In December 2019, our partners from 36.6 Competence center (Scotland), attended the last AER (Assembly of European Regions) meeting that took place in Brussels and here are some of the things they shared with us.
The meeting was based on the topic of Economy 4.0 and how the changes taking place will affect the economy through innovation, education and sustainability. The meeting included 4 workshops where 36.6 CCs attended and highlighted our project: RESTART 4.0. Our inclusion in this meeting gave us the opportunity to further spread the project, which was actually well received.
The workshops included discussion groups on:
1. The future of work
3. Creative bureaucracy
4. Sustainable Economy 4.0
Each seminar had a specific topic and each discussion group explored how 4.0 technologies are changing the global economy and how they affect the workforce and what we need to do to meet the new challenges.
The future of work in the brave new world
Building a fit-for-purpose workforce in a radically changing environment: As automation continues to advance, fears of growing workforce skills gaps and precarious work relationships are also growing. Diverse sectors such as healthcare, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, sales are being disrupted. Technological developments will mean that a number of technical 'process' jobs will become obsolete. Instead, a premium will be placed on the need for "human" skills to meet new challenges. Currently, almost every technologically advanced country in the world is working out how to fill the skills gap.
Innovation in an era of huge competition
Discussions revolved around - How to help businesses and in particular SMEs to innovate and thrive in a winner-take-all economy and how to foster innovation in an ever-changing and globalized environment. The group also discussed what will be the distinguishing elements between winners and losers in the market and what innovations and skills are needed in the world of Industry 4.0.
Creative bureaucracy and public services
This included looking at:
- the role of regional governments and public services and how they can be changed to serve better;
- disruptions in Economy 4.0, including changes in the very role of governments;
- the way information is shared and collaborated with other organizations, and the way services such as health, transport or social services are delivered through 4.0 digital changes.
Is a sustainable Economy 4.0 possible?
Economy 4.0 is also an economy of resources, and the question is whether ecological innovations will fulfill their promises. The technologies require hard-to-find elements (for example, for batteries or magnets) and their production generates significant pollution, usually in less developed countries, including resource extraction. In addition, many technological products are poorly recycled. On the other hand, however, a number of innovations in Economy 4.0 are already contributing to less polluted cities, efficient irrigation of cultivated land and more efficient use of resources. That's why for now we're optimistic about 4.0 technologies and their impact on practically everything from business to our personal lives.
Source: RESTART4.0 Project