This report reflects the inputs made by around one hundred manufacturing experts participating in a workshop organised in Brussels on 15 October 2019 on the rationale for a new Partnership, ‘Made in Europe’, under the upcoming Horizon Europe Framework Programme. The written and oral contributions affirmed that innovative manufacturing technologies are needed to ensure the partnership’s contribution towards sustainable prosperity for all with reinforced strategic advantages in terms of increased productivity, enhanced job quality and reduced carbon footprint.
Important elements in a Partnership ‘Made in Europe’ should be cross-sectoral networking that facilitates SME involvement and learning across sectors, and between industry and academia. Also, there is a need for pilots and testing environments to validate new technologies, business and use models. As the Circular Economy calls for new thinking regarding the use of key resources such as raw materials, energy, and water, manufacturers must adapt to customers’ growing requirements for resource use efficiency in manufacturing and for products that can be used and reused, repaired or re-manufactured. There is no doubt about the key role of digitalisation for industry to be able to achieve new competitiveness and productivity requirements. This includes particularly investments in AI and cybersecurity. As Europe’s population is aging, industrial competitiveness will ever more depend on the agility of workers to acquire new skills and on joint efforts between industry and academia to swiftly define these new skills profiles. In doing so, more young people will be attracted into careers in manufacturing where also particular efforts will be needed to encourage women to participate fully. A dialogue between research stakeholders, policymakers and society is of key significance. The new Partnership should also play a catalysing role in forging effective partnerships between funders and R&I stakeholders. The complete manufacturing lifecycle must be strategically re-thought, from product ideas, to R&D, technology needs, factories and supply networks, logistics and end-of-life approaches.
The ‘Made in Europe’ Partnership could play an important role in leveraging a multiplicity of players, funding sources and approaches in realising an ambitious strategy for making products of the future the European way and desirable to global customers.