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Working on the policy recommendations for a smart Europe

Participants of the Industrial Technologies Conference agree on one fundamental thing: Europe needs an ambitious strategic industrial agenda in order to be at the forefront of the fourth revolution. One that is crucial for strengthening Europe’s competitive position and one that creates a friendly framework for open innovation. During an interactive workshop at IND16 today the strategy and content around possible policy recommendations were discussed.

Workshop Policy recommendations

A framework that enables innovation

Khalil Rouhana, DG Connect, aspires that every industry adapts a business model to digitalize change and innovation. The lines of action that need to be taken to create an enabling framework are: EU-level coordination framework; boosting digital innovation capacity; adapting legislation when needed; preparing Europeans for the digital age. According to Khalil ‘Europe is a powerhouse and a major generator for innovation’. The key priority to create a smart Europe is ‘combining all our efforts’.

Strengthening industrial competitiveness

The European approach towards strengthening the industrial competitiveness rests on four pillars, according to Mark Nicklas, DG GROW: market access; innovation; better regulation and human skills. Nicklas emphasizes that innovation needs openness and collaboration – across regions, across technological disciplines, between business and RTOs and between corporates and start-ups. Mark Nicklas points out that Europe must ‘join forces, be open an collaborate’ in order to seize the opportunities created by the fourth revolution.

Financial obstacles to be tackled

Currently, knowledge about future technology in the financial sector is limited. Therefore, financial support is difficult accessible for smaller companies – that needs to be changed. Peter Dröll, DG RTD, explains that industries can evolve without European support, but they don’t have to. ‘We need open innovation, open science and an open world in order to create the future markets together with our society’.

It is clear that the industrial technologies and digitalization create opportunities, but a clear strategy is needed in order to seize the opportunities and to tackle the challenges that Europe is facing.