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    DoT Seeks Proposals for surveying MSMEs’ readiness for Industry 4.0

    The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has put out a call for proposals for an Industry 4.0 baseline Survey among MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) focused on digital transformation through 5G technologies and its impact on the sector.

    Industry 4.0 refers to the integration of intelligent digital technologies into manufacturing and industrial processes. The Ministry of Communications said that this survey on Industry 4.0 will help assess readiness of MSMEs, identify improvement areas, and guide investment and strategic decisions. Startups and other organizations have until 11 June 2024 to submit proposals for the survey.

    Requirements for the proposal:

    • Include the methodology and approach for designing and conducting the survey, define the objectives, develop a comprehensive questionnaire; identify sectors to be surveyed.
    • Collect primary data through online and offline surveys, interviews, or other methods across at least 10 sectors, such as leather and leather goods, printing and packaging, furniture and wood products, chemical and petrochemical processing, and metalworking and fabrication.
    • Analyze the collected data to identify trends, patterns, and insights related to the challenges faced by MSMEs in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, such as high costs, lack of skilled workforce, insufficient infrastructure, cybersecurity concerns, resistance to change, and regulatory and compliance issues.
    • Must cover what use IoT (internet of things) will benefit the MSME, such as for monitoring and maintenance, production efficiency, inventory management etc
    • It should provide recommendations for short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies
    • The survey should document the policy reforms required to support the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies by MSMEs.
    • Provide a detailed timeline for the project, including milestones and deliverables.
    • The proposal must also include a detailed breakdown of the cost of the project including personnel, equipment, travel arrangements, and other expenses.

    What are the challenges being faced by the MSMEs?

    Notably, the challenges faced by MSMEs in adopting Industry 4.0 were also a topic of consultation under TRAI’s Digital Transformation through the 5G Ecosystem consultation paper last year. Responding to the consultation, Vodafone Idea (Vi) mentioned that some of the challenges faced by MSMEs included—

    • Standardization, Interoperability, and Data Security: It said that the lack of standardized protocols for interoperability and data security/ privacy hinders the seamless integration of Industry 4.0 solutions. The company suggested that the government should prioritize the development of digital infrastructure, including high-speed internet and reliable power supply, in key industrial zones. It also mentioned that the government should introduce regulations to standardized protocols that ensure data protection and privacy compliance for Industry 4.0 technologies. 
    • Investment challenges: MSEs often face investment constraints restricting them from investing in industry 4.0 technologies. It suggested that the government should introduce financial incentives, tax breaks, or subsidies to reduce the financial burden for the adoption of these technologies.
    • Skill gaps: MSMEs lack skilled labor with expertise in these technologies as such there is a need for the development of skill development programmes specifically catered to MSMEs.

    Vi and fellow telecom company Reliance Jio both pointed to the German example of creating enhanced Competence Centres to assist the MSMEs become digital. These centres can also be leveraged to train the MSMEs in adopting Industry 4.0.  

    Also read:

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    The post DoT Seeks Proposals for surveying MSMEs’ readiness for Industry 4.0 appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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