Only innovative manufacturers emerge winners in competition

07 October 2013, Last updated at, 14:09 EET
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author: Dž. G. Barysaitė

Monday, October 7, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė opened a conference of the European Technology Platform on Future Manufacturing Technologies held under the motto "ManuFuture View on Horizon 2020". At the conference which is part of the official programme of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, representatives of European manufacturing industry and science will debate how Horizon 2020 - the EU's new framework programme for research and innovation - will strengthen the EU manufacturing industry, sustainable development and competitiveness in the period 2014-2020.

Taking part in the conference are approximately 450 participants from Europe and around the world: heads of major European business companies and manufacturing business associations, representatives from European universities and research institutions.

"The European Union has an ambition to be the Innovation Union. Europe's manufacturers can offer innovative and high quality products to the world. In the face of competition today every manufacturer must stand out, be attractive and reliable. This can be achieved through the collaborative efforts of private-public partnerships and based on research and investment in advanced innovative technologies. "Designed and made in the EU" should become a symbol of the supreme quality and innovation," the President said.

She underscored the contribution of Lithuanians to the development of European manufacturing. Lithuania is among few EU member states where manufacturing creates more than 20 percent of GDP. Our country can boast of manufacturers of lasers and other innovative technologies, furniture and plastics, whose products are sold worldwide.

The President underlined the need to continue actively attracting investment into Europe and Lithuania. To this end, it is crucial to create favorable conditions for transparent, socially responsible and environmentally friendly manufacturing. Modern factories in Lithuania and the EU mean jobs, taxes, safer environment, and social cohesion.

Horizon 2020 aims to turn the EU's scientific achievements into leading edge products and services which would offer more opportunities for business and improve the quality of life for people. The implementation of this programme would also contribute to promoting the position of the EU as a global leader in science and would allow investing in the future of manufacturing technologies. Over 70 bn euros are earmarked in the EU's new budget 2014-2020 for this programme which will help various EU regions to develop and make the most of their potential.

The initiatives under the programme designed to boost the Baltic Sea region's competitiveness are of critical importance to Lithuania as a key to advancing the scientific and industrial progress in Lithuania.

The programme of the conference also includes contact fairs and visits to Lithuanian companies. An exposition will also be open offering an opportunity to see a model of Lithuania's first satellite, freely moving robots, a motor glider, electric drive for bicycles, orthopedic 3D foot scanner, and other state-of-the-art products.

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