An Innovative European Network for Learning Factories, LIFT, is taking form

Twelve partners have now signed the joint agreement and vision for LIFT, an abbreviation which stands for a European Network for Learning Factories.

The objective of LIFT is to build a broad network of learning factories to facilitate research technology transfer between academia and the industry, and with a focus on Europe’s many SMEs. LIFT is one of the 73 ongoing activities in EIT Manufacturing’s 2020 Business Plan.

The consortium is expected to conduct the first pilot training sessions right after the summer break, while the “full gear” activities are expected to be launched towards the end of the year.

LIFT: Boosting competitivity and skills of Europe’s SMEs

The objective is to boost skills and competitivity of Europe’s manufacturing SMEs. To reach this target, LIFT aims at creating a European community to develop, test and disseminate innovative educational methods.

Why a program like LIFT? The European manufacturing sector is mainly composed by SMEs, who make up a large part of EUs industrial GDP. Until now, the majority of industry 4.0 training programs have been financed and run by big manufacturing companies with large budgets and strong networks. Hence, the LIFT targets Europe’s many SMEs, and involve them in the transformation.

A completely new educational concept for the manufacturing industry

LIFT is a new concept in terms of the tool, target and qualitative excellence.

  • The tool: LIFT relies on the Guided Learning Platform provided by EIT Manufacturing. This new platform allows users not only to benefit of digital contents, but also to directly interface with physical assets, datasets, digital twins and simulators, enhancing the opportunity for hands-on sessions, which are more effective in a technical training perspective
  • The target: LIFT aim consists in supporting manufacturing SMEs, which are just starting to explore the opportunities presented by the new technologies. have been just recently involved in the Industry4.0 opportunities, thanks to the success stories of bigger players and to the wider spread and higher affordability of technologies. One of the most common scenarios in these kind of companies is the availability of Industry4.0-compliant machines (acquired thanks to investments in the past 4-5 years) but the parallel lack of technical integration and context awareness: in this way, the companies have “just” new machines but keep considering them as isolated resources, while, if their technicians were adequately training to extract data from machines and to use them to integrate their entire inventory or to add on algorithms (e.g. for scheduling or KPIs extraction) they would take the actual benefits of the new manufacturing trends
  • The excellence: LIFT consortium is made by 11 academic institutes and one competence center. With each academic partner bringing their own expertise, the consortium can ensure a high level of quality control and ability to address a wide range of technologies in depth.

A consortium of 12 partners

The partners, in addition to EIT Manufacturing are: Politecnico di Milano, TU Delft, TU Wien, MADE Competence Centre, TU Darmstadt, TU Braunschweig, Aalto University, Chalmers University of Technology, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Mondragon University, Czech Technical University in Prague, Laboratory of manufacturing Systems & Automation in University of Patras.

Next steps: Working groups exploring common ground – additional participants welcome!

The LIFT activity concept, i.e. it’s topics and methodologies is now being further developed by working groups. The topics of these working groups range from Autonomous Robots to Augmented Reality. The outcomes of these working groups will be used to generate training contents to accelerate the industry 4.0 transformation. In addition to laboratories and training companies, academic institutions are also welcome to participate in developing the contents. Academic partners are encouraged to get in touch with Politecnico di Milano, as activity leader. Laboratories and training providers are encouraged to reach out to MADE Competence Center, as Business Owner.

Curious to know more?

Contact activity leader: Walter Quadrini (

Contact business owner: Valentina Nucera ( )