Digitalization offers immense opportunities for growth
Digitalization is changing the world and represents either a threat or an opportunity. It is a matter of choice. No one can hide from competition, nor can the old working methods be saved by prohibitions and regulations. When talking about digitalization, traditional manufacturing industry is quite often forgotten, although it is precisely its renewal, competitiveness and growth that are the foundations of our entire economy and a matter of vital importance. Successful renewal will provide immense opportunities for growth, while clinging to past methods will undermine competitiveness.
Digitalization affects everyone
Rather many companies complacently imagine that digitalization does not affect them.
“It is time to start worrying if digitalization isn’t on the agenda at meetings of the management group and board of directors”, says the CEO of Fastems Group, Tomas Hedenborg, who is also currently the president of Orgalime, The European Engineering Industries Association.
The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries hosted Orgalime General Assembly on 1 June in Helsinki. At an open seminar at the event, discussion particularly focused on the digitalization of industry and the investment required. Greetings from Brussels on the EU Commission’s measures to promote the digitalization of industry were delivered by Juho Romakkaniemi, Jyrki Katainen’s Head of Cabinet. In turn, Jan Vapaavuori, Vice-President of the EIB, concentrated on the necessity for investment and how it could be financed.
Growth and jobs
Orgalime and the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries thank a recent Commission communication for acknowledging the central position of industry as a facilitator and beneficiary of digitalization.
“Growth and jobs will be created by investing in digitalization and automation”, stresses Mr Hedenborg.
In addition to its own measures, the Commission is also calling for investment from member states and businesses.
“Finland has set a good example in innovation activity combining public and private sector financing, but that lead has unfortunately been lost during the last year” says Federation Director Ilkka Niemelä in reference to cuts in research and development funding.
“Mechanical engineering is the only sector where companies have increased their investment in research and development since 2008. There is now a danger that both combined public-private sector technological development and universities’ applied research will decline”, Mr Niemelä continues.
Trailblazers show the way
Good examples for the discussion on the necessity of renewal and change are provided by the top Finnish companies Wärtsilä, Kemppi and Nokia, which have all, in their own fields, reinvented themselves and succeeded in rapidly increasing their market share.
Ilkka Niemelä, Director. Federation of Finnish Technology Industries. Tel. 040 545 2213