On Novembre 27th, we took part to the Symposium “The Future of Industries” organised in Brussels (Belgium) by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and the “Fondation France-Japon” of the EHESS (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris).
More information about the Event can be found in one of our previous posts on the same Blog: https://gbmc-blog.biz/2014/11/05/announcement-symposium-the-future-of-industries/
The objective of this symposium was to provide a unique forum to discuss the future of industries in Europe, in Japan and in Korea. Attended by about 50 motivated academics, company executives and policy-makers, this event concluded a 3-year study on the issues of industries coordinated by the EHESS.
The one-afternoon program was packed and consisted in about a dozen presentations given by academics, business executives and policy-makers. The content of most presentations was interesting, providing a wide overview of the problem. Unfortunately, the Q&A sessions were too short (10 minutes each), no summary was made and no general conclusions were drawn at the end of the symposium.
Therefore, we are thinking of having an article published about it but, meanwhile, a few key points of the symposium are:
– Innovation is a key factor, as illustrated by the presentations of HITACHI (Customer-driven research using Big Data Analytics for Social Innovation Business), VALEO (30% of new order intakes involve innovation and 10% of sales are dedicated to R&D) and AIR LIQUIDE (creation of i-Lab, working with start-ups and consisting in a “think tank” showing the direction and a “corporate garage” turning ideas into business).
– Other factors mentionned were: labour and energy costs, productivity improvements, good innovation environment (R&D tax credits and facilities)…
– Innovation is not everything, as underlined by the “Korean Success Story”: no cutting-edge technology but a good combination of various technologies, product marketing, benchmarking, speed and dedication.
– After a period of neglect, the EU Commission aims now at stopping the deindustrialisation trend in the EU, as highlighted by its Paper “Towards Industrial Renaissance”.
– With the Industry 4.0 Project, Germany set up a Digital Agenda and aims at important productivity gains through ICT.
– On the other hand, Japan’s R&D strategy seems ICT-orientated, supporting “Platform Business” (Smart Cities), “Next Generation Manufacturing” and “Convergence of Manufacturing & Service”.