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HORIZON-CL4-2023-HUMAN-01-52: Drivers and success factors for progress towards Industry 5.0 (RIA)

Expected Outcome:

  • Increased uptake of the Industry 5.0 principles and practices across industrial sectors, achieved through improved understanding of its benefits for enterprises and society and actionable knowledge about factors of success and impediment;
  • Sound data and analysis of the uptake of Industry 5.0 in its different dimensions for policy makers at EU, national/regional and sectoral level.


In January 2021, the Commission articulated, under the name Industry 5.0[1], a vision of a future-proof industry that, capitalising on technological progress beyond productivity and efficiency, is the resilient provider of prosperity, within planetary boundaries and placing the wellbeing of the worker at the centre.

In order to optimise policies that stimulate the uptake of the Industry 5.0 principles of sustainability, resilience and human-centricity and facilitate their implementation, an increased understanding of drivers and factors contributing to or hindering successful implementation is required, based on a sociotechnical and multidisciplinary approach, taking technological, social and human aspects into consideration.

The action will select and thoroughly study the successful or less successful implementation of the Industry 5.0 principles in at least ten cases. Each case is in a different EU Member State or country associated to the Horizon Europe programme. Cases may be cross-boundary. These cases may be complemented with other cases. If a case in a country outside the EU or in a country not associated to the Horizon Europe programme would be proposed, its relevance must be demonstrated in the proposal. The overall design of the study must be well deliberated, founded in a coherent theoretical framework, and provide for a careful selection of cases (for instance, by variation of relevant case characteristics such as company size and type, industrial sector, country typology, etc.) and for a framework of analysis that can be applied consistently across cases. The smart study design should enable the consortium to extract maximal and relevant insights from the combined analysis of the selected cases.

Taking into account and exploiting the specificities of the cases, the deep analysis of the individual cases, together with the combined analysis of the cases, will address the following research themes in an evidence-based manner.

  • How do companies, local innovation ecosystems or industry sectors implement Industry 5.0 principles in practice? Which modes of implementation exist? How does industry go beyond the state-of-the-art and innovate, for instance with respect to the purposeful application of technology, work organisation and production, organisation and operation of supply chains, worker tasks and functions, training and skills, human resources management, sustainable business models and resilient value chains, long-term value creation, corporate governance, climate transition and sustainability plans, stakeholder engagement, partnerships and networks, etc.?

  • What are the drivers for companies, industry sectors or industrial ecosystems to adapt (or not) Industry 5.0 principles? Which trade-offs may have to be made? Which role do public policies and regulatory environment play? How does successful implementation of Industry 5.0 principles provide advantage on multiple dimensions such as (global) competitiveness, reputation, attractiveness for talent and for investment, enhanced generation of qualified jobs, adaptive capacity to incremental changes and sudden disruptions (e.g. by reduction of dependencies), progress towards climate change objectives, etc.?

  • What are the factors, either internal or external to the company, that contribute or hinder the uptake and implementation of Industry 5.0 principles? How do workers accept and relate to advanced technology in the work place? What is the role of the embedding of a company in the local community? What are the factors that could diminish or reinforce inequalities through the implementation of advanced technologies in the work place? What is the added value of considering sustainability aspects, including science-based targets, in defining the business strategy?

  • How can/do SMEs/start-ups/scale-ups take up Industry 5.0 principles and what is the role of the local innovation ecosystem in this? How does it help these types of enterprises to participate successfully in the green and digital transition of industry?

  • The project will investigate state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative tools for measuring progress towards Industry 5.0 in its three dimensions of resilience, sustainability and human-centricity and how they can be applied in practice.

Proposers are encouraged to elaborate the above research themes further with a view to contributing fully to the expected outcomes. Proposers will explain and motivate the trade-off made between number and representativeness of study cases and breadth and depth of analysis.

The analysis must go beyond mere desk research and must be developed and validated in interaction with the actors involved in the respective cases. A number of workshops involving external experts, including from within the Commission, will support this goals.

The project will transfer knowledge in actionable form to relevant actors including policy makers, social partners and industry federations and partnerships, organised civil society (NGOs). A concluding conference will support this goal.

This topic requires an interdisciplinary approach with the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts and/or institutions.

The proposals will devote attention to the gender dimension in the content of the proposed research and innovation, in order to deliver scientific quality and societal relevance of the produced knowledge and innovation.

Proposers should consider and actively seek synergies with relevant active and finalised projects/activities in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe (including public-private and public-public partnerships and EIT KICs) and the Digital Europe programme (European Digital Innovation Hubs), as well as within relevant sectorial associations.