Digital Innovation Hubs

DIH Profile

MADE - Competence Center

Hub Information

Hub Name
MADE - Competence Center
Local Name
Evolutionary Stage
Fully operational
Geographical Scope


MADE is an initiative promoted by the Industry 4.0 National Plan, and its model is a public-private partnership. It is a non-profit consortium and a technical partner of SMEs that works as a pan European Digital Innovation Hubs. Its peculiar methodology is to foster the company competitiveness concerning their business/production processes, products or services using digital technologies by providing its technology infrastructure and by enabling access to the latest knowledge, expertise and technology to support their customers with piloting, testing and experimenting with digital innovations.

It helps companies to become more competitive concerning their business/production processes, products or services using digital technologies. They are based upon technology infrastructure (Competence Centre - CC) and provide access to the latest knowledge, expertise and technology to support their customers with piloting, testing and experimenting with digital innovations

In particular, MADE can be considered the step further in the process of digital maturity evaluation started by Confindustria’s DIH. The first stage is to stimulate the demand for innovation, to strengthen SMEs’ knowledge and awareness about Industry 4.0 opportunities. Besides, with the support of partnering national universities and sector-leading firms, MADE provides training on new manufacturing technologies, testbeds implementation, a teaching/learning factory model based on the features of I4.0, and advisory services to assist SMEs on technology transfer.

MADE can act as an innovation center, supporting the enterprises in understanding how state-of-the-art technologies can improve their competitiveness. The “experiential learning” methodology, where instructional theory and foundations deliver across a technology-enabled environment with a teaching/learning approach, is actively implemented.

In MADE, every worker has the opportunity to experiment with physical equipment within real industrial premises. Its 13 ‘technological islands’ encompass all the topics of the manufacturing plant. For instance, users can test the design of a product using augmented reality, predict plant failures with predictive maintenance policies, monitor machine performance while measuring energy consumption, or how to use big data to optimize factory behaviour.

MADE provides activities in three macro-areas:

  1. Business orientation, with a series of tools, evaluations and analysis to support companies in the assessment of their digital and technological maturity level.
  2. Training, through a Teaching/Learning Factory paradigm aimed at developing knowledge, skills and competencies, as requested by real business needs.
  3. Deployment of innovation projects, industrial research, experimental development and technology transfer services in Industry 4.0.

In conclusion, firstly, MADE provides a set of knowledge, methods, technical and managerial skills on digital technologies to support companies in their digital transformation towards Industry 4.0. On the other side, thanks to the large demo-center of over 2000 sqm, it provides an I4.0 – pilot-based production facility for the initial test, demonstration and project development. Therefore, MADE offers space for co-working, meetings, training, advisory activities, research and innovation projects related to the topic of digital manufacturing topic. In a unique solution, it supports SMEs’ digital transformation.

In April 2020, meaning to participate in the EDIH initiative, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development assigned the consortium’s leadership to the competence centers.

Contact Data

Coordinator (University)
Year Established
Via Durando, 20158, Milano (Italy)
Social Media
Contact information
Filippo Boschi


Organizational form
Public Private Partnership
Number of employees


  • Cyber physical systems
  • Robotics
  • Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Mobility & Location based technologies
  • Interaction technologies
  • Cyber security
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Simulation, modelling and digital twins
  • Cloud computing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Logistics

This initiative is in the National Plan “Industria 4.0”, presented by the Italian Government in 2016, which provides for the creation of an innovative infrastructure composed of few and selected highly specialized Competence Centers (CC) and selected Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) all over the Country.

According to the National Plan:

  • Competence centers have to involve leading Italian Universities and large private players; they should support to key stakeholders (e.g. research institutions, startups,...). Their mission is to orient and expedite Industry 4.0 transformational projects in all domains;
  • DIHs are “soft” structures, and their specific aim is to create awareness and support companies in the knowledge of technologies and their application. DIHs’ network acts like a bridge, a steady and robust link between research and industry.

