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A European-wide approach is needed to make industry in Europe future-proof. There are certainly opportunities given the strengths of European companies in new technologies, like nanotechnology, and new sustainable materials. If EU members states work more closely together, it will be possible to manufacture more smartly and for Europe to compete better with Asia and North America.
This call for a European Industry Agenda is made by European companies, knowledge institutions, scientists and academics, underlined with the presentation of the Amsterdam Declaration ‘Creating a Smart Europe’ to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas on Thursday 23 June during the Industrial Technologies Conference.
One of the co-authors of the document is Professor Egbert-Jan Sol of TNO, also director of the Dutch Smart Industry programme agency. He emphasises the opportunities for European business and industry. “The Third Industrial Revolution automated a lot of processes. What you now see is that these networks can be connected with each other. In combination with more use of robotics, laser technology and 3D printing, factories are now able to make single items for a mass production price: the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This means that factories can be much smaller and even be located in cities, with manufacturing just around the corner. So no longer will we have to move production units to China, for instance.”
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