The Fez Smart Factory Competitions, launched as part of the FSF Ecosystem and led by EuroMed University of Fes (UEMF), Morocco, is a competition for companies to become part of an all-in-one support zone for innovative activities, aimed at developing a competitive industry by improving its productivity and other KPIs or developing new factories for innovative products, through the implementation of the principles and methods of industry 4.0.
Fez Smart Factories Competitions is open to the following four categories of companies using or developing innovative Industry 4.0 solutions and technologies:
- Engineering Companies
- Research & Development Entities
- Industrial Units or Companies (SMEs & Large)
Personal Invitation to Apply from Tijani Bounahmidi, Coordinator of the Fez Smart Factory Ecosystem
Can you provide the broader context for launching the Fez Smart Factory Competitions?
The Fez Smart Factory Competitions is part of the activities of the Fez Smart Factory, which was selected to benefit from the support of the Sustainable Industrial Zones Fund (FONZID), following a competitive call for projects launched jointly by the Millennium Challenge Account-Morocco Agency (MCA-Morocco) and the Moroccan Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC).
FONZID is part of the “Industrial Land” activity under the “Compact II” cooperation program, financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and whose implementation has been entrusted to the MCA-Morocco Agency.
The FONZID, set up jointly with the MIC and endowed with an envelope of 30 million dollars, aims to strengthen the model of sustainable industrial zones and to contribute to improving the productivity and environmental and social performance of companies in industrial areas.
FONZID will expand the supply of industrial land that meets the needs of investors in terms of location, quality of infrastructure, support services, and competitive prices. It will thus contribute to increased private investment and job creation.
The Fez Smart Factory project is the result of a partnership between the EuroMed University of Fes, as leader, the Council of the Fez-Meknes region, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Fez-Meknes Branch of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), the company Alten Delivery Center-Morocco, as well as the ADD ( Digital Development Agency).
For interested applicants, can you elaborate on the evaluation and selection process?
We have a limited number of places for each of the four categories of beneficiaries: startups, engineering companies, R&D entities, and industrialists. These places will be allocated to the best candidates in this competition who are working either on the development of new smart factories (startups and industrialists) or on supporting this development (engineering companies and R&D entities). To do this, the selection committee relies on an administrative file and a technical file which depend on each category of candidates and whose contents are described in the Terms and Conditions of each category.
The evaluation of candidates is done in two stages: pre-selection and selection. The pre-selection is based on the satisfaction of the legal conditions and those related to the nature of the proposed activities, and the selection is made on the basis of a scoring grid of the quality of the technical file. Candidates who have obtained more than 70 out of 100 will be ranked according to their score and will be admitted for domiciliation in the FSF Ecosystem according to the number of places available. A waiting list will be established to replace withdrawals.
What can companies expect after they get selected to join the FSF Ecosystem?
The selected companies will be domiciled in the FSF ecosystem benefiting from the advantages specified in the corresponding Terms and Conditions (check the faq section for T&C documents).
Overall, startups will be supported to develop and implement their smart factory on a demonstration scale; the industrialists of the Business Center will be helped to set up their investment project for the creation of smart factories in Morocco; engineering companies and R&D entities will benefit from the proximity of potential customers looking for innovative smart solutions.
All companies will benefit from a working environment offering innovation management and industrial development services, as well as quality workspaces and diversified social services.
Can you provide a personal message for all companies looking to apply?
For innovative companies passionate about the search for a significant economic, social, and environmental impact, the Fez Smart Factory Ecosystem is the ideal innovation ecosystem designed to meet the objectives of sustainable development by implementing industry 4.0 technologies.
We encourage companies to apply for this international competition which will help create an international pool of innovation, working to achieve this common objective of sustainable development for the good of humanity and planet earth.
Why apply for Fez Smart Factory Competitions?
Morocco is quickly becoming a top hub for Industry 4.0 companies and solutions. Pro-business policies, a dynamic and competitive business environment, and a strong focus on sustainability establish the region as a unique, integrated ecosystem for industrial innovation at scale. Successful applications will receive the following benefits:
Benefits for All Companies and Startups
- Access to a 20m2 office equipped with office furniture, conference rooms, and an exhibition hall that can host up to 300 people
- One-stop-shop services
- Social services: catering and cafeteria; medical, health and safety services, and crèche services
- Support services for industrial property, business planning, and industrial development
- Gain access to experts, donors, investors, manufacturers, etc. based in Morocco
- Services of the rapid prototyping center shared with the UEMF
Special Benefits for R&D Entities, Engineering & Industrial Companies
- Services of the Pilot Model Factory 4.0
- Facilitation of access to other technological or other services which can be provided by the various components of the UEMF
Additional Special Benefits for R&D Entities
- Support services for the management of services provided as part of the transformation of existing industrial units, or for the benefit of Business Center companies, startups, and project leaders domiciled at FSF
- Help identify the transformation needs of existing industries with support from the CGEM (General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises)
Is Your Company Eligible to Apply?
The eligibility of the candidate’s applications will be assessed by the evaluation committee based on the following, which must be met simultaneously:
- For Startups: The industrial sector targeted by the project, must be among the sectors covered by the FSF ecosystem. Project activities to take place during the acceleration phase must have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL)-3 or higher.
- For R&D Entities: The R&D service subject of the submission must relate to one of the industrial sectors covered by the FSF Ecosystem.
- For Engineering Companies: The engineering service subject of the tender must be part of the engineering services covered by the FSF Ecosystem. Engineering service activities must also target Industry 4.0 use cases related to the industrial sectors covered by the FSF Ecosystem.
- For Industrial Units or Companies (SMEs & Large): The project of the industrial company must relate to one of the industrial sectors covered by the FSF Ecosystem.
Check the website to find information about the target industrial sectors and technologies as well as the relevant terms and conditions documents.
Ready to take the first step? Click here to apply for the Fez Smart Factory Competitions! Hurry, applications close on 16th April 2023!
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