DIH is the contact point among companies, research institutions and public/private investors at a regional level. Their mission is to create awareness on the opportunities of Industry 4.0; provide support to the development of innovative investment plans; offer orientation to Industry 4.0 Competence Centers; favour the access to public and private financing solutions/investors; 

DIHs also interact with the European DIH.

MADE - Competence Center is involved in an EIT Manufacturing Project (LIFT project). The goal is to build a broad learning factories network ecosystem where the research and technology transfer fosters between the academia and the industry. It aims at building up the skills of the future and ad-hoc training curricula to ensure the competitiveness of European manufacturing SMEs.

MADE Competence Center’s activities perfectly synch with the regional Lombardy Region’s Smart Specialisation Strategy priorities:

  • advanced production processes;
  • mechatronics for advanced manufacturing systems;
  • modelling, simulation, forecasting methods and tools;
  • information and communication technologies;
  • sustainable production technologies;
  • advanced materials;
  • definition of management strategies and methods

Market and Services


  • Education
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of leather and leather products
  • Manufacture of chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment

TRL Focus

  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • TRL8 - Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • TRL9 - Actual system proven through successful mission operations

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Digital Maturity Assessment
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Support for technology transfer activities

Client profile: General Industries. There is a particular focus on the SMEs operating in a discrete manufacturing sector.

Clients Needs: typically, this service compares to companies that have identified the introduction of digital technologies as an enabling factor to solve production inefficiencies and to optimize their production processes.

Provided solution to meet the needs: For regional SMEs in the construction sector

We support a project that aims to digitize the production plant of an SME. In particular, the company needed to control the production progress of its plants as well as residual life its industrial assets to optimize production and maintenance planning. Hence, we designed a solution that first of all provides the identification of the sensors needed to implement the revamping process of production machines. Secondly, we supported the identification and implementation of a platform able to monitor and control the production process in real-time. Finally, the project ends with the selection of an information system able to integrate the information and data from the production process.

For 2 SMEs in the automation equipment sector

We support two projects to create a tool that will optimize a predictive maintenance service on the components or industrial machinery already completed. The phases of the project are the following: i) identification of the failure modes that characterize the industrial machinery ii) cause-effect relation analysis of the failure modes of industrial machinery iii) identification of the variables to be controlled and to monitor the state of degradation of the machine iv) realization of a mathematical model able to provide a diagnosis on the state of health of the machinery v) adoption of methodology needed to carry out the predictive maintenance activity based on diagnosis already evaluated vi) integration of the mathematical model within a platform implemented as a component of industrial machinery.

For a regional company in an electrical component sector:

According to the company’s strategic objectives, we have implemented a digital strategy that will identify, through a programmatic plan, the adoption of the technologies, the methodologies and the skills needed to increase the level of digitization of the company.

Post-Covid Business Support

Client profile: Global Industries. There is a particular focus on SMEs operating in a discrete manufacturing sector.

Client needs: Typically, the company that uses this service needs to receive the indications and the methodologies required to remedy the shock caused by the COVID emergency and how to manage a new start.

Provided solution to meet the needs: This service offers the opportunity to have a close interaction with a pool of experts (coming from both the academic and the industrial world) advising on several sub-topics: 

  • Reorganization and reconversion of plants
  • Industrial smart working 
  • Supply chain redesign 
  • Redesigning customer access and communication channels
  • Development and redefinition of processes, products and services and business models 
  • How to start over with what you already have
  • Technologies 4.0 in the post-COVID era

Business orientation and awareness creation

Client profile: Global Industries. There is a particular focus on SMEs operating in a discrete manufacturing sector.

Clients Needs: This service focuses on companies not aware of Industry 4.0 and willing to start a learning path about the impacts and the benefits of digital transformation.

