Document 223403

Martine Clément, CEO
Société de Galvanoplastie Industrielle,
President Orgalime - European Federation
of Metalworking, Mechanical, Electrical
and Electronic Engineering Industries
• Orgalime groups 33 National member
federations from 23 European Countries
• 130,000 Companies, generating 1,175
billion euros, employing 7 million people
• 1/4 of EU manufacturing output and 1/3 of
EU manufacturing exports
• An essential link in the industrial chain:
we provide the technology - our
customers the product
I am very pleased to have been invited to talk at this conference in front of such a prestigious
If my own company is a typical SME - I employ some 300 people today and have a turnover of
20 million euros, as President of Orgalime, I represent Europe’s largest industry sector, which
plays a fundamental role in achieving and maintaining manufacturing and manufacturing
leadership in Europe. Orgalime with its 33 national association members in 23 countries
represents over 130.000 engineering companies with an annual output of some 1175 billion
If in the EU we have achieved a dominant role in engineering at world level - we have a 41%
world market share in machinery for example - this is due to the technological excellence of
the products produced by EU engineering companies.
Engineering companies supply the enabling technologies for all parts of the economy. Our
companies play a key role in the competitiveness of European industry. Our prime customers
are manufacturing industry to which we essentially supply capital goods. We are a key factor in
their own technological development. With thousands of companies providing innovative
manufacturing equipment, services and parts, for sectors such as the automotive and the
aeronautic sectors, innovation from engineering companies enables such strategic industries to
constantly innovate, reduce costs, increase quality and thereby remain competitive.
It is therefore essential, if the Lisbon goal is to be attained, that our companies remain at the
forefront of technology and remain in Europe. Without the dense industrial support and supply
infrastructure that our industries provide to all other sectors, our client sectors cannot exist and
thrive in Europe.
• Machinery for all industries:
– Processing plant and equipment
– Engineering equipment
• & complex final products:
– Construction and agricultural
– Handling and lifting equipment
– Medical equipment
• But also:
– Environment technology +
– Micro and Nanotechnology
– Robotics
We are very diverse sector, since we supply both intermediate products
and final products. We are one of the most important export sectors of the
European economy. Like others, our industry is facing global competition
and of course extreme pressure on costs.
Companies must therefore continuously improve their products, processes
and services to maintain their leadership and to gain new markets.
And they need to maintain competitive advantage, where it matters most:
that is through Technological leadership. I am convinced that to secure
the long-term international competitiveness of the European industry,
market leadership will only be achieved through technological leadership.
Breakthrough for example
In new process
Filtration Technologies
in the brewery industry
European equipment can
produce 17 batches per day classical equipment 8* per day=
– higher productivity
– lower investment
– lower production costs
We are the world leaders...
Let me give you a few practical examples of new products and processes in our industry
and how these are achieved:
Here you see a small picture of a filter for the brewery industry, produced by a small
Belgian company Meura – with around 100 staff; seen like that, it does not look very
exciting. In practice this filter provides a major breakthrough in an area which has always
been a bottleneck in breweries. It is based on a completely new filtration process developed
with one of the company’s clients – the INBEV group (ex Interbrew) and the Catholic
University of Louvain.
This filter, working under pressure, whereas more traditional technology has largely used
gravity filtration, has more than doubled the number of batches that a brewery can produce
in a brewhouse in one day. The benefits are obvious: higher productivity, lower total
investment per unit produced and lower production costs.
This is a clear example of a breakthrough in technology which is having a major impact on
one of our client industries. It is the fruit of a collaboration between a manufacturer which
has existed for 150 years, a university and a major client, who has helped to finance the
research and test the products. It is a major step driven by the market.
This is an innovative technology and an innovative product which has made this company a
world leader.
But also - intelligent machines a combination of technologies
…for example
• Combine harvester with
– In process harvesting
– measurement of humidity (sensors)
– yield (sensors)
– creation of a yield map (GPS)
– allowing “precision agriculture”
We are the world leaders...
Here is another example: this time it is not a question of a breakthrough in
technology, but of the combination of a number of technologies to solve a problem
posed by farmers: “how can I, on the basis of this year‘s crop, determine how much
manure or fertiliser to put on my land? Using too much will only cause unnecessary
costs, and increase the risk of pollution. Using too little will lead to loss of yield.
In this case it was large engineering company who came up with the answer
combining multiple technologies to produce an innovative product the “intelligent
combine harvester”. The sensors are produced by mid-sized companies and of
course the software is customised.
This is an example of a successful idea which bridges the gap between research and
Again, it is an idea which is driven by the demand of the customer, in this case the
But who makes it all ?
• Some large companies
• A large number of family owned
mid-sized companies with a
global reach
• a very large number of SMEs
What do we need for them ?
So what is special about our industry?
