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An analysis of drivers, barriers and readiness factors of EU companies for adopting advanced manufacturing products and technologies

18 January 2017


Advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) are key to industrial competitiveness, growth and job creation in Europe. This study identifies the main reasons for their adoption by companies and shows that the uptake of these technologies creates benefits to SMEs from, not only a technological but also an economic perspective.

Companies adopt AMT to reduce production costs, improve the quality of their products and services, improve their employees’ productivity and reduce production lead time. 

But despite the benefits AMT offer, the majority of manufacturing firms in the EU are not yet using these technologies, although there are notable differences across sectors and countries, and depending on the size of the company.

This study clarifies what the key obstacles to investment in AMT are, e.g. finance, the availability of skills, business and technology risks.

To overcome these obstacles, the study recommends various actions at regional, national and European levels, and at the level of clusters, to pursue 4 main objectives:

  1. Strengthen capacities of small and medium-sized companies regarding skills, local ecosystems and access to finance.
  2. Promote the uptake of high-end AMT through joint pilot plants and demonstrators, a better exploitation of the Framework Research Programme, and standardisation.
  3. Support new service-based business models for the diffusion of AMT.
  4. Improve the alignment of European, national and regional policies.

This study offers interesting insights to policy-makers in industry matters and business support providers.