Provided solution to meet the needs:

1. Organization of seminar and webinar focused on the technical topics of Industry 4.0 - in the link, you’ll find an example of awareness initiatives:

2. Organization of conferences aiming at boosting the importance of digital transformation, its benefits and the guideline for the correct implementation of a 4.0 solution - in the link in the link you can find an example of an awareness initiative:

3. Organization of workshops aiming at describing and pointing out a digital ecosystem capable of identifying a suitable partner for digital implementation. Besides, facilitate technology transfer activities - in the link you can find an example of an awareness initiative:


  • National specific innovation funding
  • Partner resources


Number of customers annually
Type of customers
  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Partners

    H2020 Projects

    • BEinCPPS
      Business Experiments in Cyber Physical Production Systems

      Business Experiments in Cyber Physical Production Systems

      BEinCPPS Innovation Action aims to integrate and experiment a CPS-oriented Future Internet-based machine-factory-cloud service platform firstly intensively in five selected Smart Specialization Strategy Vanguard regions (Lombardia in Italy, Euskadi in Spain, Baden Wuertemberg in Germany, Norte in Portugal, Rhone Alpes in France), afterwards extensively in all European regions, by involving local competence centers and manufacturing SMEs. The final aim of this Innovation Action is to dramatically improve the adoption of CPPSs all over Europe by means of the creation, nurturing and flourishing of CPS-driven regional innovation ecosystems, made of competence centers, manufacturing enterprises and IT SMEs.The BE in CPPS project stems upon three distinct pillars:• A FI-based three-layered (machine-factory-cloud) open source platforms federation, integrated from state-of-the-art R&I advances in the fields of Internet of Things, Future Internet and CPS / Smart Systems and able to bi-directionally interoperate data pertaining to the machine, the factory and the cloud levels.• A pan-European SME-oriented experimentation ecosystem. In a first phase of the project, the five Champions will provide requirements to the platforms integrators. In a second phase, an Open Call for IT SMEs developers (applications experiments) will award 10 third parties. In a final third phase, the extended platform will be instantiated and deployed in additional 10 third parties equipment experiment SMEs.• A well-founded method and toolbox for Innovation management, where an existing TRL-based methodology for KETs technology transfer will be enriched by a CPPS certification, education and training programme for young talents and experienced blue collar workers and by a well-founded three-fold (objectives-variables-indicators) method for results assessment and evaluation.

    • MIDIH
      Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs

      Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs

      VISION: By 2023, Europe will set the reference for the Industry 4.0 market: European CPS/IOT Open Digital Platforms providers will be able to flexibly and dynamically connect the Real World with digital Enterprise Systems through common open standards; European ICT SMEs will be growing fast through leadership in data-driven smart Industry 4.0 services; European Manufacturing SMEs will successfully compete globally with innovative products and services, digitised Industry 4.0 processes and innovative business models, involving their workforce at all levels in this Digital Transformation innovations.
      MISSION. The MIDIH 4.0 project aims at implementing the fast, dynamic, borderless, disruptive side of the I4MS innovation coin: technological services (interactive try-on demos, webinars, challenges, hackathons and awards) will be driven by young and dynamic ICT talents virtually meeting older and experienced manufacturing engineers in a one-stop-shop global marketplace; business services (ideas incubation, business acceleration, demand-offer matchmaking and brokerage, access to finance) will support SMEs, startups, web entrepreneurs as well as corporates in the delivery of innovative products and services, in accessing new markets, in fund-raising; skills building services (serious and role games, participative lessons and webinars, virtual experiments in physical teaching factories, professional courses for existing technicians as well as for executives) will not only help SMEs and corporates understand the new technologies, but also take full advantage of them, providing an operational framework that will stimulate trust, confidence and investments.
      The MIDIH project is an inclusive Innovation Action of 21 beneficiaries coming from 12 EU Countries, including, Competence  Centers, Digital Innovation Hubs, CPS/IOT Technology Providers as well as Lighthouse Manufacturing Industries. A two-iteration Open Call will help achieve a critical mass of cross-border experiments.

    • L4MS
      Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs

      Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs

      L4MS (Logistics For Manufacturing SMEs) will spark incremental (productivity increase of new users by a factor of 4 and system setup time reduction by a factor of 10) and disruptive innovation (batch size one & consumerization) for over 100,000 European Manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps, building on their intra-factory logistics challenge (50% of the production cost of an item) unleashing their digitalization potential by powering new robot systems that are more cost effective at lower lot sizes.

