Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM)

About the Pilot

The Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM) Pilot, launched in 2014, is an initiative that aims to foster the development of a robust European network of pilot plants. The primary objective of this initiative is to elevate the efficiency and sustainability of production processes in various aspects such as materials, enabling technologies, methods, processes, and standards. Led by Lombardia, Catalunya and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the ESM pilot brings together 119 stakeholders and 23 regions.

The ESM Pilot pioneers a groundbreaking network of plants and infrastructure that goes beyond current capabilities. Its complexity and high innovation level cater to industrial applications that demand cutting-edge solutions. By providing companies with a testing ground for innovative ideas, the ESM Pilot allows them to validate concepts before committing to full-scale industrial implementation.

Activities & Long Term Goals

Aligning Industry and Regional Authorities: Bridging Dual Needs for Sustainable Manufacturing.

The ESM Pilot embraces a collaborative approach, collecting insights, needs and challenges from both industry and regional authorities. This dual perspective forms the foundation of our Pilot. We recognise the critical importance of political commitment at all levels, as it ensures that our actions and initiatives are fully supported and promoted by the relevant authorities. This commitment provides the necessary resources, regulations, and policies to enable the success of the pilot.

Moreover, the ESM Pilot thrives on a vibrant network of players. We welcome the active participation of all industrial stakeholders, clusters, research institutions, universities, and other relevant organisations. Their collective expertise and resources contribute to identifying the challenges, needs and priorities of sustainable and efficient manufacturing. Together, we transform these insights into concrete demonstration projects accompanied by business plans as well as potential funding and financing opportunities

Forging a sustainable industrialisation path: preserving our planet’s future.

The ESM Pilot excels in three critical areas, driving manufacturing excellence:
- Efficiency: Empowering companies to boost throughput, quality, and productivity. We optimise manufacturing processes, technologies, and products, while reducing costs.
- Sustainability: Championing manufacturing sustainability, we reduce emissions, waste generation, and resource consumption throughout the production lifecycle.
- Inclusion: We prioritise well-being, safety, and foster inclusive factory environments. Our approach considers human factors in designing manufacturing processes and technologies.

Co-Leading Regions
Pilot Contacts
Elena Mossali

Lombardy region, primary contact person

Paolo Vercesi

Lombardy region, secondary contact person

Joan Guasch

Catalonia region, secondary contact person

Participating Regions
Baden - Württemberg
Basque Country
East and North Finland
East Netherlands
Friuli Venezia Giulia
Lower Saxony
Pays de la Loire
Tampere Region
Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)
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Demo Cases

High level European stakeholders meet at Vanguard Initiative’s ESM pilot plenary event

On 14 April the Vanguard Initiative Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM) pilot held its plenary meeting at the European Parliament and at the Lombardy Delegation to the E

Circular Economy in Textile Sector: Expression of Interest

During the 2021 ESM Plenary event, Slovenia presented the "Circular Economy in Textile Secto

ESM Plenary Event: the achievements of 2021 and the future plans for 2022

On the 9th of December the final event of the Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing Pilot take place, co-coordinated by Giacomo Copani (AFIL, Lombardy), Patrick

web, network, programming
ESM Digital Transformation Demo-case: the Mid Term Event

On the 30th of June was held the Mid Term event of the Digital Transformation demo-case, co-coordinated by Sergio Gusmeroli (Politecnico di Milano, Lombardy), Coed de Graaf (Province of Noo


Vanguard ESM pilot and Digital Transformation demo-case coordinators are pleased to invite you to the 2021 Mid Term event to be held on June 30 from 9:30 t

Annual Report 2023: ESM

The report is available here.

Action Plan 2024: ESM

The Action Plan is available here.

Annual Report 2022: ESM

The report is available

Action Plan 2023: ESM

The Action Plan is available

Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing infographic

This infographic presents key information about the Vanguard Initiative Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM) pilot.

Annual Report 2021: ESM

The report is available here.

Vanguard Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM) Pilot Plenary meeting

In the afternoon of the 27th March 2024, the Vanguard Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing (ESM) Pilot P

SUMMIT SYMPOSIUM Regional Innovation and Manufacturing Industry: the role of AI in European SMEs Digital Transformation

The AI REGIO project organizes a political event at the Lombardy Delegation Office for regional representatives interested.


The coordinators of Vanguard ESM Pilot are pleased to invite you to the ESM 2021 final plenary event to discuss th

Digital Transformation Demo-Case Mid Term Event

Vanguard ESM pilot and Digital Transformation demo-case coordinators organized the 2021 Mid Term event.

The event was an opportunity to share demo-case progresses and future activities, through the presentation of AI REGIO project updates and related Open calls, which recently opened.
Moreover, with the aim to strengthen and further expand Digital Transformation network, the demo-case coordinators have launched an expression of interest for new experiments: you can find the template attached.


The presentations and the link for the recorded session are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2toxaojk5ruiqs/AADA8sUT19dMdSyCipNel-0-a?dl=0

ESM Pilot presentation - summary 2021

This document outlines the work plan for 2021.