400 participants, key industrial players, global trend shapers and high-level policy makers inspired a debate on the future of European industry held in Brussels on 28 February 2017.
The nature of industry is changing, driven by rapid technological change. The evolution of industrial activity is characterised by digitalisation, clean and circular technologies, and a higher reliance on services. The Commission fully supports its industry and makes a strong contribution to jobs and growth in Europe by establishing industrial competitiveness into all major policy initiatives from the Investment Plan and Horizon 2020 to the Single Market Strategy, from circular economy to Digitising European Industry. The strategic approach to industrial competitiveness aims to empower businesses, citizens and entire regions to be fit for the future.
With this in mind, the Commission organised the first European Industry Day to take stock of existing actions and stimulate debate on a joint vision for the long-term future of European industry.
- What has been achieved by mainstreaming industrial competitiveness into EU policy?
- How will people find their place in the new industrial revolution?
- What is the role of regional ecosystems for industrial transformation?
- What are the key technologies for the future of industry?
During the event, we also identified gaps to make further progress towards smart, clean and innovative industry that creates employment and high living standards for our citizens.
The event opened with a video message from Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. High-level policy makers, including Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Internal Market, Industry, SMEs and Entrepreneurship) and Carlos Moedas (Research and Innovation) participated in the event. Representatives of traditional and new, disruptive sectors presented their views on the future of their business. Entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups and the tech community shared the stage with key EU political leaders. Speakers from the Committee of Regions, the European Investment Bank, the European Parliament, Business Europe and the European Trade Union Confederation were also present.
Prof Hugo Thienpont of B-Phot at VUB and Coordinator of ACTPHAST was invited to present ACTPHAST as a model for accelerating SME innovation across Europe in the key enabling technology of photonics.