In his preliminary statement, Luc Triangle stated that people and society must be the key concepts driving innovation. Innovation is absolutely necessary for economic and industrial development. If we want to strengthen industry in Europe, innovation will be the key to achieve that objective. Thus, all stakeholders must be involved in the discussion, including employees and trade unions. This broad involvement and consultative approach is the condition for acceptance of industrial innovation in society.

IndustriAll Europe, representing almost 7 million workers in industry, has three key demands regarding innovation policy:

  • Workers should be involved in the innovation process. They should be up-skilled and trained for them to be active in an innovation society. Companies should be open to employee-driven innovation;
  • The social consequences of industrial innovation, which displaces market shares, value added and jobs, must be anticipated;
  • Innovation projects should be assessed according to their social and societal impact, because not all innovations are good for society. How many jobs will be created? What will be their quality? Where will they be created? What is the added value of the innovation for our society? Does it move our society forward? These are questions that deserve an answer, before taxpayers’ money is committed to a project.

Other elements that are crucial to industriAll Europe include:

  • an inclusive approach to innovation, where all workers are on board, whatever their qualification level
  • the link between knowledge creation, innovation and industrial production. European policy-makers must not shy away from industrial policy. European innovations must be manufactured in Europe and Europe must continue to focus on a coherent Industrial Policy.

Luc Triangle raised these points during his intervention at the first of the European Industrial Innovation Information Days and concluded that innovation should make our societies better and create prosperity for all. It should address our main challenges: climate, energy, mobility, Circular Economy. It should be based on cooperation between big players and SMEs, which itself is based on the fair distribution of costs, benefits and risks. European innovation policy should be spread throughout Europe and not be limited to a handful of ‘main’ Member States.

Background documents

  • Position Paper “Innovation by all and for all - Shaping a sustainable future for manufacturing” DE EN FR
  • Detailed Policy Brief on innovation policy: EN

IndustriAll European Trade Union represents the voice of 7 million working men and women across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors across Europe. We aim to protect and advance the rights of the workers. Our federation has 177 trade union affiliates in 38 European countries. Our objective is to be a powerful player in the European political arena vis-à-vis European companies, European industries, employers’ associations and European institutions.