The European Commission will release a €50 million from the Horizon 2020 research budget to help the manufacturing sector repurpose production lines faster. A €20 million worth call will be exclusively dedicated to switching existing lines over to the manufacture of medical equipment, vaccines and diagnostics.
Extra €30 million will be dedicated to digital innovation hubs and artificial intelligence for manufacturing, speeding up the digitisation of industrial production.
The commission is working under the assumption that the coronavirus pandemic will not be the last shock Europe faces in the future, and the new Horizon 2020 projects will help manufacturing companies prepare better for the next major economic disruption.
How companies can adapt
Some companies are coping with the storm better than the others. Some companies already shifted their entire production chain to manufacture medical protection equipment in a matter of a few weeks.
But most companies were not prepared for this kind of scenario. First, companies were disrupted as lockdowns came into force and stifled supply chains, but then they faced the even bigger problem with plummeting demand.
Even if companies can shift their manufacturing lines, that doesn't mean they will have enough money to keep themselves afloat and invest in new technologies at the same time.
The commission is planning to put forward a recovery package soon. It's likely to be announced together wit a new proposal for the EU multiannual budget coming into force in January 2021. (Source: https://sciencebusiness.net/).
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