In 30 years’ time, industrial companies will have a social purpose: be completely carbon neutral and give everyone the opportunity to fill their unique potential. At least, that’s what five young industrial leaders hope. We caught up with them as they attended the EU’s Industry Days in Brussels, Belgium, on 5-6 February to find out what needs to happen to fulfil this vision.
Schools and industry should join forces to increase the level of skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and better prepare pupils for careers in the sector, according to Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet, a network of 31 European ministries of education.
Professor Kai Savolainen, director of the Nanosafety Research Centre at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, coordinates the NanoSafety Cluster. He believes more needs to be done to understand the risks of nanotechnology.
The challenge of tackling some diseases is too great for just one institution, company or country. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is showing that by bringing people together, real progress can be made, according to Professor Michel Goldman, the initiative’s executive director.
Dr Phil Reeves, managing director of Econolyst, a global 3D printing consultancy, believes research needs to be coordinated across the EU to push forward 3D printing and give us mass-personalised goods made locally, on demand.
Bunker Roy is the founder and director of Barefoot College, a non-governmental organisation offering training to rural communities. He believes that establishing a sense of community, as well as a culture that encourages people to learn from failure, can help drive innovation and productivity. Roy, who was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential figures, will be speaking at the EU’s Innovation Convention on 10 March, 2014.
As the northern route opens, the melting ice will have a significant impact on the transportation of goods around the world, and the consequences are manifold, said Didier Schmitt, a scientific adviser at the European Commission.
Dr Marc von Hobe, from the German Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH research centre, is coordinator of the EU-funded RECONCILE project. The project contributed to the first detection in 2011 of a hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic. Dr von Hobe believes more work needs to be done to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Professor Bruno Siciliano specialises in control and robotics at the University of Naples Federico II and is a past president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Robotics and Automation Society. He believes that robots can make Europe more competitive, creating jobs.
Dr Tim O'Higgins, coordinator of the EU-funded KnowSeas project, based in Oban, Scotland, argues that implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy will require a delicate balance between the use of Europe’s seas and conservation of the maritime ecosystem.
Nature-based solutions are helping Europe adapt to climate change.
Fibre-reinforced plastic ships could replace vessels made of corrosive steel.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.