Slovak EU Council Presidency launches roadmap for re-industrialisation of Europe

The three-day international conference Re-industrialisation of the EU 2016 (REinEU2016), an event of the Slovak EU Council Presidency, closed on 28 October 2016 with a final message on re-industrialisation sent to the EU Member States, to industry and to the Commission under the name Bratislava Agenda – A call for a European Industrial Revolution to Re-industrialise Europe. “The European Commission can act as an enabler of the industrial revolution. But ultimately we cannot create jobs, the only industry can. I think industrial revolution is already ongoing and we need to ensure that we can benefit from it across Europe,” stated Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in her speech during the launch of the Agenda.

The document is a joint initiative of the Dutch and Slovak Presidencies and has been finalised with the collaboration of the European and international community of researchers, innovators, industries and SMEs representatives at the event. The Agenda calls for upcoming EU presidencies to review the progress and adopt new measures for the delivery of actions under five key pillars that shall enable the re-industrialisation in Europe:

1. Focusing on distinctive European innovations, including disruptive innovations;
2. Fostering talent and skills for innovation;
3. Bridging the innovation divide in Europe;
4. Developing a common ecosystem for re-industrialising Europe;
5. Improving quality of life, protection of human health and the environment

“Commission proposes an increase of €400 million for Horizon 2020 to further boost growth and jobs,” announced Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of the Directorate of Research and Innovation of the European Commission at first day of the conference. “Big data, the internet of things, robotics and quantum computing offer enormous opportunities for our industry. But to use these opportunities to their full extent, both the private and the public sector need to engage in a constructive, future-oriented dialogue on topics such as investments, skills, regulations and innovation,” he pointed out to highlight the opportunity represented by the Bratislava Agenda.

With a strong focus on the field of nanotechnologies, advanced materials and manufacturing technologies, the event aimed at emphasising and discussing the role of science, research and innovation in the sustainable development of the European economy and the re-industrialisation of Europe. The event focused on the impact of research and innovation on the support and growth of production in the more "traditional" manufacturing sectors. The conference included a matchmaking event, exhibition, poster sessions, site visits around Bratislava, workshops and competitions.