THE STARS PROJECT AIMS TO GIVE A BOOST TO SMES IN TERMS OF PRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE AND INNOVATIVE CAPACITY TO FACILITATE THE ADOPTION OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN MAKE THIS CHANGE POSSIBLE.
Today’s industry is living a situation of constant change, mainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by the three engines identified in the European Industrial Strategy: the transition to a greener Europe, global competitiveness and digital transition. That is why for a rapid recovery of the European economy after the pandemic, SMEs need be supported by actions and policy measures to adapt in the best possible way to the constant changes in the value chain and demand.
SMEs represent 90% of the railway industry, an industry with a market share of more than 80% in Europe and which represents almost half of the world market for railway products. Even so, in export matters it only covers 20% of the trade as the leading exporter. The global leadership of the European railway industry is largely due to the ability to innovate that it possesses, but even so, industry investments in R+&D+&i on the annual turnover is significantly lower compared to other transport sectors, so the key is in harness the full potential of the industrial transition and innovation for the adoption of advanced technologies in the SMEs across the whole railway value chain.
Therefore, the STARS project aims to give a boost to SMEs in terms of productive performance and innovative capacity to facilitate the adoption of Advanced Technologies that can make this change possible. And that is why its main objective is to develop a pilot project for the creation of a Strategic Alliance for SMEs in the sector.
In order to achieve this goal, the consortium of the STARS project has been formed by 11 clusters of the railway sector from 13 regions of 9 COSME countries (but covering 14 countries); 5 technology centres, selected based on the value chain and offering the complementary specialisation required to be able to accompany any SME during its transition; and by a blockchain network developer and provider that will dedicate specifically to the project. It will also have the support of 30 relevant European organisations, among which are the EU JU Shift2Rail, several contacts of the European Enterprise Network, IDEKO-DANOBAT, Mondragón Corporation, and several members of EIT / KIC.
The project will address all aspects related to the adoption of advanced technologies by SMEs and for this purpose, activities will be developed to support SMEs in the process of organisational/cultural change based on innovative models, a better understanding of the aspects of investment, and the return on investment (ROI) related to the adoption of Advanced Technologies, training and assistance on opportunities for financing investments, improvement and updating of qualifications, etc.
“The project will address all aspects related to the adoption of advances technologies by SMEs”.