Future European Manufacturing System


It has been only one year since we published our vision for 2030, called ‘Fixing Our Future.’ An optimistic forward look to the post-COVID-19 period, the reshaping of value chains and the re-globalisation, instead of de-globalisation, caused by the rise of nationalist politics and prevention measures that governments put in place in response to the pandemic. But with the war in Ukraine and its implications on the economic sector – mainly on energy supply for Europe – the situation has become even more complex. The manufacturing industry, as a global base for prosperity, a key to Europe’s economic, social and environmental sustainability and the main driver of industrial innovation, job creation and growth, is heavily impacted by all these developments.

Despite all these short-term impacts and challenges, we must be careful not to neglect the main long-term challenge, that is the future of our planet as also reflected in the Green Deal of the European Commission. Sustainability cannot be an “innovative” add-on, it must be a mandatory priority. Therefore, we have to re-think manufacturing, we have re-think WHAT we manufacture and HOW we manufacture. The key elements of deploying process innovation, including people, processes and technologies, are also central to a successful transformation of industry towards the circular economy, decarbonisation and reduction of energy consumption. Like in most industries, the transformation of manufacturing is affected by the skills, well-being and innovative capacity of the workforce. People, with their experiences and knowledge, are the most valuable assets of the European industry, which is why leveraging a human-centered approach to Industry 5.0, as proposed by the European Commission, is critical.” As one powerful ecosystem, EIT Manufacturing connects diverse networks and expertise that are essential for the transformation of the industry on its open innovation platform AGORA to build the pan-European manufacturing community. Through its focus on education, EIT Manufacturing seeks to empower the European economy with people that are capable and inspired to shape the future of manufacturing. EIT Manufacturing Innovation team supports the European manufacturing – companies and tech organizations and helps them to industrialize innovative projects, while the Business Creation team empowers high-growth, profitable companies with a positive social impact.


Based on this unique ecosystem, EIT Manufacturing, in cooperation with its partners and network of contributors, has taken the initiative to postulate the ’European Manufacturing System’ as a strategic objective for the European manufacturing industry, with universal implications. The ’European Manufacturing System‘ aims to make the ‘Fixing our Future’ vision tangible to overcome traditional barriers, especially between enterprises, through an ecosystem approach. The transition features sustainability as a decisive factor and provides a roadmap to the vision of autonomous, self-organised production and logistics. Supported by the European data infrastructure Gaia-X, it is a foundation for a future-oriented business philosophy that becomes reality in the traditional manufacturing industry, affecting the workforce and society at large.

Klaus Beetz, CEO EIT Manufacturing
April 2023

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EIT Manufacturing is headquartered in Paris-Saclay and has six Co-Location Centres (CLCs) across Europe.

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