Building a community of Young Manufacturing Leaders

EIT Manufacturing’s Young Manufacturing Leaders’ initiative (YML) was launched in 2020. Since its inception, the initiative has grown into a community of more than 200 registered members. New activities, meetings and competitions are planned for 2021. The current initiatives, linked to the World Manufacturing Forum, are open to 18–30-year-olds who share a passion for manufacturing, comprising both students and young professionals.

Meet GIULIA Dimonopoli, who is the Junior project Manager of the YML initiative.

What is your long-term goal with this community?

The long-term goal of YML international network is to create a new generation of manufacturing ambassadors that will be part of EIT Manufacturing networks, as well as bring other fellow students, young entrepreneurs, and professionals onboard. We want to create a community to nurture the world’s future manufacturing talents, by providing them with information about recent trends and technologies, while boosting soft skills and growing their professional network. Through this initiative, we hope to raise awareness about the opportunities the manufacturing sector can offer, and the role the industry will play in the transition to a more sustainable, circular, and digital Europe and world.

Does this community influence the perception of the manufacturing industry?

Still today, the perception of the manufacturing sector does not always meet the reality. We want to help challenging this perception and attract more young people to the industry and related fields of study. How will we do this? By sharing news about the recent industry trends and technologies, and new ways of working. We also want to inspire a dialogue about how the manufacturing sector will contribute to the green and digital transformation. To address these challenges, the YML offer its members access and information about various global activities, and events as well as bring the opportunities for collaboration with sector experts. We are convinced that this is the starting point to nurture the next generation of manufacturing leaders, with the right network, skills and passion to become long-term sector ambassadors.

What were your key achievements in 2020?

In 2020, the Young Manufacturing Leader -initiative created the first 5 local City-Hubs in Europe and started engaging members from both EU and Non-EU countries. The first international activities were launched involving YMLs in the initiatives of the World Manufacturing Foundation: the 2020 YML Essay Contest gave the chance to 5 winners and 3 special mentions to be featured in the 2020 WM Report, together with other 50 experts from over 30 countries. Furthermore, 7 YMLs were involved in the first edition of the “Back to the Future” initiative becoming contributors to the Focus Groups by analysing the impact of Covid-19 on manufacturing and researching possible solutions to face the pandemic challenge. In November 2020, the first edition of the YML Main Event was organised in the framework of the WM Week, reaching more than 150 online attendees. The event consisted of an Opening Session were YMLs had the opportunity to share their experience in the network, followed by a five-day matchmaking event during which YMLs realised 38 meetings among peers, and a communication thematic workshop “Leadership is Influence”.

What are you planning to do in 2021?

For the second year in a row, the YML network is involving its members in different international and local activities. The project partners are involving YMLs in the activities of the World Manufacturing Foundation, and recently launched two open calls:

A dedicated Young Manufacturing Leaders’ Event to be held in October 2021 in conjunction with the World Manufacturing Week – 18-22 October. Over the coming months, the community will also launch a Mentoring Programme involving both universities and companies, and an Innovation Contest giving the members a possibility to put their knowledge into practise. Moreover, the local City-Hubs are currently organising various thematic webinars on focusing manufacturing innovation related topics.

Raising awareness on gender equality and inclusivity in manufacturing is also a key objective of the  2021 activities to enlarge the manufacturing talent pool.

About Young Manufacturing Leaders

The Young Manufacturing Leaders project (YML) aims to create an ambassadors community of young people, with an interest in the manufacturing sector.  The objective is to nurture and inspire the community with information as well as supporting them in organising events and activities to spread awareness about modern manufacturing. The project is led by Politecnico di Milano, together with six other partners: Chalmers University, Czech Technical University in Prague, Tecnalia, TU Braunschweig, IMH Advanced Manufacturing Campus, University College Dublin, University of Porto and The World Manufacturing Foundation. The WM Foundation is also the organiser of the World Manufacturing Forum, an annual meeting with international manufacturing experts and stakeholders to discuss the last trends and innovations of the sector.

Learn more about the Young Manufacturing Leaders initiative on a dedicated website: