portuguese entities involved in the project, alongside INOVA + - a leading company in the management, dissemination and exploration of international projects in the field of Innovation.


During the project, qualified business experts and product designers will analyse the current portfolio of products and services, with the support of technology suppliers, in order to redesign personalised products and service portfolios, through new digital technologies. This can lead to new products, business models or brands.


Concerning the SMEs, the production of personalised products requires the transformation of traditional factories into facilities with a strong relation between the virtual world and physical reality, following Lean-Agile manufacturing methodologies. The project will provide an open and standardised Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling system for manufacturers, so they can test commercial tools to optimise waste, energy, resources and logistics.


“SMEs will have access to different resources to support their digitisation, such as a virtual environment focusing on the Internet of Things and the FIWARE platform, in the fields of robotics and automation, with storage and cloud computing for data analysis; benchmarking and 3D simulation tools for virtual tests; spaces for the co-creation and online collaboration, among several other digital solutions. The creation of a 3D designer (digital 3D factory twin), for the digital representation of a manufacturing area, is one of INESC TEC's main goal", stated César Toscano, INESC TEC researcher.


The project includes two open calls - the first is scheduled for January 2021 - to support eight European teams composed of of SMEs, designers and technology suppliers. For one year, the selected candidates will be able to:


  • Explore of new markets, through digital technologies;


  • Test and develop new Agile manufacturing technologies with RAMP (Robotics Automation Marketplace);


  • Benefit from advanced training;


  • Develop their the business model;


  • Have access to approximately €200K of funding (per team).



Better Factory brings together key-players in the European technology, art and innovation sectors. The consortium is coordinated by VTT (Finland), and includes 28 partners from 18 European countries, representing different ecosystems: arts (INOVA +, GLUON, WAAG and In4Art); technology suppliers (Fraunhofer IPA, AIMEN, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Slovakia National Centre of Robotic, INESC TEC, Technologiko Panepistimio Kyprou, INFOTECH, Top Data Science, Holonix, GESTALT Robotics and European Dynamics); industrial sector entities (Transylvania Furniture Cluster, Slovenian Tool and Die Development Centre, Latvian Federation of Food Companies/Food Products Quality Cluster, CLUTEX - Klastr Technicke Textilie, Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pécs ‐ Baranya, ICT Cluster and University of Oulu); business developers (Funding Box, Hermia Yrityskehitys Oy); experts in legal matters (time.lex) and agents of communication and dissemination (Mobile World Capital Barcelona).


The project has a duration of four years, and is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme at €8.575M - under the agreement number 951813.





For further inquiries:


Eunice Oliveira


Communication Service


FEUP Campus

Rua Dr Roberto Frias

4200-465 Porto


P +351 22 209 4118

M +351 934 224 331



Porto - October 19, 2020