EU Industry Week 2021 - The digital future of sustainable industrial manufacturing in Italy and beyond

Online - 10th March 2021

EU Industry Week 2021 - The digital future of sustainable industrial manufacturing in Italy and beyond

Brussels/Rome, 10 March 2021 – After the successful first event held with the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion (ITP) Network in Vienna, the UNIDO Brussels Liaison Office and UNIDO ITP Office in Italy co-organized the second UNIDO virtual dialogue in the framework of the EU Industry Week 2021. 

Bringing together representatives from UNIDO and the European Union as well as key figures in the private sector and academia, the panel addressed the shift of the Italian manufacturing sector to a digital economy, drawing also attention to the significant role of industry 4.0 for the new industrial strategy of the EU in the changing global landscape.

The event successfully provided a platform facilitating knowledge exchange, highlighting the importance of promoting innovation and strategic partnerships in building resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic for an inclusive and sustainable digital future.

In her opening remarks, Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, stressed the impact of digital technologies and the role of UNIDO in shaping the future in Europe and developing countries. “With a contribution to the EU competitiveness in a changing global landscape, UNIDO together with its network of ITPOs support developing countries to build their capacity for industry 4.0.”, underlined Diana Battaggia. 

Ulla Engelmann, Head of the European Commission’s Advanced Technologies, Clusters and Social Economy unit at DG GROW, presented the EU efforts to foster the diffusion of advanced technologies, highlighting the significance of public-private partnerships to effectively tackle the challenges faced by Europe.

In his keynote speech, Marco Taisch, Professor of Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing at Politecnico di Milano, stressed that digitalization has to be seen as an opportunity for implementing new business markets. In his view, “sustainability and digitalization, Green and Blue, have to be merged; digitalization is the strongest enabler for going towards a sustainable economy, circular economy and circular manufacturing.”

Franco Scolari, Director of Alto Adriatico Technological Pole, also emphasized the need to exploit new technologies, especially since we now observe an acceleration with everything being shared faster. “Industry 4.0 is not an evolution. It’s a revolution”, asserted Franco.

Cinzia Guido, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Digital Advisor at the Brussels Delegation of Confindustria, mentioned that industrial digitalization is key to Europe’s recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic, but also to address the needs of new partnerships and allow for more collaborative ways to support together the manufacturing sector.

Fabio Golinelli, Advanced Processes and Technologies Manager at ABB S.P.A, also took the floor to share the experience of the Italian leading global technology company, which directly applies digital solutions to improve EU industrial competitiveness. A virtual tour of the Italian factory allowed all participants to get a more concrete understanding of what digitized manufacturing processes look like. 

In his closing remarks, Patrick Gilabert, Head of UNIDO Brussels Office, reiterated the significance of industry in the EU and enhanced partnerships to promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) in developing countries. 

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