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EU scheme hopes to create 1,000 start-ups by 2030

29 January, 2019

The European Union has set up a consortium with the goal of creating 1,000 manufacturing start-up businesses, and training and upskilling 50,000 people across the EU by 2030. The EIT Manufacturing consortium brings together 50 partners from 17 countries (not including the UK) with aim of helping the European manufacturing sector to become more competitive, sustainable and productive.

The consortium – part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) which was set up in 2008 to help drive the EU’s ability to innovate – includes Festo, Kuka, Siemens, Volkswagen, Comau, Spinea and Volvo among its members, which are also drawn from education and research organisations.

EIT Manufacturing will have its headquarters in Paris and is setting up innovation hubs in Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Austria. The EU has provided a start-up grant of €4m and this is expected to increase to more than €80m after a few years of activity, provided that the consortium achieves its expected results. The initiative is also expected to attract funding from public and private sources, with the goal of attracting €325m of investment by 2030.

“If we want to create sustainable growth in the European manufacturing sector, we need to innovate and embrace industry 4.0,” says Professor George Chryssolouris from the University of Patras, EIT Manufacturing’s key coordinating partner. “Such a shift requires investment and education. The EIT’s innovation model is perfect for this: by bringing together business, industry, research and education as well as the public sector, it not only acts as a catalyst for change, but also creates new investments and opportunities. There’s no other initiative like the EIT in the world.”

EIT Manufacturing has set itself a series of ambitious goals to achieve by 2030

EIT Manufacturing’s strategic objectives include adding value through: upskilling the manufacturing workforce; creating ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship and business transformation; digitalising manufacturing; promoting agile, flexible manufacturing; ensuring that manufacturing is safe, healthy, and ethically and socially sustainable; and making industry cleaner and greener.

The European manufacturing sector employs almost 30 million people in 2.1 million enterprises, and accounts for close to 20% of GDP on average. However it is under pressure from factors including technological advances, global competition, low-cost production in developing countries, scarcity of raw materials, and the need for a more circular economy.

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