Orgalime at EU Industry Day: sharing a vision for the future of manufacturing

28 February 2017 marked the inaugural EU Industry Day, organised by the European Commission as forum to spark debate on the future of manufacturing in Europe. Bringing together over 400 participants from the worlds of industry and policy, the event featured a mix of keynote speeches and panel debates on the trends that will shape the sector in the years to come. A video message from Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kicked off proceedings and speeches followed throughout the day from high-level policy makers such as Commission Vice-President Katainen and Commissioners Bieńkowska and Moedas.

Orgalime President Tomas Hedenborg was one of the leading industry figures invited to speak at the event. In a contribution on ‘Digital Transformation for the Future of European Industry’, he outlined the myriad ways in which digitisation is revolutionising manufacturing – while underlining that European policy makers have a role to play in making this transition a success. “Digitisation is only one piece of the puzzle,” explained Mr. Hedenborg. “If Europe’s Industrial Renaissance is to succeed, the vision needs to go beyond digitisation. What we need is an ambitious, coordinated EU industrial policy that joins the dots between all policies affecting manufacturing.”

Mr. Hedenborg went on to present Orgalime’s vision for to make this a reality, emphasising the need for resolute action in areas as diverse as energy and environment, trade, R&D and skills. His message was clear: industry has the technological expertise and the innovative drive – but the right framework needs to be put in place to fully unlock this potential. “If regulators can help us to continue to create growth and jobs,” he concluded, “it is Europe’s citizens who will reap the rewards”.

Following the success of the event, EU Industry Day is set to become a yearly fixture. “We are pleased to see manufacturing high on the EU agenda, and an annual event is most welcome,” commented Adrian Harris, Director General at Orgalime. “However, it is important to match this with concrete action on a policy level and to truly mainstream industrial competitiveness across all European policies.”

Read Tomas Hedenborg’s speech in full here – and check out Orgalime’s recommendations for the future of manufacturing in our comprehensive and updated Vision Paper.

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