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MANUFUTURE 2019 - Sustainable Smart Manufacturing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MF 2019 (MANUFUTURE 2019 - Sustainable Smart Manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2020-01-31

The aim of the project was to organize a conference “Manufuture 2019 – Sustainable Smart Manufacturing, MF2019” in cooperation with the Finnish government. The MF2019 conference was a part of Sustainable Days 30.9. – 1.10.2019 and was organized at the same time with The sustainable transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient circular economy: Creating the knowledge base, CE2019 and Sustainable innovation (SI). The Manufuture 2019 conference on 30 September to 1 October 2019 was a flagship event during the Presidency of the Finland of the Council of the European Union.
The MANUFUTURE 2019 Conference -Sustainable Smart Manufacturing (MF 2019, www.manufuture2019.eu) was organized as part of the Finnish Presidency Event: European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy (https://edsce19.eu) at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on September 30 - October 1, 2019.

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.
Because manufacturing industry is big in Europe, it is in the radar. When Manufacturing industry takes sustainable manufacturing in its core, the sustainability moves from speeches to actions. Employing over 30 million people, the sustainability impact is multiplied through their families and close ones. The manufacturing industry is a part of European society and increasing demand for sustainably manufactured products will change Manufacturing industry towards sustainability.

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.
Children at MF2019 workshop
Audience at MF2019 Finlandia Hall
Commissioner Katainen at MF2019