Coordinator: Toolmakers Cluster of Slovenia, LENS Living Lab


DIGITECH SI-EAST is a network of industry and academy research-innovation partners focusing on using collaborative robots and other digital and digitalized technologies needed to develop industry smart manufacturing applications. Competence Center ROBOFLEX is the heart of this network and provides industry clients »one-stop-shop« supporting services: INFO Center, DEMO Center, Innovation Office, and Project Office.

DIGITECH SI-EAST Collaborative Network Organization HORSE project initiated and developed the pilot network of HORSE competence centers in the EU, acting as the heart of regional digital innovation hubs. Competence Center ROBOFLEX (CCR), with its digital innovation hub DIGITECH SI-EAST, was established by TCS, 3L and ETRA, Ltd in Celje, Slovenia, in 2017. ETRA Company is specialized for robotic systems integration, industry automatization, and development of industry customized innovative solutions, and is the coordinator of CCR demonstration center.

  • DIGITECH SI-EAST comprises of three interrelated thematic domains of industry research-innovation communities and networks performing within interconnected collaboration platforms:
  • Competence Center ROBOFLEX collaboration platform,
  • Collaboration platforms of the industry thematic research-innovation communities, and
  • Open knowledge management platforms and networks.


Competence Center ROBOFLEX’s collaboration platform supports the initiation and implementation of precompetitive research and innovation projects to acquire new technologies and competencies relevant to the regional industry partners and their value chains. This platform supports networking and collaboration activities of Competence Center ROBOFLEX regional and international research-innovation partners coming from the industry and research organizations. Research, innovation, and piloting focuses on using humancentric robots, augmented reality, automated guided vehicles, high-performance cloud computing, big data,

artificial intelligence, communication, and cybersecurity technologies as an integral part of hybrid digitalized Smart Manufacturing.

C-TCS Institute – legal representative and address of DIGITECH SI-EAST
TCS – Toolmakers Cluster of Slovenia

The founders of DIGITECH SI-EAST are TCS -Toolmakers Cluster of Slovenia and LENS Living Lab (3L) – an international virtual living laboratory enabled and coordinated by the Slovenian ICT companies affiliated to the INTESO Group. 3L is specialized for digitalization and management of virtual, spatial scattered industry research-innovation communities, operations, and test-beds.

TCS is a private non-profit organization C-TCS Institute based in Celje, established (2002) by technologically advanced manufacturing SMEs and their development partners to support partner development and acquire new advanced technologies, production systems, and competencies. 3L is an innovation partner of TCS,

launched in 2006 to help create an organized virtual innovation environment for technologically advanced SMEs in partner industrial research, innovation, and development of new technologies and related solutions (example: 3D laser technology for metal products). 3L was the initiator of the coordinator of the international partnership research and innovation program “Smart Machines & Systems” to stimulate and develop the market of smart machines and digitized services. It is a partnership program in pre-competitive research and development, launched in 2011 and has led to several regional initiatives and projects.

3L and TCS partners initiated the regional open research-innovation program innovative manufacturing innovation technologies – “InnoTECH 2020,” based on the mentioned international program “Smart Machines & Systems.” Within this program, a series of initial innovation workshops were conducted with advanced manufacturing SMEs, representing potential industrial pilots and demonstrators of solutions related to industry smart technologies and systems applications.

Market applications


Technology applications

Artificial Intelligence
Internet of Things

Competences and expertise

  • Collaborative robot industry applications development for SMEs,
  • Hybrid robotized and digitalized collaborative workplaces,
  • Smart manufacturing industry scenarios and industry apps development, demonstration and support,
  • Initiation, engineering and management support of industry partnering digitalization research-innovation and development projects,
  • Innovation projects funding and implementation support.

Infrastructure and equipment

  • Workshop and training facilities on two locations in Celje
  • Demonstration and Testing Center with KUKA collaborative robot and accessories for demonstration of various industry workplace scenarios,
  • Smart process integration tools and apps (MES, HORSE Framework, etc.)
  • ExArca and SITRAC virtual management systems,
  • Virtual collaboration platforms and workplaces to support various thematic partnering technology-innovation communities from the industry and academy.

National networks and initiatives

European networks and initiatives


Key ecosystem players

key partners

Institute C-TCS, LENS Living Lab, ETRA Ltd.

Regional strategic partners

Faculty of Logistics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Robotics, FERI (all University of Maribor), Laboratory for Robotics, FEE (University of Ljubljana)

EU-HORSE partners

CEA Paris, TNO Delft, TUM München and FZI Karlsruhe)


Tone Sagadin, Toolmakers Cluster of Slovenia
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