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Factories of the future

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ManuFuture, the European technology platform for future manufacturing technologies, has decided to set up a new industry-led research and development (R&D) association, European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA), that will engage into a public private partnership (PPP) in the area of R&D with the European Commission.

ManuFuture involves key stakeholders from across Europe, including engineering industry associations and their member companies.  At a meeting last week, the ManuFuture High Level Group decided to set up the new R&D association.
Orgalime secretary general, Adrian Harris, said: "With this new legal entity, ManuFuture is taking a significant step forward. By joining forces of supplier companies, customer companies and research institutes throughout Europe in an industry led association, EFFRA, our industry hopes to work in a closer partnership with the European Commission to define the R&D priorities and to allocate funding for ensuring Europe's manufacturing technologies sector continues to be the world leader. "

The creation of EFFRA is the manufacturing industry's answer to the European Commission's Recovery Plan, unveiled on 26 November 2008, in which the Commission announced a Factories of the Future PPP initiative, with an estimated envelope of €1.2bn for the development of enabling technologies.  EFFRA's objective will be to pool together R&D experts on production technologies and to promote pre-competitive research on these technologies across Europe. Members will include producers of production technologies, their customers, R&D institutes and other stakeholders. The role of Orgalime and its members will be to mobilise their networks and bring on board production technology companies, including the many SMEs and mid size companies which characterise the industry.
Harris concluded, "We are pleased to see the Commission is now dedicating public funding to manufacturing technologies.  We now see the Commission has fully understood the vital role that the manufacturing technology sector will play in the future of Europe, its citizens and its economy".

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