Unlocking the full benefits of digitisation for Europe: Orgalime at the FT Future of Manufacturing Summit

16 October 2018

On 3 and 4 October senior business leaders, policymakers and journalists from across the UK and Europe once again assembled in London to peer into the crystal ball and ask what lies in store for industry. Organised by the Financial Times, this year’s FT Future of Manufacturing Summit zoomed in on maximising the value of Industry 4.0.

On 3 and 4 October senior business le...

Orgalime was partner association to the event, with Director General Malte Lohan putting the priorities of the European technology industries centre stage in the opening panel debate: accelerate digitisation, strengthen the competitive environment, and enable industry to turn societal challenges into drivers of growth.

Kicking off the two-day summit, this discussion tackled smart policy initiatives to support innovative, sustainable and competitive manufacturing. The EU policymakers’ perspective was shared by Antti Peltomäki, Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s DG Grow; while Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, contributed the view of a leading corporate player in the digital industrial era.

No surprises, then, that digitisation, data and R&I were high on the agenda. “Europe must take full advantage of the digital transformation – not only within our industry but across society as a whole,” stressed Mr Lohan, “we are nowhere near reaping the full benefits of this for the economy.” But he also made clear that the EU needs to think bigger and be ambitious in its vision for industry’s role in a strong and united Europe towards 2030 and beyond: “With the competitive environment changing rapidly and populism on the rise, the EU must be bold in promoting international free trade and defending and strengthening the Internal Market.”

Get it right and the benefits will extend far beyond the manufacturing sector itself, as Europe’s technology industries are leading the way in the innovations shaping a greener, healthier and safer world.

As Mr Lohan concluded: “A forward-looking policy framework can help turn societal challenges into drivers of growth, by enabling our companies to deliver solutions for evolutions such as the energy transition, smart mobility or healthy ageing.”

The content-packed programme that followed over the two-day event looked at Industry 4.0 from all angles, focusing on the value already being created and opportunities for the future. Key takeaways included:

  • Digital tech transforming the factory floor: connected technologies are making production more efficient and flexible, allowing manufacturers to do more with less – delivering better quality while consuming fewer resources.
  • Data fuelling future growth: the sea of data churned out by connected systems is being transformed into valuable insights – opening the door to a host of new services and business models. This will make cybersecurity and free flow of industrial data crucial to future success.
  • The AI revolution is already here: manufacturers are leveraging AI and machine learning to generate efficiency across the value chain in the here and now – the question is how to increase uptake across sectors.
  • Collaboration on the rise: digitisation is creating new collaborative ecosystems by making connections across operations and supply chains – enabling a whole new kind of speed and flexibility.

Orgalime will be continuing the conversation on the need to strengthen collaboration, promote a future-facing EU industrial strategy and grow opportunities for Europe’s technology industries in AI at our ‘Collaborate to Better Compete’ event in Brussels on 13 November. Full programme details are available here. If you are interested in joining us for this invitation-only event please contact the communications team.

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