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Manufacturing Visions - Integrating Diverse Perspectives into Pan-European Foresight

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A makeover for manufacturing

High-tech innovation, improved supply chains, enhanced user interaction and sophisticated product development plan will help usher the European manufacturing sector into a new era.

Industrial Technologies

The future of manufacturing in Europe could be threatened by cheaper labour and overseas competition, especially in Asia. This makes it important for Europe to differentiate itself and stay ahead of the game. The EU-funded project 'Manufacturing visions - Integrating diverse perspectives into pan-European foresight' (Manvis) aimed to increase the sector's competitiveness through better policies that integrate insight from Europe's manufacturing experts. Through 22 workshops and intense surveying, the project team reached important conclusions and recommendations that would help articulate and further the vision for the future in the sector. The emerging conclusions covered manufacturing technologies, supply chain, logistics, strategy, working conditions and management. Manvis found that labour cost competition will result in loss of manufacturing outside the EU and in migration of manufacturing to the EU. It highlighted opportunities for eco-friendly, sustainable manufacturing, high-tech manufacturing and advanced product-service systems. The project also envisioned dominance of EU best practices in production, user interaction, product development, supply chains, and logistics. Realising such a vision would require developing truly high-tech manufacturing, competing through firms' own innovation systems, redefining demand through lead markets and fostering knowledge-based companies and industries. It would also require keeping Europe economically united in line with these recommendations. The Manvis project successfully integrated European research funding for manufacturing into the sector's long-term planning. It advanced the debate on the Manufuture Technology Platform and brought forth novel ideas that could potentially ensure the competitiveness of the industry for decades to come. Industry, government and other stakeholders will benefit from these recommendations and the change they can bring about.

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