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European Digital Innovation Hubs Network

Study on Smart Industrial Remoting in Europe


Publication date
13 July 2023


On behalf of the Directorate-General CNECT of the European Commission, PPMI has carried out a pilot project titled ‘Smart Industrial Remoting: remote working in non-digitalised industries.’ 

The  study, implemented between April 2022 and July 2023, analysed the challenges companies encounter when adopting digital technologies and put forward practical recommendations for company digitalisation. The recommendations produced by the study are relevant for the European Digital Innovation Hub network (EDIH) and for the EDIH customers.

SMEs stand to greatly benefit from digital technology adoption. Digitalisation can provide opportunities to streamline their company processes, redesign their business models and access new markets. Yet, SMEs and in particular companies of low digital maturity often struggle with digital technology uptake. Evidence suggests that such companies can lack the resources and know-how to kick-start their digitalisation journeys. Recognising the challenges faced by SMEs when digitalising, the results of the Smart Industrial Remoting study offer practical advice for SMEs and companies of low digital maturity and the supporting ecosystem on reaping the benefits of digitalisation. 

The study focuses on five industries that were particularly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and are characterised by a large share of SMEs and companies of low digital maturity, each studied in a dedicated country: 

  • Agrifood in Lithuania
  • Automotive in Hungary
  • Construction in Romania
  • Retail in Poland
  • Textile in Portugal

Scope of the study

The study consists of an Executive Summary and five main outputs.

  • Gap Analysis report – includes the selection of country-industry pairings to be used throughout the study and an analysis of digitalisation gaps and opportunities in the chosen country-industry pairings. 
  • Problem Identification reports – details the main problems faced by SMEs when digitalising in each country-industry pairing. See also the Annexes
  • Best Practices Collection report – puts forward eight best practice principles of digitalisation accompanied by real-life examples with a focus on SMEs and companies of low digital maturity.
  • Digitalisation Pilots report – presents the results of five digitalisation pilots that took place over a six-month period. The digitalisation pilots were implemented by local hubs in collaboration with participating companies. 
  • Digitalisation Toolbox is the final output of the study, bringing together all findings and recommendations in one place. It puts forward practical advice for companies and the supporting ecosystem on successful digitalisation. The toolbox includes a digitalisation pathway consisting of five main digitalisation processes, each broken down into further digitalisation steps with practical examples and industry-specific resources.


The study was implemented by PPMI in collaboration with five digital innovation hubs: AgriFood Lithuania DIH, CITEVE in Portugal, in Poland, FIT EDIH in Romania, and Innomine in Hungary. 

To access the study reports, follow the links above. You can also access recordings and summaries of workshops that took place as part of the study here