The H2020 MAKERS project aimed at bringing together leaders from business, academia and policy to study issues related to the drivers and dynamics of sustaining the competitiveness of EU manufacturing sectors. The project’s innovative research, training and mobility activities addressed key concerns related to the historic opportunity for the EU to lead a manufacturing renaissance that not only upgrades existing manufacturing competences but, more importantly, develops new technological capabilities across EU regions to support regional industrial resilience for more distributed and sustainable socio-economic growth and prosperity. MAKERS created a multi-stakeholder platform to discuss the current understanding of issues related to the emergence of Industry 4.0 in Europe.
MAKERS looked more specifically at:
• (1) the role of small, medium and large manufacturing firms and local production systems plugged into local-global value chains;
• (2) what are the drivers and processes for innovation, technological capabilities and technology transfer from research intuitions to firms;
• (3) trends in reshoring and nearshoring and the potentials for re-industrialisation and shorter value chains;
• (4) the impact of the socio-economic-environmental sustainability agenda on EU competitiveness;
• (5) skills requirements and training; and finally
• (6) how policy can ensure the competitiveness of EU manufacturing sectors for more distributed and sustainable socio-economic growth and prosperity.
MAKERS’ programme of activities comprised:
1. 1) annual summer schools that will cover the breadth of the issues above and address methodological requirements;
2. 2) themed workshops with Business/Academia/Policy stakeholders;
3. 3) dissemination activities at events outside the network, such as presentations at international conferences, policy fora and multi-media engagement.