The 'small projects fund' INDUSTR_I4.0 will accelerate the digital transition within the manufacturing industry in the entire Dutch-German border region. In doing so, the project does not focus on the frontrunners, but rather on the group of SMEs that follows: the pack. The focus is on the adoption and implementation of digital technology to accelerate innovations among SMEs. INDUSTR_I4.0 is supported by the Interreg VI programme Germany-Netherlands. Oost NL is implementing the project. Companies can apply for subsidies for feasibility studies and innovation projects from April 2024. A total of 10 million euro is available for this purpose. INDUSTR_I4.0 runs from 2024 to 2027.


In recent years, great strides have been made in the digital transition of (manufacturing) industry/ industry 4.0, also known as Smart Industry. But we are not there yet: research by Radboud University shows that only 15% of entrepreneurs in the border region use advanced Industry 4.0 technology and that much of this technology is developed in isolation and hardly connects with other digital technologies.

While a small part of the business community has benefited from digital transition support measures in recent years, a larger part seems to be struggling to capitalise on the opportunities of the digital transition: The 'platoon' thus risks falling further and further behind the leading group and losing connection.

Subsidy enables SMEs to innovate

INDUSTR_I4.0 aims to change this. Specifically, by realising 80 cross-border digital innovation projects and 80 feasibility studies. With its focus on adoption and implementation of digital technology, the instrument matches the target group. In doing so, the focus is not on the development of an entirely new AI protocol, for example, but rather on the application of AI to further innovate business processes. In the coming years, INDUSTR_I4.0 will support around 200 entrepreneurs in the border region. Within the projects, cooperation between Dutch and German partners is a requirement.


The small project fund INDUSTR_I4.0 is implemented within the framework of the Interreg VI programme Deutschland-Nederland and is co-financed by the European Union, MWIKE NRW, the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Bundes-und Europaangelegenheiten und Regionale Entwicklung, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the provinces of Fryslân, Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. INDUSTR_I4.0 is implemented by the following partners: NOM/TCNN, BOM, LIOF, Emsland GmbH, FH Munster/TAFH, HS Niederrhein, WIR4/MCC and Oost NL.



Oost NL


Erwin Altena
project manager Tech
+31 (06) 149 795 33

Tom Cornelissen
senior project manager Tech
+31 (0)6 289 091 94