First of course its diversity – we are everywhere, but there are very few of our products which
stand out like Airbus or Galileo.
Second its structure: our industry has large companies – we all know of Philips, Siemens,
Alstom ABB, etc… But these are just a few. There are tens of thousands of small and mediumsize companies who work together in a complex network. A large majority of these are family
owned businesses where the owners are personally involved. For our SMEs it is particularly
important to have the opportunity to work closely with their major clients in joint research and
development: this does not happen enough and this leads to duplication of effort: it is very often
that these very specialised SMEs have the know-how to bring the solutions that their clients
Many of these companies are in the mid size range, with a couple of thousand employees: they
are very strong on innovation and they are very present internationally. They need to be, or
they will no longer exist; with the speed at which new technology is developed today, these
companies, if they are to stay ahead need to be large enough to operate on world markets:
when they launch a new product, they must do so very quickly and very widely, otherwise
someone else, somewhere else will reach the same result, and they will therefore lose market
share with all the advantages that this brings. A textile machine which often had a five year life
cycle today needs to be updated or replaced every 6 months.
Are we in Europe serving these companies well ? I believe we could do much better.
• Freedom, freedom…. Less constraints & less
administration for SMEs
• SMEs have innovative ideas, but limited capacity due
– Limited human resources
– Limited access to European funded R&D: partly
due to SME-definition
– Inability to cope with too much bureaucracy
• Some main drivers : large projects, such as Airbus
and Galileo which have a clear knock on effect
• Recognition that EU research efforts needs to be
followed by more emphasis on innovation
-First of all, please make our life easier. Keep things simple: we need simpler rules and less
rules; we do not need different rules, coming on top of EU ones in every country. The framework
conditions under which companies operate need to be substantially better. Every new rule
creates more administrative work for us and often for our engineering staff, who should be
working on the future of our products and processes and not on paperwork. The prime driver for
achieving an internationally competitive European industry lies in the efficient use of resources,
innovation, research and in education. We must make much of the efforts ourselves. So must
member states. The EU’s R&D and innovation policies should focus on developing conditions
that stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, growth and employment and on ensuring that strong
and efficient links are fostered between the worlds of education, science and industry.
-We need simpler access to EU funded research for our SMEs and particularly for our mid-size
companies: we all know that the great majority of manufacturing enterprises in the EU are in
these categories. EU policy here matters. We feel that the EU’s definition of SMEs is too
restrictive when applied to the area of research: there is a significant body of manufacturing
companies, typically employing in the range of 250 to 1000 employees and an annual turnover
of between some € 40 and 150 million which are major investors in research and are drivers of
much of innovation. They profit very little, however, from EU funded research. They are too big
to profit from the SME actions. They are uncomfortable when faced with the very large
programmes. The Commission needs to adapt to allow and encourage participation of these
-Europe has been very successful in driving major projects such as Airbus and Galileo, which
have had a positive knock on effect down the whole supply chain of manufacturers in Europe,
including on the companies in our industry, which are among the main suppliers to these
projects. We are therefore concerned to ensure that the increasing tendency to develop large
projects driven by the research community rather than by industry and the market should be
• Less basic and more applied research
• More investment in innovation
• To overcome the European paradox: bridging the
gap between the idea and the product
• In our industry - programmes which are accessible
to small and to mid-size companies
• More focus : technology platforms
-Due to the long-term scientific approach of the previous and present framework programmes
and the lack of flow of results into real products and processes, much of our industry has lost
interest in participating in European research programmes, because companies also require
results in the short term. And yet we know we must invest more in research and innovation.
-The question which I have today is “Do I as the boss of a SME have a reasonable chance to
obtain European R&D funding, or do I go on working alone in my company and with my clients,
thereby perhaps missing opportunities to progress even more quickly along the technological
chain? “
-We in Europe do not suffer from a lack of new ideas; we suffer from too bureaucratic an
environment. This discourages those of us who are entrepreneurs, who believe in launching new
projects, in making our ideas come true. We have problems in transforming these ideas into new
products and processes. Here there is an area where, the EU’s policies for research and
innovation can have a crucial role to play in supporting companies by helping them to build the
necessary bridge along the chain from basic research to the product. There has to be better
collaboration between the scientific community and industry, so that the input provided by
science no longer either stays in a drawer or goes overseas.
If we want industry and jobs here in Europe for the long term, if we want to tend towards the so
called Lisbon goals, then we need the right conditions and the right partnerships. We also need
more a vision of the Europe of tomorrow, to know where we want to go as one of the dominant
actors in the global economy. The vision that has been developed for certain projects such as
Airbus and Galileo is a major driver, provides focus and enthusiasm. We hope that the proposed
technology platforms will provide such focus as well.
A European vision, an excellent research community and excellent manufacturing industry
working hand in hand together and under the right framework conditions, must be the recipe for
success. Thank you.