Athene 4.0: Person-centered digitization to secure the future of the skilled crafts sector

Research activities to date on the topics of Industry 4.0 and digitization have focused mainly on production-related application areas. The integration of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, especially from the skilled trades, has not yet been comprehensively addressed. However, these businesses in particular are extremely dependent on the mobile accessibility of their employees e.g. on construction sites.


The digital transformation will strengthen the interaction of craft services and service production. In particular, the support of order processing processes in craft businesses through digital solution approaches offers additional potential. In this context, the development and use of digital tools for data exchange and analysis will become decisive criteria. This means not only increasing digitization of their own processes, but also integration in digitized value chains and the development of digital business models in order to remain attractive to the market.

Objectives of the Athene 4.0 project

The aim of the Athene 4.0 project was to design a solution for the digitization in the skilled trades sector in order to boost penetration of digital solutions. 

For this reason, the Athene 4.0 project focused on digitized support for processes in day-to-day operations, in particular communication with the mobile employee groups of such craft businesses. In addition, a digital service platform was developed to interconnect and network customers and various craft businesses. To ensure that the platform can be used by every craftsman in an uncomplicated manner and without any new burdens, it includes a so-called "digital coach" who can provide online assistance and explanations during ongoing operations. 

From a scientific point of view, it was important to gain knowledge about the comprehensive daily use of such systems with the aim of transferability to other industries and to identify obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of penetration. Based on the identified barriers to entry, adequate measures for overcoming them were derived and described.

More information about the project can be found on the website

Organization and sponsored partners

This research and development project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the program "Innovations for tomorrow's production, services and work" and supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA).