Today, the representatives of small and medium enterprises in the metal, plastics, and related industries were presented with the possibilities offered by the Learning Factory at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, which are enhanced with new know-how in the field of digitalization. The support that the Center will provide to manufacturing companies ranges from new product testing, prototyping, transfer of know-how in the field of digitalization, robotics, 3D printing, reversible engineering, Internet of Things, virtualization of computer resources and cloud computing, support, education and consulting of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) toward Industry 4.0.
Nevenko Herceg, Prime Minister of the Hercegovina-Neretva Canton said „Today we are witnessing a dynamic demonstration of digitalization studies and a presentation of high technologies that will be used here at the Learning Factory for the needs of local businesses and students. These technologies include robotics, metrology, the use of 3D laser technology, reversible engineering, and more. All of this will be of significant help to our local companies in developing their efficiency, but also to young people who are in the process of acquiring cutting-edge know-how.“
The learning factory operates within the University of Mostar, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Computing and Electrical Engineering, and is a place of cooperation between companies and academia with the support of institutions. Thanks to the projects „Increasing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises through digitalization – IC SMED ” and “Reconnecting universities and the economy to stimulate innovation”, the capacity of the Learning Factory has been improved to support MSMEs towards digital transformation. This will help MSMEs to increase revenue and strengthen their competitiveness in foreign markets, and ultimately create new jobs and develop the local community. At the open day event held today in Mostar, the main goals of the “IC SMED” and “KnowHUB” project, planned activities, as well as partners were presented.
The Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical engineering, computing, and electrical engineering, Željko Stojkić pointed out that the Learning Factory is part of the worldwide network of the International Association of Learning Factories and that it is not easy to get into the network. This way, young people, students, assistants and professors can participate in the development and implementation of projects with other partners from the Learning Factory network.
Marko Perić, co-founder and production manager of the company Macom d.o.o. says that he has been cooperating with the University for several years in the way of student internships, and through the current project they have raised that cooperation to a higher level. Namely, the new 3D printing devices available at the Center for Digitalization enabled the company to launch a new product to the EU market. The product is currently in its final phase, and assistant professors and students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering have worked on the development.
The KnowHUB project lasts 36 months, and the value of the projects is BAM 208,423.00, out of which BAM 183,975.13 is co-financed by the EU under the project Erasmus +.
The IC SMED project lasts 18 months, and the total value of the project is BAM 606,661.84, out of which BAM 478,985.84 is financed by the EU through the EU4Business project. The leading implementer of the project is the University of Mostar, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Computing and Electrical Engineering in partnership with the Development Agency of the West Herzegovina County HERAG and five companies from the metal and plastic sector: SIK d.o.o., Škutor d.o.o., MA COM d.o.o., TEM mandeks d.o.o. and Weltplast d.o.o.
EU4Business is the European Union’s project aiming to strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capacity for economic growth and employment by fostering competitiveness and innovation in selected sectors. EU4Business is worth EUR 16.1, out of which 15 million is funded by the European Union and the EUR 1.1 million is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. The project is jointly implemented by GIZ, UNDP, and ILO, from April 2018 to March 2022. EU4Business is part of the Local Self-Government and Economic Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina supported by the German Government. For more information, please visit: www.eu4business.ba.