Digital Innovation Hubs Digital Innovation Hubs

Smart Industry Centre (SmartIC) Smart Industry Centre (SmartIC)

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Contact Data


Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ)

Year Established



Ehitajate tee 5, 19086, Tallinn (Estonia)


Social Media

Contact information

Prof. Tauno Otto



The vision of the SmartIC hub is to ensure that Estonian manufacturing SMEs, big or small, can fully benefit in innovations in the field of ICT and robotics and thus improve its business and production processes and adapt its business models to the digital change to be globally competitive. Smartic is establishing a new digital research infrastructure. Smart industry (Industry 4.0) is a field that includes R&D activities related to distributed infrastructure at Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian University of Life Sciences in mechanical and industrial engineering, automation, mechatronics, materials science and engineering, and ICT. A new R&D virtual unit Smart Industry Centre (SmartIC) was established to enhance significantly the field of smart industry research, cross-usage of research infrastructures in Estonia (universities and partners), as well as internationally (R&D cooperation projects, applied research with international companies, e.g. in sectors such as aerospace, automotive industry, ship-building, and other industries) through co-operation, marketing and jointly defined services. Composing of the Centre was motivated from the current state of Estonian economy and industry – in addition to extensive low-priced and low-skilled outsourcing is more and more needed to develop value adding high-tech production. Estonia has not any longer advantage of a low-cost industrial country. To cope with this, also universities should show a clear direction and become more capable partner in R&D to the industry in modernizing of technology and in preparing industry's top professionals.

SmartIC keskuse eemärgiks on tagada, et Eesti väikesed ja keskmise suurusega tootmisettevõtted saaksid kasu digiteerimise läbi tehtavatest uuendustest, parendaksid seeläbi oma tootmisprotsesse ning kohandaksid oma tootmis- ja ärimudelid digitaalseks muutuseks, et olla ülemaailmselt konkurentsivõimelised. SmartIC näol on tegemist teaduse- ja arendustöö toetamiseks loodava uue tuumiktaristuga – nutika tootmise (Industry 4.0) vallas, mis koondab endasse teadus- ja arendustegevusega seotud hajus-struktuurid (distributed infrastructure) Tallinna Tehnikaülikoolis ja Eesti Maaülikoolis mehaanika, masinaehituse, automaatika, mehhatroonika, materjaliteaduse ja -tehnoloogia ning infotehnoloogia vallas. Uus T&A virtuaalse üksuse Smart Industry Centre (SmartIC) missiooniks on koostöö ja turunduse ning ühtselt määratletud teenuste kaudu suurendada märkimisväärselt nutika tootmise valdkonna teadustööd, infrastruktuuride ristkasutamist nii Eestis (ülikoolid ja koostööpartnerid) kui ka rahvusvaheliselt (T&A koostööprojektid, rakendusuuringud rahvusvaheliste ettevõtetega, nt lennunduse, autotööstuse, laevanduse jm vallas). Keskuse loomise ajendiks oli Eesti majanduse ja tööstuse hetkeseis – odavama hinnaga ja madalamate oskustega allhanketöödele on vaja aina rohkem juurde luua suuremat lisandväärtust loovat kõrgtehnoloogilist tootmist. Eestil ei ole enam odava tootmismaa eelist. Selleks peavad aga ka ülikoolid selget suunda näitama, olema tööstusele võimekamaks partneriks T&A-s, tehnoloogia uuendamisel ja tööstusele tippspetsialiste ette valmistamisel.

Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry

The overall value-added of the new DIH – the SmartIC is to strengthen the ecosystem of different partners of research, development centres and SMEs to jointly focus on how to better use ICT in manufacturing SMEs in Estonia and how to be all together more integrated into European I4MS network and thus the global market.The main strategy document for Estonia's RD&I policy is Knowledge-based Estonia. 2014–2020, approved by the Riigikogu (Estonia's parliament) SmartIC is developed according to this strategy of Estonian smart specialisation growth area: information and communication technologies (ICT) related to other areas of economy (e.g., use of ICT for automating industrial processes); but also in framework of I4MS (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs). Estonian Government supported SmartIC by 1.6 mln EUR for 2016-2018 period.In setting general goals, the Growth Strategy has relied on the two umbrella objectives of the competitiveness plan "Estonia 2020", namely:1) To increase productivity per employed person to 80% of the EU average; 2) To raise the employment rate in the age group 20–64 to 76%.

Market and Services

Market sectors

  • Education
  • Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment
  • Other Manufacturing

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Commercial infrastructure
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Platform for off-line and on-line teaching in robotics (ITT Grupp).
The objective was to develop a concept for interactive web-based training system and realise this
as a training platform in the web. The platform was general in nature and enabled to develop
different solutions for giving clear explanations, solve the problems arisen in workplace during
operation as well as organise smaller trainings in the workplace. The platform enabled to
communicate with customers in different locations. The main concept of the platform was
developed and tested. Describing of the problem field (robotisation) was planned. There were 2
main topics in this problem field: 1) analysis of work situation and efficiency of work
realization, explanation of the causes of errors and opportunities for increasing the
effectiveness; 2) training for programming and use of industrial robot, handling of different
situations and analysis of causes of errors.
The clients are different schools and educational organisations (see

Design and implementation of the industry automation solutions for automobile industry (IPTE Automation).
The process for fulfilling the customer order about the automation task was described, analysing
the risks in the company and developing the extended supply chain for integrating the resources
and competences.
The objective was to optimise order handling process for solving automation tasks in the
company. Main phases of the process and their sequence were determined and possible risks in
development of automation solutions were mapped. Also it was important in this use-case to analyse
extended supply chain and its possibilities for efficient use of resources. The conclusions of this
use-case give input for developing network between companies, universities and competence
centres and their collaboration for solving complicated engineering tasks.
The customer was Estonian company.

Robot-welding system - creating new solutions for problems in the field of robotics based on analysis and estimation of the existing knowledge (IMECC).
The objective of the use-case was to develop a methodology and share experiences about the experiment,  starting from the description of the need in the company up to the implementation of the real system with the support of the competence centre and analysing the possibilities for further development with setting new  asks. It was important for DIH and competence centre IMECC to achieve knowledge to plan and realise such kind of projects in the companies in different fields of robotisation (welding, assembly, logistics etc.).
Industry 4.0 technologies were used in digitalisation process. Objectives and tasks for automation level, productivity, flexibility, quality assurance and profitability of the system were set.
The co-operation partner and customer was Norcar BSB Eesti.


Organizational form

Networked organization, without formal structure



Number of employees


Evolutionary Stage

Fully operational

Geographical Scope



  • Horizon 2020
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National basic research funding


Number of customers annually


Type of customers

  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Research organisations



Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL)

ITT Group OÜ

Estonian Electronics Industries Association

Association of Mechatronics (MECA)

Federation of Estonian Engineering Industry (EML)

Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ)

Ensto Ensek AS


Jalax AS

Mistra-Autex AS

Estonian Plastics Association

Norcar BSB Eesti AS

Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ)

AQ Lasertool OÜ

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences (TTK)

IPTE Automation OÜ

Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMÜ)

Technological competences

  • Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
  • Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
  • Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • ICT management, logistics and business systems
Last updated: 20/12/18 12:29