Orgalime comments on the European Commission Communication on ‘Digitising European Industry: Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016) 180 final)

2 June, 2016
Policies and Issues:
Industrial Policy, Advanced Manufacturing Products, Processes & Services (AMPPS)

The pace at which all sectors of the EU economy, and more particularly its manufacturing industry, are embracing digitisation as part of their overall design, production, marketing & sales, and maintenance processes is not slowing down: digitisation has become one of the major drivers of industry’s competitiveness. As Orgalime’s statistics for last year show output in our industry the results are already being felt: output compared to 2014 has risen by some 100 billion euro (+1.3%) and employment is up to 10.9 million (+0.7%).  This is encouraging.

In general, Orgalime welcomes the proposed balanced approach announced by the European Commission between 'boosting Europe’s digital innovation capacities' and 'boosting digital innovation in all sectors across Europe': indeed, if the EU is to succeed with its Industrial Renaissance it has to build its digitisation strategy as part of an overall coordinated industrial policy. Engineering industries are at the centre of digital transformation which affects products and processes, work organisation, and entire business processes and can provide strong tools for innovation and competitiveness based on new business models.

Moreover, Orgalime is pleased to note that the European Commission acknowledges Europe’s strengths in such engineering and industry areas as embedded and business software, telecommunication equipment, robotics, automation, laser and sensor technologies, electronics for automotive, the security and energy markets. Indeed our strengths are based on a combination of ICT and the electrical, mechanical, automotive, energy and other manufacturing technologies.

We welcome that the Communication proposes to act in key areas, namely, boosting Europe’s digital innovation capacities, providing an innovation-friendly legislative environment, market-driven standardisation and skills while establishing an inclusive governance framework.

However, we regret that two highly important (and intertwined) aspects are not addressed in a sufficiently comprehensive manner in this Communication, namely physical infrastructures and cybersecurity.

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Pierre Lucas
Gerrit Steinfort

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