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Manufuture - the future of manufacturing in Europe

The third annual Manufuture Conference, hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry as part of the UK Presidency of the European Union, was held at Rolls-Royce in Derby, December 2005.

This high-profile conference brought together over three hundred leading manufacturing industry researchers from all over Europe to discuss how research can be used to combat the threat from the globalisation of manufacturing over the next 20 years. William Millar, from TUV NEL Ltd who organised the event in conjunction with Loughborough University, explains: “The European Commission proposed a strategy, entitled Manufuture – a Vision for 2020, to secure the future of the European manufacturing industry through to 2020. Its goal was to strengthen the competitiveness of EU manufacturing in a future knowledge-driven economy. The Commission is currently negotiating its 7th Framework Programme; its main instrument for the funding of collaborative research and innovation with the European Union. “We organised this conference to allow the key stakeholders in manufacturing research and development to raise their concerns and feed their views and suggestions directly into the Strategic Research Agenda for manufacturing currently being developed by the European industry and research community in association with the European Commission. This will assist the Commission in the formulation and strategy planning of the 7th Framework Programme.” The conference was formally opened by Colin Smith, the Director of Engineering and Technology at Rolls-Royce and chaired by Professor Heinrich Flegel, Director Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Research and Technology of Daimler-Chrysler. The delegates heard key-note addresses from Commissioner Janez Poto?nik, the Director General of Science and Research in the Commission, and ex-Polish Prime Minister and current MEP, Jerzy Buzek as well as a video address by Lord Sainsbury, the UK Science and Innovation Minster. The conference heard a combined view of industry and academia with respect to the manufacturing landscape in Europe within the next 20 years. A research agenda that supported this vision involving technology and new business models was fully debated and endorsed. As well as the formal proceedings, the delegates were treated to a number of highly informative visits to local industries – including Rolls-Royce, Systems Engineering Innovation Centre, Bombardier, JCB and Bio City – to emphasise the region’s excellence in innovative manufacturing and engineering. The conference recommendations were to endorse a Research Agenda that would support added value manufacturing and specific topics for research would be: · New, added-value products and services · New business models · New advanced industrial engineering · New emerging manufacturing science and technologies · Transformation of existing R&D and education infrastructure “Manufacturing in Europe today accounts directly for about 22% of total EU gross national product (GNP) and provides 18% of total employment,” continues Millar. “Its contribution is greatly increased by the number of jobs and the income generated by the large and growing variety of service industries that owe their existence to manufacturing. It is estimated that in total 75 % of the EU GDP and 70% of employment in Europe is related to manufacturing. This means that each job in manufacturing is linked to two jobs in manufacturing related services with an increasing tendency. “It is, therefore, vitally important that the European Commission does not neglect manufacturing in development of the 7th Framework Programme.” “My expectation is that the Manufuture Research Agenda will strongly influence the content of the EU’s next research programme (FP7). UK industry, through its attendance at the conference in Derby is ideally placed to fully participate in FP7”. For further information about the conference and Manufuture in general please visit the and websites


The future of the European Manufacturing Industry


Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom