The Slovak University of Technology has become a founding member of EIT Manufacturing, the new knowledge and innovation platform within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. This opens the way to gaining further contacts and grants in the European Research Area (ERA).
EIT Manufacturing is the largest industrial manufacturing and innovation support network in Europe, bringing new opportunities for innovators in the European Research and Innovation Area. The consortium includes 49% of industrial firms, 32% of universities and 19% of research organizations. The working group of Oliver Moravčík, the STU Vice-Rector for Strategic Projects, has been preparing our participation for more than three years. The STU thus approves its position of the Slovak leader in the field of university research and innovation on the international level.
By 2030, EIT Manufacturing has the ambition to strengthen more than 1,000 businesses and universities to create new job positions. In addition to its headquarters in Paris, it operates throughout Europe via the innovation centres based in Darmstadt, Gothenburg, Milan, San Sebastian and Vienna. To support regional innovation systems, a portfolio of activities under the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme will introduced into practice next year.
Miroslav Fikar, the STU Rector: "This year we have submitted projects worth nearly half a million € in the pilot round; in the future, we intend to submit much higher volumes of projects."
The new EIT Manufacturing Knowledge and Innovation Community was inaugurated on 7 November 2019 in Paris. The inauguration was attended by the most important advanced industrial manufacturing organizations in Europe, including Siemens, Whirlpool, Volvo, Festo and Magna.
In the inaugural ceremony, the Slovak Republic and the Slovak University of Technology were represented by Miroslav Fikar, the STU Rector (left on the photo) and Oliver Moravčík, the STU Vice-Rector for strategic projects and development (right on the photo).
“EIT Manufacturing will support the Europe's global role by developing the solutions addressing the major challenges and focusing on sustainable production. In collaboration with leading companies and the education and research organizations, EIT Manufacturing will promote innovation and delivery of new sustainable manufacturing products and services to Europe and its citizens,” said Agnès Paillard at the opening event.
Klaus Beetz, CEO of EIT Manufacturing, explained: “Our goal is to bring together the European industrial manufacturing subjects in innovative ecosystems integrating innovations, entrepreneurship and business transformation, including the transformation of production into a digital and circular economy. These are the challenges of today's world: Making Europe a model of sustainable production in the world. ”
The manufacturing sector employs nearly 30 million people in 2.1 million businesses in the EU, thus representing almost 20% of the total GDP. It is currently facing rapid changes and technological challenges, as well as the need to support circular economy.
These trends represent a great challenge also for the Slovak economy which is mainly driven by industrial production. Within the EU, Slovakia ranks among the top three countries with the highest share of industrial production. In 2018, there were almost 74 500 enterprises operating in the industrial production sector (12.5% out of the total number of enterprises in Slovakia) employing almost 25% of the economically active population. The whole industry makes up 40% of GDP in Slovakia.
The Slovak economy, and industry in particular, thrives; the lack of labour, however, poses a serious problem. The whole industry faces a major challenge: to expand the research and development capacity of companies and transform “assembly halls” into the companies bringing higher added value of industrial production.
The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (STU) is one of the key partners of EIT Manufacturing. The platform is considered a major tool supporting the added value growth in the industrial production sector, the increased level of innovation activities and the support of the knowledge triangle reintegration, which may play the key role in the STU, along with the innovative ecosystem in Slovakia in general. EIT Manufacturing will promote excellence in manufacturing skills and talents, work towards full digitization of production, and promote sustainable production.
To meet its objectives by 2026, EIT Manufacturing will:
- educate, train and retrain 50 000 people,
- train 1,500 people to become so-called entrepreneurial leaders in manufacturing plants,
- support and motivate 1 000 start-up entrepreneurs,
- support 80 so-called green start-ups,
- provide a 20% growth rate to the companies participating in the Business Creation programme,
- encourage the launch of 350 new products and services related to industrial production.
For more information see: www.eitmanufacturing.eu
EIT Manufacturing is a knowledge-innovation community of 50 organizations in the field of education, industry and research, including the ones such as Volkswagen, Volvo, the French Commission for Alternative Energy and Atomic Energy (CEA), Siemens, Whirlpool Europe, Chalmers University, TU Wien, STU in Bratislava, Tecnalia, RISE, INESCTEC and others. This community is supported and funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU body, established with the aim to strengthen the capacity of innovators to transform their best ideas into products, services and jobs for Europe.
EIT Manufacturing has an ambitious vision to become the innovation leader in industrial manufacturing by bringing together manufacturing subjects across Europe in innovative ecosystems adding unique value to the European products, processes, services, and inspiring the establishment of globally competitive and sustainable production.
The EIT was established in 2008 to stimulate Europe's capacity to innovate. It is a unique EU initiative fully integrating business, education and research. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships between leading universities, research laboratories and companies - EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, each of them addressing a particular global challenge. Eight knowledge and innovation communities (KIC) have been established: EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Health, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Manufacturing, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Urban Mobility have been created to address a specific global challenge. STU in Bratislava is a full member of EIT Manufacturing and an associated member of EIT RawMaterials.
The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (STU) is the best technical university in Slovakia. STU is ranked as the best technical university in Slovakia and the third best in the Slovak and Czech Republics. STU provides education in technical fields, including natural sciences, computer sciences, construction, architecture, material technologies, chemistry and food technology.