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The thematic workshops were one of the most important parts of this year’s Conference programme. During the workshops, the companies were able to present their industry cases. At the same time, the workshops were a forum for debate. Each workshop was organized accordingly to the following programme (although subject to changes, resulting from the specific themes and conditions):

  • Introduction to the theme by the workshop coordinator (30 min.)
  • Presentation of two cases, one from the hosting company (2 x 15 min.)
  • Visit to the hosting company (30 min.)
  • Coffee-break (15 min.)
  • Debate (75 min.)
  • Conclusions and recommendations (30 min)

Bellow you can find the list of workshops, which indicates the coordinator and rapporteur as well as the organizations hosting workshops and presenting cases.


W1: The challenges for European high tech sectors

Coordinator: Rikardo Bueno (FATRONIK)
Rapporteur: Augusta Paci (ITIA-CNR)

Hosting company: QIMONDA (
Second case: ACCIONA (
Complementary presentation: Alessandro Sciolari (ASSOKNOWLEDGE)

This workshop focused the challenges that the existing European-based high tech companies and sectors, such as the automotive, aerospace, electronics, and others are facing and will face in the future. Some of the issues that were covered were the following: the impact of R&D and engineering units and services delocalization, the growing competition of foreign companies and the need to ensure high R&D investments in order to keep up with existing and emerging economies.


W2: The transformation of mature manufacturing sectors

Coordinator: Christoph Hanisch (FESTO AG)
Rapporteur: Américo Azevedo (INESC Porto)

Hosting company: CODIZO (
Second case: HOMAG (
Complementary presentation: Helmut Kergel (VDI)

As stated in the Vision 2020 document, mature sectors are a fertile ground for R&D and innovation, although they have specific challenges, limitations and needs. Thus, they require suitable approaches, methodologies and tools. Development of technology is often not consistently promoted, not only because there is a lack of resources and critical mass, but also because their business has a short term focus. Some of the themes that were addressed in this workshop were the following: cooperation, networking, flexibility, education and training, access to research organizations and results, development and dissemination of generic technologies, and others. The debates were carried out, not only to discuss suitable ways to connect this type of business to R&D, but also for them to find ways to manage challenges in the future.


W3: The promotion of new companies/sectors in emerging scientific and technological areas

Coordinator: David Williams (Loughborough University)
Rapporteur: Emanuele Carpanzano (ITIA-CNR)

Hosting company: MULTIWAVE PHOTONICS (
Second case: BITECIC (

The creation of new companies in emerging sectors, capable of exploring the outcomes of research investments in new, far front areas is a priority. Apart from economic value generation, it promotes job creation and industrial fabric regeneration. Some of the relevant topics covered were the following: high potential research areas and technologies, IPR management, entrepreneurship and new funding mechanisms.


W4: Sustainability in manufacturing

Coordinator: Engelbert Westkamper (Fraunhofer IPA)
Rapporteur: Alexander Schloske (Fraunhofer IPA)

Hosting company: MABERA (
Second case: KÄRCHER (

Energy efficiency and environmental impact are becoming key issues for the manufacturing industry. On one hand, they produce regulations, barriers and extra productions costs; on the other hand, they generate huge business opportunities for new technologies, products, services and markets. These issues were addressed by this working group in order to extract valuable recommendations for industry, research community and also for policy making.


W5: Key issues in ICT for manufacturing

Coordinator: Chris Decubber (AGORIA)
Rapporteur: Daniel Richet (CETIM)

Hosting company: SONAE INDUSTRY (
Second case: PTC (

Information and communication technologies are a key element for the European industry’s competitiveness. Because it is possible to apply them in all sectors, all types and sizes of companies and also in all levels of the industrial structure (from strategic to operational levels), they are unquestionably the most horizontal and relevant set of technologies. Apart from that, they are particularly important for SMEs because of their accessibility and cost/risk level.

ICT are penetrating very deeply into manufacturing systems and their components. In fact, they are becoming advanced and intelligent mechatronic systems. This workshop discussed the most relevant ICT and proposed actions to ensure their development under European, national and regional programmes.


W6: Research and training for innovation

Coordinator: Franco Jovane (ITIA)
Rapporteur: Darek Ceglarek (Warwick Manufacturing Group)

Hosting company: BIAL (
Second case: SINTESI (

Research and innovation on one side and education and training on the other, are key pillars for the future of European competitiveness. The synergies between these two areas of European innovation system need to be further developed, which requires an alignment between policies, programmes and actions.


W7: Raising the RTD intensity of European industry

Coordinator: Frank Knecht (VDMA)
Rapporteur: Paul Desruelle (European Commission, JRC-IPTS)

Hosting company: FREZITE (
Second case: CLAAS (

The European Union invests less of its GDP in research and development than its main competitors. The overall research investment (in GDP percentage) stagnated in mid-1990s and represents 1.96%, against 2.59% in the United States, 3.12% in Japan and 2.91% in Korea. Moreover, should current trends last, China’s RTD intensity will surpass that of the EU within the next two years. The sluggish RTD performance of the European economy is mainly due to the low level of private RTD spending, accounting e.g. to 80% of the annual €120 billion difference to the US. This workshop examines the reasons for Europe’s low RTD intensity and tries to identify effective policy options and measures in order to steer private investment towards RTD activities.


W8: East / West synergies

Coordinator: Edward Chlebus (Wroclaw Univ.)
Rapporteur: Sue Dunkerton (TWI / Health Technologies KTN)

Hosting company: EFACEC (
Second case: Aviation Valley / Polish Aeronautical Technology Platform (

The EU enlargement to 25 countries demands a significant financial effort in terms of the investment that is needed to support the progressive cohesion of the new member states. Considering the significant number of new members (compared with previous enlargement processes) and the current budget limitations, it is important to ensure effective and efficient processes. Learning from the past, in order to achieve those goals, it is important to share best practices, avoid some mistakes, etc, and be capable of adapting oneself to the new reality. Several complementarities are also important. Thus, there’s a need for synergies between the economy (and the industry) of these two spaces. When properly combined and aligned, they have the potential to create a unified space, with stronger competitive advantages which can be compared to the other global competitors. These and other relevant themes under this topic were addressed in this workshop.

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