The informal meeting of the ministers responsible for competitiveness in sections “Industry” and “Research” will be held on 1 and 2 February 2018. The meeting for the “Industry” section will be presided over by the Minister of Economy, Emil Karanikolov, and the “Research” section – by the Minister of Education and Science, Krasimir Valchev.
„Industry” section – 1 February 2018
During the first working session on the topic of Industry, the development of key sectors such as mobility, the automotive industry, batteries and energy, as well as the call for a new innovative package in the low-carbon economy, were discussed. The decisive role that the next innovation framework program will play in supporting industrial innovation was highlighted. Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov pointed out that a number of industry-related policies have been developed in recent years. “At the same time, however, the long-term goals and requirements that we have set for the industry in other areas, as well as the global economic processes and challenges, and particularly the fourth industrial revolution, require the Member States to take a long-term and strategic approach”, he added.
In the framework of the session, industry representatives presented the experience of the raw materials sector in the transition to a sustainable and circular economy, the conclusions from the previous day's conference on 'Innovation and Competitiveness: The Core Industries - a Key Driver of Growth', and the challenges and opportunities for the core industries in Europe. The European Economic and Social Committee briefed the ministers on the findings of two reports drafted for the informal meeting on 'Promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe' and 'Adopting a common approach to the EU industrial policy'.
After the plenary session, the topics 'Value chains and development of competitive advantages for the European economy' and 'The new trends in industrial development - digitalisation of the industry and the human dimension in the process of economic development' were discussed in two parallel working sessions.
In the first working session on the 'Value chains and the development of competitive advantages for the European economy' the present competitive advantages of Europe were discussed, including infrastructure and technological knowledge, in comparison to other major trading partners, as well as how these advantages can be developed and strengthened in order to ensure future advantages for the European industry in an increasingly competitive global environment.
The second parallel working session on the 'New trends in industrial development - digitalisation of the industry and the human dimension in the process of economic development' was devoted to the digital transformation of industry, the European priorities in the process of transition to the digitalisation of the industry and the specific objectives that could be set out in the future industrial strategy with respect to the development of digital skills and the promotion of digital entrepreneurship.
During the working lunch, the ministers discussed the challenges and opportunities for energy-intensive industries, especially in the context of digitalisation and combating climate change. The objective is to give special attention to the energy-intensive sectors in the overall discussion on the future comprehensive and long-term industrial policy, as they are an important part of the industrial base of the European Union.
Arrivals, Doorstep, Handshake, Roundtable
„Research” section – 2 February 2018
The meeting on 2 February will be chaired by the Minister of Education and Science - Mr. Krasimir Valchev. The European Commissioner for Research and Innovation - Mr. Carlos Moedas will also participate in the meeting.
The Ministers will discuss the future of research and innovation in Europe, focusing on stimulating innovation and investing in human capital.
During the discussions on stimulating innovation, a common approach will be sought on key EU research and innovation issues such as support at national and regional level for cutting-edge innovation and their wider use - priorities that the EU and the Member States should commit to by supporting entrepreneurial and innovation culture and by strengthening the innovation ecosystem. The discussion will contribute to the design of a functioning European Innovation Council.
Discussions on investing in human capital in science will focus delegates' attention on implementing a systemic approach for researchers to acquire new skills for linking science and industry. Delegates will discuss opportunities to increase the attractiveness of scientific careers and achieve more optimal mobility of researchers through the European Framework for Career Development of Scientists. This dialogue will contribute to the formation of a European vision for investment in human capital in the next EU 9th Framework Program for Research and Innovation and the next generation of EU financial instruments such as Erasmus+, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.
Arrivals, Doorstep, Handshake, Roundtable