Brussels, 22 Oct 2003
At a special media briefing at the EMO machine tool fair in Milan (IT), Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin highlighted the need for a 'strategic research agenda' to improve competitiveness in EU manufacturing.
Manufacturing is coming under increasing scrutiny, as new economy business models appear to be failing. Sustainability needs a holistic approach that covers not only flexible manufacturing but also product marketing, product use and service activities.
EMO was organised from 21 to 28 October 2003 by the European Committee for the Co-operation of the Machine Tool Industries(CECIMO) and the Italian Machine Tools, Robots and Automation Manufacturers' Association (UCIMU). It offered an ideal opportunity for journalists to learn what European research is doing to support manufacturing industry in Europe. The Commission press conference placed particular emphasis on machinery and machine tools as well as on industrial research for the European manufacturing industry.
Apart from Commissioner Busquin, participants in the press conference included Roberto Formigoni, President of the Lombardy region, Dante Speroni, vice-president of CECIMO, Research DG Industrial Technologies Director Ezio Andreta and the coordinators of three European manufacturing research projects:
In his address, Commissioner Busquin highlighted three principal requirements:
The importance of working together, networking and communicating between researchers and industrialists to prepare common platforms for industrial innovation;
The need to invest in research to illuminate the future of European industry; and
The need for themes such as new manufacturing technologies that are future-oriented and stimulate researchers, industrialists and society. They should open up the promise for renewed growth, a healthier environment and a better quality of life.
Journalists had the opportunity to visit these projects in the EMO exhibition as well as receiving preliminary information about a special conference on
to be held in Milan on 1 and 2 December 2003.