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Futuring European Industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FUTURING (Futuring European Industry)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-02-28

FUTURING will create the vision for Europe in 2030 and provide cohesive policy recommendations that could be used by the European Commission and other Policy Bodies to create a framework with the aim of transforming European Industry, in the context of circular economy. FUTURING innovative activities are based upon the holistic perspective of Circular Economy by considering the three main pillars of sustainability, i.e. Planet, People and Profit. Therefore, the expected vision for Europe in 2030 and the accompanied policy recommendations are formulated in a way to simultaneously ensure sustainable environment, society and industry of the future.

It has been identified that there is a need for a new vision for future EU Industry and its progressive implementation. This first objective is addressed by FUTURING, in line with EC strategic initiatives, carried out in the last 15 years, which have contributed to implement:
• Lisbon EU Strategy, i.e. the continuing presence of a strong and competitive EU Industry.
• EU 2020 Strategy, i.e. an EU smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

An additional multiple objective has been pursued and achieved: i.e. the definition of a framework comprised of six building blocks and pillar actions, in order to be examined in current and perspective situations. This has enabled:
• The identification and analysis of the current enablers and barriers to support realizing the vision for Industry 2030 based on experts and stakeholders’ feedback;
• The benchmarking of specifically targeted cases to better understand the framework conditions, the high priority areas and the opportunities for key technologies in the future;

The final objective accomplished has been the generation, for given framework conditions and periods/time, of Policy support and recommendations towards the modernisation of European Industry, considering – in particular - circular economy and novel technological aspects.

FUTURING has been following a strong evidence-based approach for developing policy recommendations towards the definition of the vision for future European Industry. The digitalization of industry and the impact of current EC policies have been assessed while addressing current and emerging paradigms such as Sustainable Development, Sharing Economy and Competitive Sustainable Globalization.
The methodology followed in FUTURING is based on a circle of analysis, using the set of building blocks identified during the project. Indicative FUTURING results are provided hereafter:
1. A new vision for the EU industry in an international context;
2. An insight into high value-added production in competing economies, and the competitive position of European R&D&I in the NMBP areas, which can help EU industry benefit from international cooperation;
3. An understanding of the interdependencies between science, technology, the economy and society, which are associated to the technology driven paradigm change in production and consumption;
4. Concrete evidence and cases for the needs and framework conditions for industry and SMEs to invest and expand in Europe;
5. An inventory of strategies for potential large-scale industrial investments in Europe to deploy technological advances in new products and services on the market, taking into account public and private funding and financing possibilities including Important Projects of Common European Interest and the European Fund for Strategic Investments;
6. An assessment of the contribution to this vision of EU projects on KET pilot lines and demonstrators;
7. Promotion of the relevant results of NMBP projects in this context.
8. Policy support and recommendations towards the modernisation of European Industry, considering – in particular - circular economy and novel technological aspects.

The results of the project were disseminated in a series of international conferences and workshops, where experts from FUTURING were invited to give presentations and frequently keynote speeches. Indicative related information can be found here: http://www.futuring-project.eu/news-events
Circular economy represents the achievement of a great transition from a linear way of producing/consuming/wasting to a global circular optimization of the flows of products, services and sustainable employment.
Expected aspects of the large impact of this transition by following the implementation of FUTURING policy recommendations are indicatively listed hereafter:
- Europe could create a total annual benefit of €1.8 trillion by 2030, twice the benefit of the current development path.
- European GDP could increase as much as 11% by 2030 and 27% by 2050, compared with 4% and 15% in current development scenario.
- The annual net material costs savings opportunity amounts in EU could reach up to 630M$
- A more secured scheme of material supply and price predictability.
- New jobs to be created in waste and recycling sectors, as well as in upgrade, repair, re-manufacturing activities.
- The transition could also reduce primary material consumption by appr. 30% by 2030 and appr. 50% by 2050.
- And, of course, also result in reducing negative impacts on soil, water and air.
- Circular Economy could reduce by almost 50% the Carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 across various sectors including construction industry, or more than 80% by 2050.

As a result of the transition from a linear to a circular scheme in economy materialized by employing advanced production technologies intelligently, by well-designed incentives and regulations, by changes in social behavior, and increased public and private investments in sustainable manufacturing, Europe will meet the vision of future EU industry. The FUTURING project helps gaining a deep understanding of the limits and drawbacks of the current linear situation, and emphasize through investigated projects and other sources, the return of experiments, cases, benchmarks, as well as the barriers and best practices to trigger this transition. Finally, it provides a set of key policy recommendations to support, in an effective way, the relevant EU industry transformation.
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