Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MF 2019 (MANUFUTURE 2019 - Sustainable Smart Manufacturing)
Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2020-01-31
The MF 2019 Conference continued the MANUFUTURE Conference series started by MANUFUTURE 2003 Conference in Italy and followed by MANUFUTURE Conferences in 2004 (Netherlands), 2005 (UK), 2006 (Finland), 2007 (Portugal), 2008 (France), 2009 (Sweden), 2011 (Poland), 2013 (Lithuania), 2015 (Luxembourg) and 2017 (Estonia), all organised in EU Presidency countries. The European MANUFUTURE technology platform celebrates this year its 15 years anniversary, which was acknowledged in this year’s conference.
The MF2019 Conference was theme-wise aligned with the priorities of the ManuFUTURE 2030 Vision -Competitive, Sustainable and Resilient European Manufacturing (http://www.manufuture.org/strategic-research-agenda/vision-2030) and ManuFUTURE 2030 Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) (http://www.manufuture.org/strategic-research-agenda/strategic-research-and-innovation-agenda-sria) which are fresh examples of the MANUFUTURE community’s work.
The MF2019 Conference built also a bridge between the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and the new Horizon Europe research and innovation Framework Programme, discussing e.g. the effects of the structural and contentual changes between these frame programmes. Other discussion themes include Artificial Intelligence – Research and Innovation Needs for the Industry; Circular Manufacturing and Sustainability; Manufacturing Europe: Towards an EU-Innovation and Education Systems for Manufacturing and the Society; and Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in Manufacturing.
The importance of raising awareness on sustainability and circular manufacturing should be emphasized. Europe has the leadership in Circular Economy, but we should still go faster. This will enable Europe not only to produce in a more sustainable way, but to have a worldwide impact on the environment as well.
Importance of improving resource efficiency is a must from multiple reasons, such as increasing material efficiency and need for raw materials, cutting material costs, enabling businesses to pioneer in new markets and to keep the material value in Europe.
The public image of manufacturing industry is not as attractive as gaming or software industries are. Manufacturing industry is transitioning towards IT-driven industry, but communication channels create old fashion image from manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry will not be totally IT-driven, but the demand for low-skilled manufacturing jobs is declining. However, there will be jobs, which will be close to traditional blue-collar workers - “new-collars”, and this gives opportunity to have jobs to large variety of people.
One major challenge for European Manufacturing Industry is the lack of women in manufacturing. Very few businesses can boast having had a 50% split at any point, and even fewer can maintain it once reaching the equilibrium.
Circular Economy was introduced to school pupils. Even though the competition is over, the Giggly Gadgets workshop can still be run, for example, at school. A meeting with Ministry of the Environment, is planned to discuss the project possible continuation. The idea of in-service teacher training and a workshop for schools has emerged as a united tour across Finland.