IMS Services

The MTP services were created to facilitate client access to international resources, technologies and markets through IMS. These services are based on an understanding of two types of approaches to research, development and innovation (RDI), top-down technology push innovation and bottom-up driven value generation. The clients are enabled to design and maintain such projects and global partnerships in a way that is consistent with their business plans, innovation strategies, and long-term resource development ideas.

Together with the highly flexible MTP concept and the collaborative web facilities, the IMS coaching strategy completes the service portfolio aiming to attract SMEs in particular and to boost industry driven co-operations.

In order to facilitate project formation, the IMS International Steering Committee decided to add programs that would help shepherd the development of nascent MTP projects through IMS coaching services, web-based collaborations (, workshops, and forums.

MTP Project Facilitators

MTP project facilitators (coaches) were selected by each IMS Region based on their experience within the IMS framework and their ability to facilitate project formation and to assist in partner search activities. Coaches may also introduce existing project opportunities to potential partners, and even thread running projects together in order to increase efficiency and expertise. The coaches work in concert with the IMS Regional Secretariats in identifying opportunities to provide personalized one-on-one service, and activities to raise awareness of IMS programs and activities to industry, industry associations, funding agencies, and research institutions.


IMS conducts project workshops semi-annually and a major forum on a bi-annual basis. The workshops are intended to promote formation of new projects, review ongoing research, and disseminate results of research conducted. The IMS Regional Secretariats and MTP project facilitators listen to new project proposals to understand them and the types of partners they seek. This understanding helps IMS to provide custom service to the project proponent in the critical development stage.



The World Manufacturing Forum (WMF) was created by the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Program (IMS) to be an international forum where high-level policy makers and industry leaders could meet to discuss global manufacturing issues that should be solved cooperatively. Each year the Forum strives to bring globally recognized experts to present their views on current topics. The WMF is an invitation-only event but open to influential leaders in manufacturing from anywhere in the world.

Past Editions

I. World Manufacturing Forum 2011 – “Innovation in Global Manufacturing”

The first World Manufacturing Forum in 2011, under the title “Innovation in Global Manufacturing”, was held 16-17 May 2011 at the Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como Lake, Italy, with over 310 policy and industry leaders participating. On the first day, top-level representatives from leading industries and trade associations, and government officials discussed whether government policies relate to industry needs and whether they have kept pace with the current global realities. On the second day, parallel sessions exploring issues and projects to find solutions were discussed. The event was open to non-IMS countries and organizations. The intervention from Mr. Black, Group Senior Vice President, Quality and Operational Excellence, ABB Group (Switzerland), Mr. Masahiro Kitano, Vice President and Executive Officer, Hitachi, Ltd. (Japan), and Mr. Vallampadugai S. Arunachalam, Chairman, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (India) addressed critical questions and explored emerging trends that are now setting today’s manufacturing paradigms.

II. World Manufacturing Forum 2012 – “Smart Policies for Global Manufacturing Innovation”

The second World Manufacturing Forum was held 16-17 October 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany. The major sponsors for the event were IMS and the European Commission, with the organisational support of Politecnico Milano and Fraunhofer IPA. Out of 430 registrants, approximately 240 self-identified at the Director level or higher attended, other attendees included lower level industry representatives, researchers, and government employees. The program, “Smart Policies for Global Manufacturing Innovation” addressed global business concerns, the management of strategic resources and outline how governments can support global manufacturing innovation by increasing the sustainability of business operations and by lowering the risk of conflicts through effective dialogue and international S&T cooperation. Realizing that the content was rather diverse and with many voices in 2011, the organizers decided to bring the forum into sharper focus and with fewer, well-vetted speakers. Governor Carlos Costa of the Portuguese Central Bank and former Director of the European Investment Bank, (Portugal), Hans-Jörg Bullinger,President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Germany), and Reiner Roghmann, Director of Operations Dow Central (Germany) gave perspectives on the financial system supporting industry growth, the impact of urbanization trends in manufacturing, and policies for sustainable use of resources. The event was opened with a video welcome by Mr. José Barroso, President of the European Commission.

III. World Manufacturing Forum 2014 – “The Way Forward to Prosperity through Global Manufacturing Collaboration”

During third World Manufacturing Forum, 424 participants representing 48 countries took part in the most important international event dedicated to the scenarios of the manufacturing sector on “The Way Forward to Prosperity through Global Manufacturing Collaboration”, which took place in Milan on 1-2 July 2014. A two-day meeting and discussion for the elite in the industry who met at Palazzo Mezzanotte, home of Milan Stock Exchange. The event, organized by the Politecnico di Milano and IMS (Intelligent Manufacturing System) under the guidance of the European Commission and coordinated by Marco Taisch, Scientific Chairman, was the occasion to reflect on the mega trends that will drive the next 20/30 years business models in the world of industrial production. Relevant issues on the agenda: the global policies, the role of human capital in the company, the venture capital and all issues related to the standardization of processes and the management and protection of intellectual property. Experts in each topic have taken part at the speakers’ table. Stars of the top managers of the most influential companies in the world, such as ABB, Boeing, Comau, Dassault Systèmes, Kuka, McKinsey, Samsung, Siemens and Whirlpool to name a few, and the representatives of the European Commission. Eight sessions that have animated the two days of work. Among the hot topics, big space to the need to activate a process of re-shoring that can save local economies by providing a breath of fresh air to the industrial districts and small suppliers. To enable companies to go back home after long hiding due to the pressures of globalization, will be indispensable investments to enable the development of new industrial ecosystems in the field of robotics, microelectronics and nanotechnology.

IV. World Manufacturing Forum 2016 – “From Global Challenges to Grand Manufacturing Opportunities: Leading towards Growth and Sustainability”

The fourth World Manufacturing Forum, under the title: “From Global Challenges to Grand Manufacturing Opportunities: Leading towards Growth and Sustainability”, will be held 3-4 May 2016 at Barcelona, Spain.