Supported by Innovation Norway, IDN and technology partner ICB Digital is developing a Cloud-based Smart Factory solution for manufacturing SMEs. The development takes place in close collaboration with manufacturing partner HTS Maskinteknikk.

The Challenge

Going digital and running a digitalization project has become priority number one on the agenda for many enterprises in all sizes and various sectors of the economy. Digitalization and automation are transforming manufacturing in several ways including intelligent products communication (IoT), digital supply chain, automation based on robotics and computer-aided manufacturing and automation of internal processes.

However, researches show that so far mostly large enterprises have managed to empower their digitalization projects, supported by extensive investments into IT infrastructure and human capacity. Considering that for larger enterprises enabling the SMART factory could be a matter of planning and managing their available IT budgets, for the small and
medium-sized business, keeping up with the new digital market trends is a challenge in terms of available financial and human resources.

Looking at the European level statistics, only 5% of SME enterprises have started their digitalization projects. If we look into details into the Norwegian manufacturing industry, we won’t be able to see much better results. Moreover, the industry is literally struggling for the past five years, not being able to generate profit and to grow.


The Solution (Industry4SME)

IDN and its partners aim at developing an Industry 4.0 solution that is affordable, accessible and relatively easy to integrate and tailored to the business needs of the customers, this will enable manufacturing SMEs to become Factories of the future.

The main objective of Industry4SME is to offer an affordable pay-as-you-go Industry 4.0 solution in the cloud (Microsoft Azure), tailored to the production processes of small to medium enterprises. The platform will drive the digital transformation of the production in the direction of smart maintenance, digital supply chain, and new data-driven business models.

Following the key Industry 4.0 design principles, Industry4SME aims to inter-connect business-level software systems (such as ERP, PLM, CRM) with operational data from the field, thus allowing observed manufacturing operations to be compared against planned. In a contribution to the third Industry 4.0 pillar, the system will support human operators in their day-to-day decision-making tasks.

Project Partners:


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  2. Project period: September 2018 - June 2020 
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Ecorys is one of the oldest research and consulting companies in Europe. In the summer of 2012 it will celebrate our 83rd anniversary.

Ecorys history dates back to 1929, when a group of businessmen from Rotterdam established the Foundation The Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI). Poverty relief and other social issues were regarded as important social and economic problems. During the ’90s, Ecorys’ expertise proved important with regards to the growth of the EU and reformation processes in countries in Middle and Eastern Europe. To be able to cope with globalization and in order to stay competitive, NEI developed into a pan European company. Offices were established in Brussels and Moscow.

In 1999 NEI merged with Kolpron Consultants. In 2000 the diversification and internationalization was continued by merging with the British company ECOTEC Research and Consulting, specializing in social policy. The name Ecorys was chosen as new name for the Group.


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Anders Stølan: CEO/President

Anders Stølan: CEO/President

Mr. Stølan holds a M.Sc. degree at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), within technical-economic planning in regional and urban areas. Master thesis focused on Regional and Local Economic Impacts of Petrochemical Industrialization.

Presently he is the President/CEO of International Development Norway. He was a Research Director at SINTEF, one of the largest Scandinavian research institutes , in the period 1997-2003, and 2004-2008, as well as scientist in SINTEF Industrial Management, Economics and Logistics. As a researcher on “commercialization of technology” he was engaged at Surrey Technology Centre, Surrey University, Guildford UK, 2003-2004. He also has experience as assistant professor, Department of Managerial Economic and Operations Research, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Mr. Stølan has extensive international experience in project development management and consulting, local economic development, innovation and trans-national technology transfer. More than 20 years of practice experience in delivering and managing SME innovation and competitiveness actions. In total more than 12 years of experiences in building up and manage research activities in SINTEF and proven competences in terms of R&D and innovation within Norway, Europe and developing countries. Direct access to numerous institutions and networks regarding technology innovation, innovative SMEs, regional development and science and technology policy. Experience in managing projects funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA), EU funded: Framework Programmes, Competitiveness Innovation Programmes (CIP), EEA grants, but also private clients (industry).

Of significant importance is his engagement at the projects with technology transfer and commercialization of technology, innovative solutions in solar energy and their contribution to decentralized robust solutions and job creation (project Technology & Business Cooperation Norway-Uzbekistan), Waste Treatment Solutions (2011-2013 Serbia), Process and Supplier Industry Development based on Natural Gas in Uzbekistan (2010-2011), Local Innovation and Business Development in Bioenergy and Plastic Recycling, Romania (2009-2011¬). In the period 2008-2012 he also provided support in Technological Innovations in Micro Combined Cooling Heating Power Romania (mCCHP Innovation), WEEE Technology Transfer and Promotion between Norway-Poland, as well as Environmental Technology Transfer Mid-Norway Poland and Joint Applied Research and Economic Cooperation between Norway and Kharhov Region.

View Anders Stølan's profile on LinkedIn

  1. Position: CEO/President
  2. Location: Norway
  3. Mobile: +47 92442175 (Norway)
  4. Mobile: +380 987729377 (Ukraine)
  5. E-mail:

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