Organisation: European Engineering Industries Association (ORGALIME)
Position in the organisation: President
Biography note: University Degree: Business Economy. Studies and courses made in U.K., Germany and Spain. Spoken languages: English, French, German, Spanish.
Previous appointments held:
- Chairman of AHG (ad hoc group) for the CEN standards for gas ball valves - from 1998 to 2000
- Member of the “Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force” ORGALIME -Brussels from 2001 to 2005
- President of CEIR (Comité Européen Industrie Robinetterie) - Brussels from 2005 to 2007
- President of AVR - ANIMA (Valves Manufacturers Association) from 2001 to 2007
- Council and Executive Board member of ANIMA from 2001 to 2007
- Co-founder of the Ruvaris Consortium for R & D in 1998 and Council member until 2006
- President of Orgalime
- President of the Company - Enolgas Bonorni S.p.a. (Valves) and of all companies under its control
- President of ANIMA (Federation of the Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries) since 2008
- Chairman of the Brescia Export Consortium since 1995
- Vice President of the Ruvaris Consortium for R & D since 2006
- Board member, as Past President, of the CEIR (Comité Européen Industrie Robinetterie) Brussels since 2007
- Vice President of UNI (Italian Organization for Standardization)
- Member of the Board of Cofindustri
Plenary Session P1 – “How to Ensure the Shift from R&D to Innovation”
What do entrepreneurs need, what entrepreneurs do not need. Europe must now find its path back to more growth and more jobs and profit better from the beginning of the economic upswing. Some first signs of recovery of the overall EU economy are becoming apparent at a macroeconomic level. This is encouraging and a necessary first step, but what is now the essential next step is not yet there: investment. Investment in Europe is still stagnating.
For ensuring private investment, coming from both inside and outside Europe, we need to create attractive framework conditions in Europe. This includes a favourable regulatory framework, for example: less legislation and more stable and predictable legislation, flexible labour markets, greater legal predictability and stability, better access to energy at competitive market conditions and more. Also instruments and funding for research and innovation activities are no doubt one very important element in the policy-mix for attracting investments. As we know, there is fierce competition between Europe, Asia, the United States and other regions. For the moment Europe is under pressure: not only is manufacturing leaving Europe, but also European world-class researchers are moving to the US and Asia. The consequence is that the result of European research is not commercialised here in Europe, but in other regions of the world. We need to reverse this trend. The key question for policymakers in Europe should be: if our companies invest in research, development and innovation, will they do it in Europe? For this, it is the framework conditions under which companies operate that will make or break the future development of the engineering industry in Europe. Some of these framework conditions will change with Horizon 2020 entering into force. The European Institutions have decided in future the European Programmes will focus not so much as in the past on research, but more on the link between research and innovation. This is a policy shift that Orgalime fully supports. Now the challenge is to make this work. Especially to make it work for the backbone of European industry, the SMEs. SMEs need to get interested in Horizon 2020. It is no secret that the past framework programmes were very attractive for universities and consultants. The challenge will be to attract the average engineering company and allow them to integrate in cross-border consortia.
We have to change some mistakes of the past. One example: scientists and politicians often tend to think that research and innovation mostly deals with“breakthroughs”and“breakthrough technologies”. From an SME point of view, things look often different: Innovation is sometimes but not too often rocket science. Most innovation, in particular in manufacturing, is a long arduous step-by-step process which originates from the requests of our clients or on our shop floors and which we then develop, often also with the help of specialist research institutes. This close cooperation between industry and application-oriented research institutes needs to be further developed. It worked very well in the PPPs that were established under the current Framework programme 7, notably in the Factories of the Future PPP. Orgalime hopes that Horizon 2020 will build upon such positive experiences.