COP, or the “Conference of Parties”, is an annual United Nations summit about the climate crisis. This year, COP28 takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November until 12 December 2023. Although COP is first and foremost about the negotiations, the EU will also host 90+ side events on the most pressing climate-related issues. One of these online panels was held on the 5th of December 2023 called “Empowering a Human-Centric Industry for the Twin Transitions“. The discussion focused on the importance of skills in tackling contemporary challenges in the new era of manufacturing. 

Dr. Niki Kousi, Managing Director of EIT Manufacturing South East, participated in this panel along with other important speakers regarding the role of innovation in driving the green and digital transition at a COP28 EU side event organized by HADEA. Dr. Kousi emphasized the significance of human centricity in manufacturing and the need for businesses to prepare for this technological revolution. She was invited to give some insights regarding the ways human-robot collaboration supports human centricity considering her previous experience as a project manager and coordinator of “THOMAS” project.  

She also highlighted the role of EIT Manufacturing, a European innovation community dedicated to fostering innovation and bridging the skills gap for the manufacturing industry. She presented how EIT Manufacturing plays an important role in the exploitation and industry adoption of such technologies that generate from projects like “THOMAS” and “SHERLOCK”. 

Dr. Niki Kousi discussing the use cases of THOMAS project

The panel was moderated by Marina Zanchi, Director of the European Health and Digital Executive Agency. Present to the panel were also Liviu Stirbăț, Member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Jourova, European Commission, Chris Ivory, Professor of Innovation Management at Mälardalens University, Sweden, Gaetano Patrimia, Innovation & IP Manager at Prima Additive S.r.l., and Steven Dhondt, Senior Research Scientist, Professor at TNO – Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.  

The panel also discussed the EU’s commitment to research and innovation in driving the green and digital transition. Marina Zanchi, Director of the European Health and Digital Executive Agency pointed out that the EU has funded numerous projects aimed at achieving these goals and stated that the EU is committed to supporting innovative solutions that address the challenges of the 21st century. The importance of Human-centric manufacturing in aiming at a more sustainable industrial sector and the differences in the workforce on how upskilling is important for the future, were some hot topics discussed also in the panel. 

The COP28 EU side event provided an opportunity to discuss the critical role of innovation in driving the green and digital transition. Dr. Kousi’s insights regarding EIT Manufacturing’s contributions to this transformation highlighted the importance of skills development and collaboration in preparing for the future of manufacturing.  

You can watch the event online here: