EU IMS Newsletter – December 2012

Intelligent Manufacturing Systems



Dear Reader,

Marta BulikThe end of the year is approaching fast, and we have prepared the last, a special edition of the IMS Newsletter for 2012. Why is it special? Because the EU IMS chairmanship has come to an end and the US have taken over the chair until early 2015.

In this Newsletter you will read a welcome word by Mark Carlisle of the US IMS Regional Secretariat.

We also invite you to read a report on a very successful World Manufacturing Forum 2012, held between 16 and 18 October 2012 in Stuttgart. Along this report you will find links to media coverage as well as related videos.

Using the occasion, we wish you Happy Seasonal Holidays and all the best for 2013. We will come back with fresh news from the manufacturing world in January.

Marta Bulik, European Commission


Top Stories


EU Chair ended on 31 October 2012

Outgoing IMS Chairman, Mr. Fred-Holger GüntherIncoming IMS Chairman, Mr. Robert Kiggans

October marked the end of the IMS rotating chair held by the European Union. In the last thirty months more than twenty-five international projects had been launched with targeted workshops and dedicated services supporting the setup of global industrial partnerships. In his closing speech, the IMS Chairman, Mr. Fred-Holger Günther (picture right), former Senior Vice President of the Bosch Group, remarked: “In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, collaboration is not an option, but a must. In a climate of growing competition between national and corporate interests and strategies, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems stands out as a platform for a global win/win cooperation in R&D and innovation that contributes to the creation of prosperity in our economies. Europe’s growth and prosperity which has emerged from an almost complete economic destruction after World War II, is due to the continued peaceful collaboration among the continent’s nations that used to be at war with each other in the centuries before”. The IMS chair is now with the United States with Mr. Robert Kiggans (picture left), Vice Chairman of SCRA Applied R&D acting as the new Chairman.


Welcome message from the US Regional Secretariat by Mark Carlisle, NIST

Mark Carlisle

As Secretariat of the US region, I am honored and excited to have the IMS chairmanship return to the United States. The resulting greater level of visibility of IMS in the US is timely and dovetails with increased Administration emphasis on advancing the state of US manufacturing, as the IMS model of pre-competitive collaboration allows all participants to benefit from increased efficiencies in their use of resources and energy, and across their processes and supply chains.

IMS continues to highlight advanced manufacturing as a primary engine of a healthy economy and an innovative and responsible society. It is my hope that IMS’s past accomplishments, current outreach efforts, and future potential will lead other regions to join our organization.

IMS will build on the successful foundation of the first two World Manufacturing Forum conferences, holding a third event in Washington, DC, in October 2013 to continue a dialogue between policy makers and industry leaders.

I salute the members of the EU region for their many accomplishments during the EU tenure as host, and I look forward to welcoming all members of the IMS community to the United States next year!


Special Report


World Manufacturing Forum 2012

One of the most important manufacturing meetings of the year was held from 16-18 October 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany. More than 400 industrial executives and government officials discussed whether manufacturing is the solution to the global economic crisis, what the future of manufacturing is and whether ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Main Street’ would eventually become friends. The event was supported by the European Commission and Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) International. The World Manufacturing Forum had been held for the first time in May 2011 at Lake Como and had started facilitating a much needed dialogue between policy, industry and technology. Next year’s Forum will be held in Washington, DC.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, at his opening video speech, stressed the contribution that industry had made to Europe’s stability during the continuing economic crisis and assured the manufacturing leaders gathered in Stuttgart of the European Union’s commitment to preserving and strengthening industry’s role in the European economy. The Portuguese former Prime Minister stated that “European industry has proven to be a considerable asset during the crisis,” declaring: “An economy with a competitive industry is more resilient and less prone to the volatility of speculative activities.” To back his claim, Mr. Barroso reminded the conference participants that the EU is among the world’s leading exporters in industrial sectors such as aeronautics, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, adding that industry accounts for 80 percent of the European Union’s current exports and for 80 percent of its private research and development expenditures. While 74 million jobs in the European Union depend on manufacturing and related services, he pointed out, the crisis had cost industry 3 million jobs, and Europe’s industrial production remained around 10 percent below the levels it had reached in the years prior to the crisis. “We cannot be complacent with historical trends that progressively damp the role of industry in our economies,” he added. “We can reverse these trends and we intend to do so.” ”Europe needs to invest in new technologies and innovation,” Barroso said further. “We are on the eve of a new technological era, which some analysts have called the New Industrial Revolution, where new and cleaner technologies fundamentally change production patterns and also the global value-added chain. We cannot afford to miss the opportunities brought by these changes.”

In a Communiqué issued after the meeting the organizers of the World Manufacturing Forum have stated that “Manufacturing can play the primary role in a global recovery from the economic crisis that has marked – and marred – the start of this new Millennium. And manufacturing must take the lead in developing sustainable technologies and products, without which, as has become increasingly clear, the earth’s shrinking resources and growing population are certain to be at profound risk. … A new industrial order is quickly unfolding as supply networks globalize, pressure to conserve energy and raw materials grows, technology changes rapidly and, on every continent, demand strengthens for skilled workers able to understand increasingly complex production technologies. All aspects of this new order pose significant challenges. They must be addressed immediately, and overcome in relatively short order, if humanity is to make the revolutionary step to an industrial paradigm that nurtures the planet and enables hundreds of millions, even billions, of additional inhabitants to live decent and dignified lives. For this to happen, it is imperative that industrial best practices be shared globally so that all enterprises engaged in the manufacture of goods have access to technologies that can radically reduce consumption of materials and energy. The same sharing of best practices holds true for those in government, whose duty it is to craft policies that incline firms toward a high-road strategy for the development of their workers and the rapid adoption of new technologies, and to foster an environment congenial to the industrial system’s becoming far more efficient and productive than it has been up to the present. A ‘real’ economy is one that creates value and jobs while also providing the income governments need to administer programs upon which the protection, health and general well-being of large societies depend. Economies that in recent years have resorted to the use of credit to support such essential sectors as construction and housing have become unstable, bringing the world to a new level of uncertainty. In contrast, economies that have remained focused on innovation, upgrading manufacturing processes that were already in existence and embracing products and technologies that are totally new, have demonstrated greater relative strength in the face of the headwinds. … Manufacturers, policymakers, worker representatives and bankers must share their knowledge: They must agree on common goals and, together, apply the lessons they have learned to every industrial operation in business today.

The World Manufacturing Forum intends to remain the leading advocate of this endeavor. We leave Stuttgart with a commitment to ensuring that the dialogue continues, so that every company, every government and every citizen can enter a future made healthier, safer and more prosperous by a new generation of manufactured products. And it will continue, at the Forum’s third annual meeting, already scheduled for next October in Washington, DC”

The event was widely covered in the specialist press as this year’s meeting was followed by several tours to industrial enterprises in the wider Stuttgart region.




Videos related to WMF 2012

World Manufacturing Forum 2012 media coverage

Websites related to speakers or projects



In this issue



Top Stories

Special Report



About IMS


The Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) initiative encourages the formation of international research consortia to address 21st century manufacturing technologies and systems to benefit humanity. IMS members currently include the EU and Norway, Mexico, Korea, Switzerland and the United States of America. In Europe IMS is supported by the 7th Framework Programme’s (FP7) Cooperation Themes ICT and NMP.

For further information about IMS, please visit IMS on CORDIS or IMS International.


This newsletter is issued by the European IMS Secretariat c/o European Commission. The list of recipients of this publication has been carefully put together. If you do not wish to receive it any longer, please use this link

European IMS Secretariat
c/o European Commission, BU31 5/05
1049 Brussels, Belgium
[email protected]
Copyright (C) 2012 IMS All rights reserved.