If you needed reminding that European industry remains at the very leading edge of innovation, a visit to this year’s Hannover Messe - the world’s top industrial technology trade show - would have left you in no doubt. ‘Industrial intelligence’ was the buzzword of the week-long event, with exhibitors from across the EU and beyond demonstrating how digitalisation, data and AI are transforming sectors from industrial automation to energy to mobility.
Clearly we are experiencing a paradigm shift across industries, a fact that is not lost on EU policymakers as they sharpen their focus on what these new technologies mean for Europe’s economy and society. With the dialogue ongoing, the Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI (of which Orgalim is an active member) has now published its first guidelines on ethical AI - more details below.
More broadly, the dynamism on show at Hannover raises the question: how can Europe maintain this momentum and continue to strengthen its competitiveness? This lies at the heart of the industrial strategy debate that has been unfolding in recent months; however, not all the answers proposed are equally helpful. Our open letter to Heads of State or Government ahead of the March European Council made clear where the technology industries stand: an EU strategy will only succeed if it is based on free, fair competition and market-driven innovation (for a success story of how the Internal Market’s level playing field boosts competitiveness, be sure to check out the latest Technology at Heart). Open, rules-based trade will also be key, as more cautious growth forecasts presented by German tech associations at Hannover were accompanied by warnings on the dangers of protectionist policies.
Central to our industries’ vision for the future of Europe, these are the issues we will be focusing on as we intensify our engagement with key stakeholders in the run-up to the EU elections in May (and our upcoming workshop ‘Lobbying in practice’ will examine how to shape the conversation in an increasingly complex EU landscape). As political campaigns ramp up and policymakers dash to get the last files over the finish line, we’re in for an interesting few weeks ahead.