      L4MS relies upon:
      • An open industrial IoT platform with enablers for rapid and efficient deployment of customized logistics solutions.
      • A suite of "Smartization services" including business modelling, technical support, mentoring, access to skills and to finance.
      • The L4MS Marketplace, a one-stop-shop, where European Manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps will access the L4MS services.
      • A portfolio of 23 cross-border Application Experiments by 50 SMEs selected through 2 competitive Open Calls, that will test more than 40 services & apps leveraging 10M€ of public funding across 12 established and emerging Digital Innovation Hubs.
      • A growing ecosystem that will foster Smart Specialization in each single region linked to L4MS.

      L4MS will transform a pan-European ecosystem into a self-sustainable start-up operating an Open Platform for Innovations in Logistics (OPIL) and L4MS marketplace consisting of 21 members. Comprising 6 Competence Centres, 5 technology providers, 4 industry associations, 3 end-users and 3 business developers -currently engaged in I4MS (XS2I4MS, HORSE and BEinCPPS) and FIWARE- plus 6 Satellites Nodes. L4MS covers 14 EU countries, 15 regions with 8 of them from East Europe.

      L4MS will help demonstrate that public funded research with a “Smartization” approach (accelerating Industry 4.0) can help manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps achieve digital excellence and global competitiveness through logistics automation become “entrepreneurial states and digital industries”.

    • DIH-HERO
      Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics

      Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics

      DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics) will establish a broad-based pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs specialising in Healthcare Robotics. The network will focus on developing services that join business and healthcare stakeholders in developing innovative products and services for the healthcare market. DIH-HERO will develop channels between healthcare and technology providers that reduce barriers to adoption and which develop strong mutual understanding between robotics technology innovators and healthcare professionals. DIH-HERO will operate throughout the healthcare "pathway" that connects Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care as well as covering all aspects of hospital logistics and clinical services. It will also focus on home and care-based robotics addressing healthy aging and elderly care. The DIH-HERO consortium brings together a comprehensive network of partners reaching north, south, east and west across the European regions. The partners bring with them connection to their own regional networks and extensive expertise in healthcare innovation that ranges from surgical intervention to care at home. Each Hub partner delivers both technical and medical expertise to the consortium through their pre-existing operational relationships with hospitals and healthcare facilities. They couple in-built expertise in business development, access to finance and innovation to robotics technology and healthcare expertise in a network of hubs that will connect and stimulate robotics innovation in all aspects of healthcare. DIH-HERO is built on concrete plans to sustain the network beyond the time span of the project and to provide a long term network for innovators in healthcare. The network of Digital Innovation Hubs created and supported by DIH-HERO will ensure that robotics innovation in healthcare is accelerated, that SME can develop global reach and that the advantages of robotics based healthcare can be propagated across Europe.

    • DIH4CPS
      Fostering DIHs for Embedding Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems of European SMEs

      Fostering DIHs for Embedding Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems of European SMEs

      The initiative for Fostering DIHs for Embedding Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems of European SMEs (DIH4CPS) will help European enterprises overcome these innovation hurdles and establish Europe as a world leading innovator of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. DIH4CPS will create an embracing, interdisciplinary network of DIHs and solution providers, focussed on cyber-physical and embedded systems, interweaving knowledge and technologies from different domains, and connecting regional clusters with the pan-European expert pool of DIHs. Backed by the IVLab, an experienced and well-established network organisation focussed on Interoperability, DIH4CPS can innately build on an extensive existing network, add value to its existing knowledge transfer capabilities and guarantee the sustainability of the growing DIH network. DIH4CPS expands the already existing network and aims for creating an integrated platform for DIHs from different, especially digitally underdeveloped sectors and regions. A selection of eleven initially starting application experiments guarantees an outstanding funding for European SMEs and Mid-Caps right from the start and demonstrates the high dedication of the consortium to reduce the digital divide. At least ten additional experiments will take up that torch during the project and allow external companies from sectors in need to further exploit the DIH4CPS network and uplift their portfolio, especially by including (semi)-autonomy into their products and systems. DIH4CPS will not only benefit the application experiments but also the individual DIHs by significantly complementing the regional investments made. Implemented in the IVLab structure, the DIH4CPS Network will leverage and sustain its impact far beyond the project duration, creating a vibrant, overarching and cross sector one-stop-shop for collaboration between SMEs, DIHs and Tech providers.

    • HUBCAP


      HUBCAP will provide a one-stop-shop for European SMEs wanting to join the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) revolution. It builds on seven established Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in seven European countries, each embedded in its regional innovation ecosystem, offering complementary technical expertise, experimental capabilities, and specialist knowledge in CPS application domains. From this base, HUBCAP will create a growing and sustainable European network offering SMEs opportunities to undertake experiments, seek investment, access expertise and training, and form new business links. This is enabled by a cloud-based open collaboration platform with a ‘sandbox’ capability to help users trial new technology.
      HUBCAP will lower barriers for SMEs to realise the potential of growing autonomy in CPSs by accessing advanced Model-Based Design (MBD) technology, providing training and guidance, and acting as a gateway to the full network of all registered DIHs specialising in CPS. Half the project funding will go to supporting SMEs, including open call funding for SMEs join the ecosystem and experiment with MBD technology. HUBCAP will extend an existing open collaboration platform to enable SMEs to co-create, analyse and validate new CPS products in a virtual setting, by accessing CPS assets (models, tools, services) and experimenting with new solutions, de-risking investments in skills or resources.
      The consortium’s DIHs have been chosen to cover complementary MBD capabilities. They represent a wide area of Europe and offer considerable experience in Innovation Actions, managing open calls, and outreach to businesses. Technology providers will help populate and validate the initial collaboration platform and carefully selected seed SMEs will assist in kickstarting the ecosystem and reaching out to entirely new users of MBD technologies. HUBCAP will ensure sustainability through a not-for-profit association to extend and maintain the network and platform after the project.

    • AI REGIO
      Regions and DIHs alliance for AI-driven digital transformation of European Manufacturing SMEs

      Regions and DIHs alliance for AI-driven digital transformation of European Manufacturing SMEs

      The AI REGIO project aims at filling 3 major gaps currently preventing AI-driven DIHs from implementing fully effective digital transformation pathways for their Manufacturing SMEs: at policy level the Regional vs. EU gap; at technological level the Digital Manufacturing vs. Innovation Collaboration Platform gap; at business level the Innovative AI (Industry 5.0) vs Industry 4.0 gap.
      POLICY. Regional smart specialization strategies for Efficient Sustainable Manufacturing and Digital Transformation (VANGUARD initiative for Industrial Modcernisation) are so far insufficiently coordinated and integrated at cross-regional and pan-EU level. SME-driven >AI innovations cannot scale up to become pan-EU accessible in global marketplaces as well as SME-driven experiments remain trapped into a too local dimension without achieving a large scale dimension. Regional vs. EU Gap.
      TECHNOLOGY. Digital Manufacturing Platforms DMP and Digital Innovation Hubs DIH play a fundamental role in the implementation of the Digital Single Market and Digitsing European Industry directives to SMEs, but so far such initiatives, communities, innovation actions are running in a quite independent if not siloed way, where very often Platform-related challenges are not of interest for DIHs and Socio-Business impact not of interest for DMP. DMP vs. DIH Gap.
      BUSINESS. Many Industrial Data Platforms based on IOT Data in Motion and Analytics Data at Rest have been recently developed to implement effective Industry 4.0 pilots (I4MS Phase III platforms). The AI revolution and the new relationship between autonomous systems and humans (Industry 5.0) has not been properly addressed in I4MS so far. AI I5.0 vs. I4.0 Gap.
      AI REGIO is following the 4 steps for VANGUARD innovation strategy (learn-connect-demonstrate-commercialize) by constantly aligning its methods with the AI DIH Network initiative and its assets with I4MS/DIH BEinCPPS Phase II and MIDIH / L4MS Phase III projects. AI REGIO: Industry 5.0 for SMEs

    Last updated: 03/08/20 15:48