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ManuFuture View on Horizon 2020

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Innovating the manufacturing industry

Horizon 2020 (H2020) is considered the foundation of the new framework for the European research and development (R&D) and innovation policy. An EU-funded initiative looked into ways the seven-year funding programme can boost the manufacturing industry's competitiveness and innovation capacity.

Industrial Technologies

H2020 provides seamless support from idea to market, covering the full innovation cycle that benefits R&D in industrial technologies. However, H2020 is not aligned with national funding initiatives that deal with the innovation cycle. A cohesive framework with harmonised and streamlined processes is required. The main aim of the 'ManuFuture view on Horizon 2020' (M-FUTURE2013) project was to ensure enhanced synergies between EU- and national-level programmes to better leverage the manufacturing industry. Consortium members held a high-level policy conference in 2013 on how to better utilise H2020 and the corresponding Member State initiatives in the context of worldwide demands and regional characteristics. In addition, the team dealt with the requirements of manufacturers in R&D in industrial technologies. The three-day event gathered more than 500 participants from key stakeholder institutions spanning 40 countries. The team evaluated European global challenges in manufacturing R&D and regional smart specialisations in key enabling technologies that strengthen innovative manufacturing. Specifically, they concentrated on forming new jobs and boosting productivity in energy, machinery production and metal manufacturing in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe. This will be achieved by transferring enabling technologies from information and communication technologies, cleantech and green energy companies dealing with the industrial R&D void. Project participants contrasted the consistency and interrelation of the various funding programmes. The goal was to ensure manufacturing industry requirements are dealt with in reinforcing capacity building in research, skills enhancement and job formation. The team produced a final Position Paper about the consensus reached at the conference on achieving cooperation between H2020's industrial leadership pillar and the related Member State initiatives. This synergy will give way to international manufacturing approaches and strategic regional approaches to economic development through targeted support to research and innovation. M-FUTURE2013 presented how a more efficient H2020 can generate sustainable economic growth and jobs, and strengthen Europe's global competitiveness.

Keywords

Manufacturing industry, Horizon 2020, research and development, innovation policy, industrial technologies, research and innovation

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