Roundtable Economics and Innovation – Lyon

    March 19, 2019 - March 20, 2019

    On Tuesday and Wednesday 19 and 20 March 2019, the CESER (Conseil Économique et Social de Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) hosted the third roundtable of the ESF-project ‘Social partners on the digital fast track’. The topic was the impact of digitalisastion on economic development and Innovation.

    The meeting was opened by mr. Antoine Quadrini, president of the CESER, who welcomed the participants, introduced the topic of the conference and introduced the different speakers. Subsequently, Ms. Juliette Jarry, regional council vice president for infrastructure, the economy and digitalisation, explained how the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes supports businesses in their digital transformation.
    Two workshops were held during the first day.

    • The topic of the first workshop was how digitalisation influences businesses and their products and processes, and the development of new business models. Ms. Severine Besson-Thura (member of the CESER and CEO of ACT4Talents) explained how ACT4Talents responds to the increasing need of digital and soft skills. Subsequently, mr. Eric Payan (director digital transformation at Bosch Rexroth France) gave an overview of how digitalisation in the Bosch-company has led to new ways of working, changes in job tasks, new business processes and a greater involvement of employees in the digital transformation of the company.
    • In the second workshop, mr. Julien Oger (innovation director at United Motion Ideas) explained how digitalisation enables UMI to quickly test the market interest of a B2B innovation project by collecting dozens of feedback from professionals on a global scale. In addition, mr. Jean Chabbal (member of CESER and representant of the cluster/pole de compétitivité Biopôle and Minalogic) focussed on the impact of digitalisation on the innovation process and on the importance of collaboration between industry, research and government.

    In the afternoon, the international project partners each presented a best practice on the relationship between digitalisation and economic policy.

    Ms. Freia Polzin (QFC) gave an interesting example on participation and codetermination in innovative digitalisation processes in the Halle energy sector.

    Mr. José Juan Lopez (Comité Econòmic i Social de la Comunitat Valenciana) explained how digitalisation affects the functioning of technological institutes in the region of Valencia and how the regional government responds to that.

    On behalf of MITZ, Ms. Heike Gebhardt showed how the Saxony-Anhalt region is trying to become a digitalisation frontrunner through the establishment of a regional digitalisation centre. Also, the open government model of the municipality Saalekreis was explained.

    Silvie Vidicova (ASO) announced a new project within her organisation on how social dialogue can counteract the growing polarization in society and how trade unions can contribute to preparing employees for the digital future.

    On behalf of the Flemish social partners, the following topics were presented: Flanders’ Care (Kristel De Roy, VERSO), Vulpia (Caroline Vande Sande, ACLVB), the electronic office of the Flanders Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Robin Deman, UNIZO), employee participation and CAO 39 (Steven Genbrugge, ABVV) and the Flemish cluster policy (Koen Repriels, ACV).

    On the second day, the delegation visited the SOLVAY research and innovation centre, to zoom in on how digitalisaiton and the explosion of data production and availability influences the various stages in the research and innovation process.

    Afterwards, a final visit was planned to IFP Énergies Nouvelles, a research institute in the domain of energy, transport and the environment, supporting especially the oil industry. The Lyon site of IFPEN brings together design, modeling, experimentation and development facilities in numerous fields such as fuels and biofuels production processes, offshore wind power and ocean energies, energy storage, CO2 storage.

    A more elaborate report with the main conclusions of the roundtable will be published in the coming weeks.