Digital Transformation

New technologies are changing Europe's industrial landscape. The only way for European SMEs to compete on the global market is not on scale, but by seizing the opportunities of the digital transformation and competing on knowledge, efficiency and creativeness.” Peter Statev, Chairman of the Board, Maribor Conference

What is ICT Cluster doing in order to speed up digital transformation in Bulgarian SMEs? 

DigiTech 4.0 - one-stop-shop, serving Bulgarian companies to digitize their business

In line of the ICT Cluster main activities and aims for supporting Industrial Modernization and Value Chain Linkages,  in 2017th ICT Cluster together with Center of Excellence of Technical University of Sofia and Move BG. established Bulgarian Innovation and Technology Hub – DigiTech 4.0.

ICT Cluster is the coordinating organization of DigiTech 4.0

Supported by 22 organizations - Sofia Tech Park, RTOs, business support organizations, academia, VCs,  companies - technology providers,  government authorities and etc.

Among the 34 DIHs supported by Smart Factories in new EU Member states programme.



Mission and Vision

The mission:  to drive digital transformation and smart manufacturing of Bulgarian companies

Industrial focus: automotive, mechatronics and ICT sectors in Bulgaria

The vision:  to become a national center supporting companies’ competitiveness through digital transformation and thus to have a significant positive impact on industrial sectors in Bulgaria and the region.

The competitive advantages - knowledge, expertise, network and access to the necessary facilities and infrastructure for prototyping, process improvement, product development and testing.

DigiTecH 4.0. – portfolio of services

For more information, visit the DigiTech’s web page:



- Needs analysis

 ICT Cluster in the framework of Smart Factory Hub project, financed by Danube Interreg programme performed a survey among Bulgarian manufacturing companies in order to identify the state and the position of these companies in the process of digitization and smart manufacturing.

The basic conclusions from the survey are:

  • From a technical perspective (systems and solutions) the Smart manufacturing is not well perceived among Bulgarian SMEs,
  • SMEs have difficulties to understand the benefits brought by the digital transformation.
  • SMEs are facing a variety of challenges when it comes to the implementation of Smart manufacturing technologies, but the most important two are related to the lack of information/knowledge and investment for implementation.
  • Only 16 % of SMEs currently use the Smart manufacturing systems/solutions in their organization.

- Advanced manufacturing transformation

As a coordinator of DigiTech 4.0, ICT Cluster became a member of ADMA adviser network aiming to support European SMEs in their “Factory of the Future” (FoF) development.

Using the European advance manufacturing methodology, developed by ADMA, ICT Cluster is leading Bulgarian manufacturing SMEs through their process of transformation towards next – generation factories.

The transformation process:  

Phase  1: Assessment of the SME’s Vision and ambition – what are the SME’s needs, their vision and ambition  with regards to future development,  stakeholders: clients (product), individual employees, shareholders, society and etc.

Phase 2 Assessment of the SMEs’ readiness for adoption advanced manufacturing solutions and social innovation strategies, based on 7 transformation areas. The ICT Cluster’s advisor will perform analysis to highlight the company’s transformation maturity

Phase 3. Development of transformation plan. Our advisors help SMEs in their transformation plans

Phase 4. Implementation plan. Our advisors will help SMEs to:

-  identify solutions matching each transformation challenge and objectives.

- analyze investment, impact and risk

- connect them with the right solution/technology/infrastructure providers

- develop a plan for implementing the “selected solutions”

- do a combination of direct implementation, R&D and feasibility studies

- attract funding/ investment

- train their human resources


ICT Cluster’s advisors help SMEs in their transformation and Implementation plans to become a Factory of the Future

Phase 1: Vision & ambition

Phase 2: Factory of the Future assessment

Phase 3: Transformation plan

Phase 4: Implementation plan

Phase 5: Factory of the Future assessment


The methodology is based on 7 transformation areas:

  • World Class Manufacturing Technologies,
  • End-to-end Engineering,
  • Digital Factory,
  • Human-centred Production,
  • Networked Factory,
  • Eco Production
  • Smart Production Systems

For more information, contact US

Smart Factory Cooperation Platform

The Smart Factory Cooperation Platform (SFCP), has been developed within Smart Factory Hub project. The platform supports SMEs by providing a geographic overview and give some information about actors, good practices, projects and facilitators and, thus, foster the match between the demand (production/ manufacturing organizations) and supply (solution providers) tendencies.

The mapping tool consists of five main panels of which some have additional four subcategories to choose from and the search bar with numerous filtering options. All of this is accompanied by the interactive map.

Users can lessen the inputted organizations list by selecting commands/values from four dropdown subcategories with a series of relevant options, namely Country, Market sectors, Organization type and Services provided, which allows them to perform a custom search.

There are also panels for  projects panel, Funding schemes, Product and services and the Facilitators

Companies and other organizations can and are welcomed to register by clicking on the “Register your organization” button and filling in the requested data.

- Bringing together solution providers and manufacturing SMEs

Do you have an innovative product or service that you want to present to the European market and which can increase productivity, increase efficiency, production efficiency, reduce risk or offer another solution for modernization and digitization of manufacturing enterprises - please contact us!

We enable innovative companies to present their digitization solutions to companies and partners across Europe.

Good practies

- Cross – regional Voucher scheme

Cross-regional pilot voucher scheme was developed within Smart Factory Hub project. The main aim of the scheme was to introduce smart and innovative solutions into production processes by supporting transnational transfer of smart solutions (i.e., Smart manufacturing) into domestic production-oriented micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The vouchers have to improve the efficiency of production-oriented micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through the transfer of smart and innovative technical solutions into production processes that in the context of demonstration projects show improvements in the areas of (1) cost-effectiveness, (2) quality assurance and (3) risks management, and consequently promote transition to Industry 4.0.

ICT Cluster provided two vouchers of the amount of 7 500 euro to two companies, in line with the execution of project Smart Factory Hub, that were approved and did feasibility studies on technology transfer of smart solution and the implementation  of it into their production processes.