EU Industry Days – Europe's technology industries at the heart of the twin transition

14 February 2022

"The manufacturing companies in Europ...

"The manufacturing companies in Europe are really at the heart of the green and digital transition", said Orgalim President Rada Rodriguez in one of the plenary sessions at EU Industry Days, the EU's flagship annual event for industry last week. And that was evident as Orgalim and representatives from Europe's technology industries took part in session after session at the event. The take-outs were many here is our selection of highlights:

Making the business case

To drive the twin transition, the additional investments needed both public and private are huge.  So "Europe needs a policy framework that better rewards investments in the types of products and solutions that we all want to see", stressed Ms Rodriguez in the plenary on the business case for the EU industry investing in the green, digital and resilient economy.  

That means, firstly, a Sustainable Finance framework that fully reflects the critical role of technology in reaching Europe's climate and environmental goals, she argued. Second, we need to make far better use of Europe's Internal Market, by fixing the current deficiencies in our standardisation system, strengthening market surveillance to safeguard a level playing field, and making new rules such as those for Machinery, AI, Data and Cybersecurity future-proof. Third, we need the EU to stand up for industries as global trade champions, and that includes recognising the value of our global supply chains and strengthening our access to export markets.

  Europe needs a policy framework that better rewards investments in the types of products and solutions that we all want to see 

Rada Rodriguez

Accelerating advanced manufacturing 

Tuesday sessions were mainly dedicated to the different Task Forces of the Industrial Forum. Orgalim co-hosted with CECIMO the one focused on how to accelerate the uptake of advanced manufacturing. "Across different industrial ecosystems, the uptake of advanced manufacturing will be core to their ability to cut emissions, to digitalise and to become more resilient in the face of a much more unpredictable competitive environment", said Orgalim's Director General Malte Lohan in his opening remarks. And the panellists, moderated by our Policy Director Christoph Luykx, contributed numerous practical recommendations to this end.   

Data driving the green transition 

On the final day of the four-day event, the panel discussion on the data-driven green transition was equally full of concrete examples and actionable pointers on how to better leverage data to fully realise the potential of the twin transition. 

A key cornerstone for industries to adapt to carbon neutrality is the extensive use of data and digital technologies, said moderator Jaakko Hirvola, Chairman of Orgalim and CEO of Technology Industries of Finland, which organised the session. That means looking not only at the footprint, but also the handprint: that is, how companies' technology solutions can reduce the carbon footprint of their clients. 

Among the recommendations for businesses: to start small, start trusting your partners and start finding small areas where you can find win-wins. For EU regulators, the message was clear: the EU Data Act and AI Act, while well intended, risk introducing large grey areas and making data-sharing more difficult. "When it comes to industrial data, Europe has a lot to offer", emphasised Wolfgang Weber, CEO of ZVEI, the German electro and digital industry association and member of Orgalim. "But we need a regulatory framework that makes the use of data easier for companies and, to transfer these data along the value chain, we need to work on standards".

Other Task Force sessions

Besides the Task Force session on advanced manufacturing, representatives from Orgalim’s member network also participated in two other panels around the Industrial Forum Task Forces. Joel Jonsson, Director EU Single Market and Trade Policy at Teknikföretagen, the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries, and nominated by Orgalim to Task Force 3 on strategic dependencies joined the session on addressing strategic dependencies in a co-creative way. 

​​​​​​​Mervi Karikorpi, Director Innovation, Environment and Renewal at the Technology Industries of Finland, who represents Orgalim in Task Force 4, spoke on how industrial ecosystems can contribute to the strategic autonomy of the EU, unlocking cross-border and cross-ecosystem investments.

All sessions are available for replay to registered participants here.