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The Manufuture 2017 Conference

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Manufuture2017 (The Manufuture 2017 Conference)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-03-31

The 11th conference of the European Technology Platform on Future Manufacturing Technologies (ETP ManuFuture) was held on 24-25 October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. The theme of the MANUFUTURE2017 Conference was ‘Moving up the value chain‘.
The conference was a part of the official programme of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and was organised as a key event of the ManuFuture2017 Project, which is funded by the H2020 Programme (H2020-NMBP-CSA-2016), within the CSA Action, topic: NMBP-31-2016 - Presidency events.
This conference aimed at identifying and promoting technologies, competencies and capabilities that will enable EU manufacturers to move up the value chain so that they can produce high value products and services and can be more competitive in a global marketplace. The MANUFUTURE 2017 conference was also timely in providing an opportunity for participants to inform and discuss the future framework for European policy and the priorities for the next financial perspective for 2020-27.

The mid-term review of Horizon 2020 was published during the Estonian Presidency, and the conference also provided a forum to feed into the broader debate on the importance that reindustrialisation and innovation should play in EU policy as well reflecting wider strategic insights into innovation bottlenecks that must be addressed, such as regulatory as well as other nontechnological barriers, to increase European manufacturing competitiveness.
"The Manufuture 2017 conference was part of the official programme of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and was organised under the patronage of Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia. The theme of the MANUFUTURE 2017 Conference was ‘Moving Up the Value Chain’.
The Manufuture 2017 conference gathered together more than 600 experts and key stakeholders representing industry, universities, research institutions and government from countries across Europe and around the world. The participants gave particular appreciation to the exceptionally strong high-level representation of the Estonian political and public sector decision makers at the event. Estonia has witnessed the transformative effect of digitalisation on society. The Estonian Presidency is also known as 'the digital Presidency' because of Estonia’s ambition to realise the benefits of a digital society for every European.
This conference aimed to support the European Commission’s top priority “…to get Europe growing again and to increase the number of jobs without creating new debt… to restore investment levels – to overcome the crisis, kick-start jobs and growth and sustain them”. Modernizing Europe’s industrial and manufacturing base by moving it up the value chain has a key role in meeting these objectives. Value chain refers to all the activities, from receipt of raw materials to post-sales support that together create and increase the value of a product. The term ""moving up the value chain"" means using business processes and resources to produce highly profitable products also known as higher-margin products. The focus on moving manufacturing up the value chain will help realize the industrial renaissance in Europe.
The conference was also focusing on relevant cross cutting themes which are essential for maintaining and developing the competitiveness of the European industry. Selected cross cutting themes included Higher value skills, Access to finance, New business models, and Better Regulation. Skills issues across the three conference themes are vital elements for moving manufacturing up the value chain. Access to finance is an interesting topic when discussing of e.g. obstacles to investments, technical assistance to investment projects and smarter use of new and existing financial resources. New business models are key building blocks for the business transformation in the 4th industrial revolution, and better regulation is a strong element if President Juncker’s plan stating that ‘jobs, growth and investment will only return to Europe if we create the right regulatory environment and promote a climate of entrepreneurship and job creation’.

Discussions outcomes in Brief
Digitalisation changes everything and all industry sectors.
Digital transformation needs a clear strategy and acceleration of innovation.
Digitalisation is not just technology but also a new way to do customer centric business based on customer value and outcomes.
More than 75% of the value added created by the Internet is in traditional industries, due to higher productivity.
Wide range of digital platforms have appeared over the past years and are still appearing. It will be crucial to address different aspects of interoperability across applications.
92% of factory machines in the world (from total 65 million) are not network connected.
Next trillion (thousand billion) dollars will be earned with data (ref. Michael Dell, Dell Corp.).
Connectivity and data sharing across software applications and contexts will create new optimisation opportunities and revenue streams.
Connected industry means in practice well-orchestrated involvement of all actors in the supply ecosystem.
PLCs or LEAN are not dead but are reborn for the digital era. E.g. Digital & Lean together enable the next generation LEAN of the digital era.
The Factories of the Future PPP has already supported numerous digitalisation related research and innovation activities and will support even more in the coming years. The established Connected Factories Coordination Actions build concrete pathways towards the further deployment of digital platforms in manufacturing.