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The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is spending up to €150 million to fund the development of a cross-sector digital ecosystem for data exchange for industry. The aim of this funding programme is to take data-based cooperation between industrial companies in industrial value-added networks one step further and thus contribute to a more competitive and sustainable industrial sector. Interested consortia can now apply for funding and submit their project drafts.

Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, said: “The Manufacturing-X industry initiative is an important lever for the digital transformation of industry. It aims to make production more efficient and industrial supply chains more resilient through close cooperation on data. As a result, German industry can transform itself internationally from a factory equipment supplier into a digital supplier and at the same time become a pioneer in climate-friendly industrial production. This is also important for our small and medium-sized companies, as they play an important role in industrial supply chains and will therefore be part of the funding programme.”

The "Manufacturing-X" initiative has developed in the context of the Industrie 4.0 Platform and consists of companies, industry associations and other stakeholders. The Federal Government has selected the initiative as an important project in its digital strategy. The participants want to enable a trusting exchange and joint use of data along industrial value chains. This paves the way for new digital solutions and business models, such as supply chain monitoring, smart production or closed product cycles. At the same time, all participating companies in the network retain sovereignty over their own data.

In order for this to succeed, a uniform system of architecture with common and interoperable solutions is necessary, which can be designed according to open source rules by all involved parties. The funding measure builds on projects such as Catena-X for the automotive industry. Application-oriented project ideas that are relevant for many branches of industry are now in demand. Industrial supply chains also include numerous medium-sized companies and international partners. "Manufacturing-X" should therefore be open to small and medium-sized companies and international partners right from the outset.

Project drafts can be submitted to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action from now until 31 December 2023. Approval of suitable projects is to be granted in some cases by the end of 2023. The duration of the projects is limited to the end of 2026 at the latest.

The call for funding in the Federal Gazette can be found here.