Can we put our future competitiveness at risk? No: Europe is a world-leader in many strategic sectors (automotive, engineering, space, pharmaceuticals,…). Industry still accounts for 4/5 of Europe’s exports and 80% of both Europe’s exports and of private sector R&D investment comes from manufacturing. But to keep this advantage and start growing again, we cannot afford neglecting those sectors and technologies that have the greatest potential and spill-over effects.
It is time to lay the foundation of a new industrial revolution based on green energy, clean transport, new production methods, novel materials and smart communication systems.
This is the same approach followed in the Blue Growth strategy, which I presented in September. The two documents share also the same faith in turning today’s challenges in opportunities for the future. Moreover, they cover domains that are similar and complementary.
Innovative processes and technologies can facilitate exploitation of marine biomass for the production of bio-based materials and seabed mining can help increasing the supply of raw materials that are vital for the competitiveness of EU industry. Adequate infrastructures and interconnection facilities are paramount to unleash the potential Renewable Energy Sources, including Blue energy. EU shipbuilding industry’s competitiveness can improve thanks to the LeaderSHIP 2015 strategy, contributing to sustainable sea-borne transport, infrastructure and advancing into maritime energy generation.
The Communication “A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery” takes into account these opportunities and, at the same time, makes it clear that one of the main aims of our EU industrial policy should be the reduction of the competitiveness and productivity gap between among countries and regions within the EU. A stronger industry, fit for the future can help Europe to start growing again.