Project: Bringing Artificial Intelligence towards SMEs
Acronym: BrAIn
Project ID: DRP0200025
Implementation Period: 01.01.2024 - 30.06.2026 (30 months)
Funding: The Danube Region Program 2021-2027
Total project budget: 1.874.990,00 EUR
Budget implemented by ODA: 62.200 EUR
ODA contribution: 12.440 EUR


Pannon Business Network Association (Hungary) – project coordinator | ITC – Innovation Technology Cluster Murska Sobota (Slovenia)

Steinbeis 2i GmbH D (Germany) | Information and Communication Technology Cluster Foundation (Bulgaria)

West Regional Development Agency (Romania) | PROUNION (Slovakia) | Business Upper Austria | XR Institute Ltd. (Czech Republic)

University of Belgrade - Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Serbia) | Organization for Entrepreneurship Development (Moldova)

Institute for the Development of the Information Society (Moldova)


The overall goal of the project is to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of SMEs in the Danube region by familiarizing them with the relevance and potential of AI and equipping their employees for i4.0 transition processes and adapting them to the human-centered approach of i5.0. This objective is to be achieved by capitalizing on previously achieved results (e.g. DanubeS3Cluster, SmartFactoryHub, Danube Peer Chains, D-Care, D-CareLabs), training, testing through pilots and applying new AI solutions in i4.0, so as stated in the AI White Paper of the EUSDR. The project also aims to support the development of AI-based applications to overcome bottlenecks in international value chains.



Over the past two decades, the economies of the Danube countries have predominantly worked towards their integration into European value chains - mainly in the automotive and machinery industry - leading to a reorientation towards cost-efficient manufacturing. However, brain drain, aging population, low demographics, among others, have led to a steady increase in labor costs, thereby reducing this key advantage for them. The region has also been affected by the transformation of the industrial and manufacturing landscape – with i4.0, automation, digitization, the energy crisis, the collapse of international supply chains, disruptive artificial intelligence (AI), all leading to dramatic changes in the ecosystem. However, by consciously managing and exploiting these paradigm shifts, especially in very important sectors such as the food industry, the health sector (also manufacturing) and sustainable energy, the BrAIn project can reveal new development opportunities for the countries of the Danube region. This transformation is provided for in the wider framework of S3 - seen by EC Regulation 2021/1060 as a condition for funding innovation (PA1) at territorial level.

The BrAIn project is new, original and innovative by proposing to work on cutting-edge topics such as AI and i4.0/i5.0 skills in specific sectors – agri-food, manufacturing and health, and alongside predefined areas: green energy, force management labor and supply chain. BrAIn will implement location-based demo days and pilots, all leading to hands-on transnational knowledge transfer, acting as a validation point for the S3 strategies of the respective geographies.


Our partners will propose concrete AI solutions to ameliorate the challenges already identified along 3 vertical sectors of the value chains such as manufacturing, agri-food, healthcare, taking into account economic, environmental and social sustainability. As a result, our partnership will contribute tangible and sustainable results to reducing AI-related gaps in the Danube region, by piloting solutions that can contribute to a more innovative, balanced and convergent territorial development.

Project website