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A vision of the future: presenting EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility

A vision of the future: presenting EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) today officially presented its two newest Innovation Communities: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility.

Together with some of their  leading  partners: TomTom, COMAU, Siemens, CEA, Czech Technical University Prague, Technical University of Vienna, and the City of Barcelona, they offered a glimpse of what society could look like in 15 years. A society with a sustainable, resource‐efficient, digital and above all competitive  manufacturing industry. One that contributes to a circular economy and allows for growth, with different  types of job opportunities for a diverse, highly qualified workforce. Where logistics and traffic are smart-managed. Where people use highly efficient modes of electric, shared or individualised and on‐demand  (public) transport. Where cities provide more space for living, walking and playing. Where no one worries  about air quality, traffic jams or finding a parking spot.

Is this what Europe will look like in 15 years? One thing is for sure; impact like this is precisely what the EIT aims for.

Gioia Ghezzi, Member of the EIT Governing Board, said: ‘I’m thrilled to be presenting our two new Innovation  Communities  that  will find  solutions  to  these  crucial  global  challenges  and  will  effectively  contribute  to  the  industrial revolution needed to build a sustainable world. They are great examples of what the EIT strives for:  stimulating  tangible innovations by bringing  together business, education and  research with concrete impact  that ultimately create better, sustainable lives for citizens across Europe.’ 

70 % of Europeans live in urban areas, and urban mobility accounts for 40 % of all CO2 emissions of road transport. Congestion across the EU is often located in and around urban areas and costs nearly EUR 100 billion, or 1 % of the EU's GDP, annually.

Maria  Tsavachidis,  CEO  of  EIT  Urban  Mobility,  commented:  ‘The  current  mobility  model  is  simply  not  sustainable. To change it, we need solutions to a number of key challenges – decongestion, sustainable urban  growth and eco‐efficient  transport. We need  to do it now, by deploying and scaling  technologies, by pushing  change  in  regulations  and  infrastructure.  Citizens  must  also  be  given  a  voice  and  an  active  role  in  the  transformation of the urban mobility ecosystem to explore innovative solutions together. We want to reclaim  the public space for what the ancient Greeks used to call the “agora” functions: living, working and meeting. This is exactly what we will achieve with EIT Urban Mobility: making our cities more liveable for citizens.’

In the EU, the manufacturing sector employs close to 30 million people in 2.1 million enterprises and accounts  for  close  to  20%  of  the  GDP  on  average.  However,  the  manufacturing  industry  is  under  pressure  from  a  number of factors, varying from rapid technological advancements to the need for a more circular economy.  

‘If  we  want  to  create  sustainable  growth  in  the  European  manufacturing  sector,  we  need  to  innovate  and  embrace industry 4.0. Such a shift requires investment and education’, says Prof. George Chryssolouris from the  University of Patras, EIT Manufacturing’s key coordinating partner. ‘The EIT’s innovation model is perfect for  this:  by  bringing  together  business, industry,  research  and education  as well  as  the  public  sector, it  not  only  acts as a catalyst for change, but also creates new investments and opportunities. There’s no other initiative  like the EIT in the world.’

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