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Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

EIT Manufacturing: a Vision of the Future

2019.02.15

More than 150 experts meet in Donostia-San Sebastián to roll out Europe's most extensive Industry 4.0 innovation network

  • The network will have hubs in the Basque Country, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy
  • EIT Manufacturing's mission is to consolidate Europe's leading position in manufacturing innovation and promote the rapid, efficient uptake of new technologies
  • Efforts will focus on cooperation in R&D, upskilling, enterprise creation, robotics, digitalisation, zero defect manufacturing and additive manufacturing
  • EIT Manufacturing is a consortium of 50 partners from 17 European countries, including Volkswagen, Volvo, Vienna University of Technology, Siemens and Whirlpool Europe, joined by Aernnova, Corporación Mondragon, IK4 Research Alliance, ITP Aero and Tecnalia, from the Basque Country
  • The initiative was launched this morning by Klaus Beetz, CEO of EIT Manufacturing, and Rikardo Bueno, CEO of the Western Hub, accompanied by Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development and infrastructures

Donostia-San Sebastián, 15 February 2019. The manufacturing sector is a key force in Europe, encompassing more than 2 million businesses and sustaining almost 30 million direct jobs. Nevertheless, new market and societal demands, rapid advances in technology, and environmental and sustainability requirements are driving change in the sector. EIT Manufacturing, Europe’s leading Industry 4.0 innovation network, has been set up to make European industry more competitive. With support from the European Commission, a consortium of 50 partners from 17 countries will work together to consolidate Europe's leading position in manufacturing innovation, promoting the rapid and efficient uptake of new technologies.

The initiative, which will have hubs in the Basque Country, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy, was launched this week in Donostia-San Sebastián, where more than 150 industry experts gathered over Thursday and Friday to roll out the earliest stages. Efforts will focus on cooperation in R&D, training, new businesses, robotics, digitalisation, zero defect manufacturing and additive manufacturing.

The Western Hub, to be located in the Basque Country, will be set up by Basque firms Aernnova, Corporación Mondragón, IK4 Research Alliance, ITP Aero and Tecnalia, to stimulate and coordinate input from French, Portuguese and Spanish stakeholders.

Donostia-San Sebastian launch

The initiative was launched this morning in Donostia-San Sebastián by Klaus Beetz, CEO of EIT Manufacturing, and Rikardo Bueno, CEO of the Western Node, accompanied by Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development and infrastructures.

Rikardo Bueno underlined that, “the Basque Country hub will deliver new opportunities for innovation in Basque industry, allowing us to strengthen upskilling activities, launch new technologies and hook innovators up with investors.” Bueno also stressed the importance of the Basque Country hub for the Europe-wide initiative: “It will further bolster our contribution and cement the Basque reputation for innovation, particularly strong in manufacturing, where we have a very positive record of participating in and spearheading European initiatives.

Klaus Beetz, CEO EIT Manufacturing, said EIT Manufacturing is committed to create the future curriculum for students, professionals and leaders as a driving force for innovation and business creation, transforming the manufacturing sector that counts for 32 million jobs in Europe (16% of the total EU working population), into the digital economy.”

Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, congratulated the Basque actors involved in the consortium and underlined the importance of strengthening policies and strategies to bolster a more industrial Europe. “This can only be done by working together, both at home and internationally. The Basque Government, as a member of the international Vanguard network, is part of a regional lobby aimed at influencing European Commission strategies towards consolidating and advancing European industry. EIT Manufacturing is a step in this direction and opens up opportunities to advance the Basque Industry 4.0 strategy, and for Basque enterprises to optimise the public resources earmarked for the project. We need to make this initiative into a space that gives us a competitive advantage and shines a light on how we bring added value to our European partners”.

Aims

The network will have an annual budget of €80 million, of which €15 million is earmarked for the Western Hub, located in the Basque Country. The funds will be used to support the creation and development of new products and to implementing existing technologies. More than half of Basque industry is expected to take part.

The network's missions are to accelerate the digitalisation of the sector and help to implement more agile, flexible and environmentally and socially sustainable practices. The outcome will be to generate high-quality jobs, provide training to students and attract talent, as well as creating “innovation infrastructures”, bringing businesses, technology centres, universities and investors together.

With this aim, over the first seven years in operation of EIT Manufacturing, the Basque network will put in place new mechanisms to bring actors together with a view to accelerating the launch of more than 100 innovative new products, creating over 200 enterprises and upskilling more than 10,000 workers and investigators.

EIT Manufacturing is a consortium of 50 partners, including Volkswagen, Volvo, Vienna University of Technology, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Siemens, the Slovak University of Technology, and Whirlpool Europe. The network has backing and support from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up to impulse the creation of innovation networks, including upskilling, R&D and Innovation and new business creation. EIT also has similar communities for the energy, environmental, digital, healthcare, raw materials, food and urban mobility sectors in place.

The EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) was created in 2008 to drive Europe’s ability to innovate. The EIT is a unique EU initiative, the only one to fully integrate business, education and research. The Institute supports the development of dynamic panEuropean partnerships among leading universities, research labs and companies. These are called Innovation Communities and each focuses on a specific global challenge.

EIT Manufacturing – Making Innovation Happen

More information at www.eit.europa.eu 

Contact: Itziar Blanco (+34 681 273 464)

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Antonio Bardasco

T. 902 760 000

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