Europe's competiveness depends on its capacity to deliver high-quality innovative products, at low cost. The innovative part of these products is often originated from advances in ICT.
ICT-based solutions applied across the manufacturing process chain help to make manufacturing more efficient. It allows for a more personalized, diversified and mass-produced product portfolio and flexible reaction to market changes.
Manufacturing is a major consumer of natural resources and energy (27%). Resources are increasingly extracted through recycling, for which ICT technologies such as RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification) and robotics are key enablers. Production uses more and more digital innovations such as data capturing, planning and control, modelling and simulation, cloud computing and big data analysis. Therefore the use of ICT in manufacturing contributes significantly to a more sustainable society.
The economically driven concentration processes in terms of size and localization in today's manufacturing industries has led to regional concentration of actors along value chains in a smaller number of lead regions in Europe. Less developed regions have little opportunity to participate in value creation. ICT allows the creation of 'virtual' value chains independently from the geographical location of its actors, which allow exploiting the potential of skilled labour forces in other regions, thereby making those regions participate in value creation, often at lower cost.
To achieve this, a smart specialization strategy is key. Its aim must be to identify and strengthen competitive advantages of EU regions in terms of ICT skills, R&D capability, industrial output and infrastructures and to link up R&D&I strategies at regional, national and European levels while offering incentives for growth and differentiation.
10 Networking sessions