1. Cooperation and partnership of EU countries with those from Central and
International networking, inside Europe and beyond, is a source for fruitful economical development in the EU. Creating synergies by cooperation in manufacturing R&D will help European industries, including SMEs, to face global competitors on the market with more strength. The ManuFuture 2011 conference will deliver ideas how to strengthen and turn cooperation with East European countries into European manufacturing success.
2. Cooperation between old and new EU member states
The inter cultural diversity and the diversity in industrial potential grew since new member states joined into the enlarged EU. There's a need for synergies between the economy (and the industry) of old and new EU member states. When properly combined and aligned, they have the potential to create an unified space, with stronger competitive advantages which can be compared to other global competitors.
The ManuFuture 2011 conference is a great opportunity to analyse obstacles and opportunities of West-East Europe member states collaboration.
3. SMEs in transforming European economies
Various obstacles have prevented the growth and modernisation of the SME sector in transition countries. These obstacles require that proper policies are addressed to the SME sector, both involving the general context or SME specific issues. Since countries differ also under other features, policies should be different. The role of the European Union is particularly important in both indirect and direct way, as provider of uncertainty reducing role and as supplier of resources.
Important issues include proper market institutions and structures such as a SME friendly financial sector and also require an active role of governments in fostering the development of a SMEs friendly environment and also in supporting the modernisation of SMEs. The SME sector does not solve fundamental problems of transition by itself. SMEs are important actors in solving those problems together with large companies, governments, international actors, workers and consumers. The continuous transformation of these actors is important for the growth and modernisation of SMEs as much as the latter are important to allow for the transformation of the former. EU membership offers great opportunities in this sense to both future EU members and present member countries.
The ManuFuture 2011 conference will underline main problems and propose ideas to help SMEs under transition to act better on the European market.
4. Public engagement activities
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are part of the European Economic Recovery Plan. The "Factories of the Future" is one of the three Public-Private Partnership included in the Commission's recovery package. It consists of a research programme to support the manufacturing industry in the development of new and sustainable technologies. The programme is financed jointly by industry and the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme. The research programme will began with coordinated calls for research proposals. The objective is to help EU manufacturing enterprises, in particular SMEs, to adapt to global competitive pressures by improving the technological base of EU manufacturing across a broad range of sectors. There is an increasing demand for greener, more customised and higher quality products. The "Factories of the Future" initiative will help European industry to meet these needs by converting to a demand-driven industry with lower waste generation and energy consumption.
The actual state and future plans of "Factories of the Future" initiative will be presented during the ManuFuture 2011 conference to encourage manufacturing community to develop and strengthen European partnerships.
5. Industrial education
It is one of the most important topics. The proper education of professionals in manufacturing is essential for success of European companies. The conference will bring the answer how the education of engineers shall be conducted to match industrial needs and how are the effective models of engineers education in advanced countries like Germany, U.K, Japan, China and USA.
6. Effective models of academia-research-industry cooperation
The cooperation between industrial and academic sectors plays a significant role in developed and developing countries, especially during the development cycle of products based on high technology. With the development of globalized economy, the structure of cities and regions has been changed. There are close relationships between regions and their results by information, personnel and technology. The key factors in developing high-tech are congregating near some special areas and within organizations called clusters. In both developed or developing countries there are special areas related to the universities such as Silicon Valley in the United States.
The ManuFuture 2011 conference shall answer the following questions: what shall be effective models of academia-research-industry cooperation, how can clusters lead to the manufacturing industry success and how could such communities act long and be further improved. The objective is to analyse best practices regarding academia-research-industry cooperation like clusters, ERANETs, Networks of Excellence, KIC etc. especially considering EU-West-East and beyond EU borders partnership. The ManuFuture 2011 conference should show the best academia-research-industry models of partnership to encourage West and East Europe community (including Balkan countries and EECA region) to join/establish such relations.