1. Expert workshop in Bulgaria 



The Digital Coach project supports the introduction of digitization in practical training


The project aims to introduce new methods and standards for practical training of pupils and students in accordance with the requirements of Industry 4.0, the introduction of digitization, assessment of companies’ readiness and identification of improvement measures (ADAPTION Model), training of the so- called Digital Coach, adaptation and introduction of the concept for the Learning Factories in Bulgaria.

The Gabrovo Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a partner for Bulgaria in the DIGITAL COACH project, the leading organization of which is the Institute for Labor and Legal Sciences at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. Chambers of Commerce and Industry and universities from Hungary, Greece, Italy are also participating. The project is financed under the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission.

On June 24 and 25, an information seminar was held in Gabrovo in a hybrid format. The experts from Germany were present online and presented the purpose of the project, provided the participants with a virtual tour of the learning factory of the Ruhr University. The activities at the regional level for introducing the requirements of Industry 4.0, the activity and goals of the Regional Innovation Center “Ambitious Gabrovo”, innovative projects that are being developed, as well as the possibilities of the first non-capital Technology Park were also presented.

The further practical activity of the project in Bulgaria will be carried out together with several local partners:

  1. PTG “Dr. N. Vasiliadi”. This is the third project implemented by the GTPP together with vocational high schools from the region and is supported by the Regional Education Department in Gabrovo. In his welcome to the participants, the Head of RUO Gabrovo, Georgi Marinov, emphasized the close and fruitful relationship that exists between business and professional education.
  2. Gabrovo Technical University is a partner in the part related to the creation and functioning of training factories.
  3. Companies from Gabrovo directly involved in professional training.

The training of so-called digital coaches to help assess the maturity of training-related companies for Industry 4.0 and the introduction of digitization is forthcoming.

The second day was dedicated to a visit to the Technology Park at Gabrovo Technical University, also built with European funds, and familiarization with its possibilities.





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Firt Expert Workshop in Hungary 

Digital transformation, Industry 4.0 – company visits in the frame of the Digital Coach project


In the framework of the Digital Coach project, on the 17th and 18th of June 2021. the Industry 4.0 Technology Center of The Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Z Elektronika Ltd. of Pécs, Hungary, provided participants with a hands-on, personal experience of what digitalisation has to offer their businesses at a two-day workshop in June.


Digital transformation is part of our everyday lives. If we are already using it regularly in our personal lives, why not exploit its potential for our businesses? When we think of Industry4.0, everyone thinks of manufacturing and large production plants. But technology can bring benefits to almost all businesses.

Under the Erasmus+ program, the Digital Coach project is developing solutions to help businesses and organizations develop the skills and strategies needed for digitalisation. The aim is to create a job profile for a “Digital Coach”, who can be either an in-house employee or an external expert. This will be achieved through a training program for digital coaches. In the future, the digital coach could support enterprises in developing and implementing digital business models.

The current situation of enterprises is assessed using the ADAPTION assessment methodology of the University of Bochum, which was presented in detail by a university staff member. The ADAPTION model is a 9-step methodology that assesses the current situation of the business and then sets out the objectives to be achieved. The methodology shows the strengths and further development needs of companies in terms of digital competencies. Its specificity is that it focuses on 3 dimensions, looking at the organizational and people dimensions in addition to the technology, addressing the interrelationships between the three dimensions.

The other concept that participants were introduced to was the learning and teaching factory. The idea is that a university, for example, provides space and a home for a factory where new technologies are present. Students can learn about them, but they can also be tested by businesses. If you like, it can be a “playground” where a company can try out new technologies in practice before they are introduced. This way, before buying expensive equipment, you can see if the technology can work for your business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s also a place for start-ups to make prototypes. Furthermore, employees can try out these technologies in a live, no-stakes environment, reducing anxiety and increasing acceptance. Ultimately, these workshops can also provide an opportunity to learn new skills and competencies.

It is also possible to model the technologies and run demos at the BME Ipar4.0 Technology Centre. László Kovács, after giving a comprehensive overview of the work and services of the center, gave us a closer look at the new technologies, in a playful way, if you like. You could say that it is charming how the Lego train carries the parcel around, but it perfectly demonstrates the technology that accompanies the process from the incoming order, through the assembly and checking of the parcel, to the generation of the delivery note and finally the authentication with electronic signature. But we also saw a self-driving vehicle that actually stopped when a human touched it, and digital twins that can be taught new tasks without programming skills.

Z Elektronika Kft. from Pécs showed the visitors, among other things, what the file that records the daily communication of the machines actually looks like. The more than 277,000 lines of code are not read on a daily basis – because that’s not the point, but rather that they have precise documentation of every component and every work process. This has almost completely eliminated the production of rejects, and this type of performance measurement also allows for the development of an appropriate reward system. As András Serény, the company’s project and quality manager, explains, the point of Ipar4.0 is not to buy brand new machines, as the machines bought when the company was founded in 1997 are still working perfectly well today. Even 60-70 year old machines can be made capable of communication using sensors. And with the right information, the production of defective products can be significantly reduced and machine maintenance can be planned in advance, minimizing the cost of unexpected machine downtime. And these are just some of the benefits of Ipar4.0 technologies.

The two days provided a wealth of useful information for participants, many of whom indicated that they would like to learn more about the ADAPTION model and would like to be involved in the rest of the project.


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1st workshop in Greece

The Digital Coach initiative actively promotes the integration of digitization into hands-on training. Its primary objective is to usher in innovative methodologies and standards for practical training of students, aligning with the demands of Industry 4.0. This involves assessing companies’ readiness and identifying improvement measures through the ADAPTION Model. The project also focuses on training Digital Coaches, adapting the Learning Factories concept, and facilitating its introduction in Bulgaria.

Financed under the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, the project recently conducted an informative online seminar on July 13 and 14 2021 in Heraklion, Greece named “The 1st workshop in Greece”. German experts participated virtually, outlining the project’s purpose and offering a virtual tour of the Ruhr University’s learning factory. The seminar covered regional initiatives to implement Industry 4.0 requirements, the objectives of the Regional Innovation Center “Ambitious Gabrovo,” ongoing innovative projects, and the potential of the first non-capital Technology Park.

Moving forward, the project’s practical activities in Greece will be executed in collaboration with various local partners.

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