Innovation plan Industry 4.0: towards a digitized chemical and plastics sector in Flanders


Industry 4.0 is the general term used to describe the technological revolution driven by digitization of products, processes and services. Also known as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ or simply ‘industry 4.0’.
Industry 4.0 offers interesting possibilities, but for many companies this revolution is a big challenge. The DIGICHEM project was established to help (both large and small) companies in the chemicals and plastics sector to find their way in the complex world of industry 4.0.


The concrete aim of this study is to develop a collective innovation plan on i4.0 for the Flemish sector of chemistry, plastics and life sciences. This innovation plan must outline the actions that can accelerate the integration of i4.0 technology into the sector.
More specifically, the following actions will be taken in the project:

  • Determine the scope and meaning of i4.0 for the target group
  • Mapping the questions, needs and challenges of companies from the target group regarding i4.0
  • Identification of barriers (internal to companies, legal framework, liability, etc.) regarding i4.0
  • Mapping the supply of services and products with respect to i4.0 with evaluation of the possible added value for the process industry in Flanders
  • Converting acquired insights into a concrete innovation plan i4.0
  • Making the innovation plan i4.0 known to the various stakeholders
Expected results and impact

By drawing up an innovation plan i4.0 in collaboration with actors across the entire value chain, collective business opportunities (= new value chains) and the possible ways to achieve them can be identified and realized. All opportunities that allow growth in the chemical sector in Flanders by implementing i4.0 technologies will be identified and an estimate can be made of where the best return-on-investment lies.
In the long term, the objective is to enable as many companies as possible to integrate the digital possibilities into their business processes, according to their own needs. This project will contribute to the awareness of companies that a transition is needed. It will also identify the different options and provide companies with a knowledge basis for starting the transition in their own company. The project will also offer the companies the opportunity to find the most suitable partners to assist them.

Project information
Project type: VIS Study
Approved on: 05/12/2017
Duration: 01/02/2018 – 31/01/2019
Total project budget: EUR 124.943
Subsidy: EUR 99.955