Over 200 participants met for the MatchMaking Event in Milan

Great things can happen when open minds meet to swap ideas – and this is exactly what the EIT Manufacturing MatchMaking Event was designed to facilitate. CEO Klaus Beetz and designated CEO Caroline Viarouge opened the event and experienced a vibrant community in high spirits.

For two days, representatives from all players of the manufacturing ecosystem met to present and discuss ideas and challenges for innovation projects which they seek to submit for the 1st EIT Manufacturing Call for Proposals 2024.

More than 200 people attended the event which took place in Milano, Italy on 27 and 28 April 2023 and allowed ample time to network. “It was great to see how much people enjoyed the opportunity for an exchange in person – I did not see anybody standing on their own for a long time,” remarked Adrian Bablok, Project Manager from EIT Manufacturing Central. “The rooms were literally buzzing with activity.”

Focus on exchange

Presented challenges included the need for improvements of production processes, energy use, product quality or automation of processes. Technologies discussed were artificial intelligence, (collaborative) robotics, digital twins, circular design, machine vision as well as UX design for manufacturing software.

Each idea or challenge was introduced in short pitches, which were moderated by Edoardo Rota, Chiara Galleta and Miguel Angel Gorriz from the Innovation team. In one-on-one conversations, participants dived deeper. And app facilitated finding the right people to talk to and booking time slots to meet them – with over 970 appointments made, the event proved to hit a nerve in the EIT Manufacturing community and beyond.

Insights into the call process

The MatchMaking event also provided helpful insight into the call process and details of the guidelines in various ways. A panel of Directors –Kevin Lenahan (Business Creation), Konstantinos Georgoulias (RIS and EU Affairs), Paola Fantini (Education) and Xavier Baillard (Innovation) – answered questions about the call, the importance of the knowledge triangle integration into all innovation projects as well as the MatchMaking Event in the morning of 27 April.

Insights into services and existing projects

As EIT Manufacturing is dedicated to making innovation happen, some time in the event was also reserved for existing projects and further plans. In separate sessions, Education and RIS (Regional Innovation Scheme) teams spoke about current and upcoming projects.

In another dedicated session, Xavier Baillard introduced and explained the services of the Innovation Funding Catalyst (IFC) and Hannes Hunschofsky, Director EIT Manufacturing East, presented new services related to Business Intelligence.

To illustrate EIT Manufacturing’s role as a facilitator of collaboration and consortia in particular, Christian Bölling, Director EIT Manufacturing Central, spoke about the Austrian-German project EuProGigant https://euprogigant.com/en/ and how an ecosystem of sub-projects has been created from this Gaia-X lighthouse project. Hannes Hunschofsky added to this, explaining how EIT Manufacturing East helps build regional and national projects up to become European ones.

Walking the talk – hand-over to the new CEO

In the beginning of April, EIT Manufacturing announced that current CEO Klaus Beetz would hand over to Caroline Viarouge, who will be taking over the CEO role from 2 May. The two of them welcomed the participants of the MatchMaking Event together and Caroline Viarouge engaged with many people from the EIT Manufacturing community during the two days.

The MatchMaking event was a great opportunity to connect to a talent pool of experts giving a view on new technology available in different domains – a great success for network building and I’m looking forward to the follow-up discussions regarding technology integration.

Marcel Wirtz, Manager R&D Grant and Partnership, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Impressions from the MatchMaking Event 2023 in Milan

Check out our image gallery

The 1st Call for Proposal 2024

The 1st Call for Proposals 2024 offers the opportunity to fund innovation projects in three topics: optimising production processes and increasing resources efficiency through digital solutions (topic 1), socially sustainable and human-centric manufacturing (topic 2) and environmentally sustainable manufacturing through circular business models and new technologies (topic 3). The call is open until 19 June,17:00 CEST.

All information is available from the Call for Proposals 2024 webpage and from the dedicated sphere on AGORA.