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An analysis of drivers, barriers and readiness factors of EU companies for adopting advanced manufacturing products and technologies
Manufacturing is among the key driving forces of the European economy. It provides about 20% of all jobs in Europe (above 30 million) and generates a turnover of about €7 000 billion in 25 industrial sectors and over 2 million companies, dominated by SMEs. In a comprehensive manner, therefore, industrial modernisation is of crucial relevance for economic dynamism in Europe and the lasting creation of growth and jobs in the EU. In ways going far beyond mere digitalisation, seminal transformations of the production system appear on the horizon in which firms and EU Member States will only participate if they succeed in adopting advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) in due course. Consequently, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs has launched and continues to develop a large number of relevant initiatives to support Industrial Modernisation at the European level. Against this background, this study on the ‘analysis of drivers, barriers and readiness factors of EU companies for adopting AMT’ identifies relevant steps and actions towards not only the development of better manufacturing technologies but also the uptake of industrial modernisation in a more general sense in a threefold manner. Firstly, and most importantly, it takes an unrelentingly uptake- and technology-user-centred perspective that focuses on the potential of AMT for broad-based industrial modernisation as well as on factors enabling or limiting AMT uptake. In that approach, it differs from the majority of pre-existing technology-based studies. Secondly, it establishes a robust empirical framework of reference (qualitative and quantita-tive) which not only goes beyond anecdotal evidence but also covers Member States, various types of technologies as well as firms in a broader way than any available study. Thus, it will allow policy-makers to put various requirements into perspective and to prioritise them Thirdly, it puts forward policy recommendations not only as general headline objectives but also at the level of concrete suggestions for future actions driven by various actors, developed in the light of those already available. Thus, it outlines a prioritised, multi-level strategy for European industrial modernization.