To the Cloud and Beyond: Smart Manufacturing, From Europe to China

  • Date
    23 June 2023
  • Brussels Time
    13:00 - 17:30
  • Location
  • Venue
    Netherlands Innovation Center Unit 9.1, Margriet Toren, Haaksbergweg, 1101 BR Amsterdam
  • Open to
    All European SMEs
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While small and medium-enterprises play an essential role in the manufacturing industry, the Industry 4.0 move towards digitalisation and smart manufacturing technologies has brought a paradigm shift that can present challenges to SMEs in Europe and beyond. Access to financial resources to keep up with the latest research and innovation, deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, on-going personnel training and collaborative networks are all decisive factors for success.

On 23 June, the EU SME Centre, the Netherlands Innovation Center (NIC), and Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) are organising a free workshop in Amsterdam on Industry 4.0 in China and Europe. This event will focus on the opportunities and challenges for SMEs in the smart manufacturing sector in Europe and China.

Mr. Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau, Head of the “Science, Technology and Innovation” Programme at MERICS, will deliver the keynote presentation. EU SME Centre Business Advisor Alessio Petino will present case studies of European businesses currently active in China.

After the two presentations, participants and experts will discuss in working groups. A networking drink will follow for participants to share with peers and potential partners.


13:00 – 13:10

Opening and welcoming words

13:10 – 13:20

Presentation of the Netherlands Innovation Center

13:20 – 13:45

Presentation of the EU SME Centre

13:45 – 15:25

Keynote presentation on Industry 4.0
Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau, Head of the “Science, Technology and Innovation” Programme at MERICS

Presentation of case studies of Industry 4.0 European companies in China
Alessio Petino, Business advisor at EU SME Centre

Discussion groups and Q&A

15:25 – 15:40


15:40 – 16:40

Working group discussions
Experts, EU SME Centre representatives, and stakeholders with an interest in expanding to China

16:40 – 17:30

Borrel drinks and networking

Keynote Speakers
Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau

Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau is Head of Program of “Science, Technology and Innovation” at MERICS. Prior to that he worked at “China Policy”, a Beijing-based research and advisory company. He set up the section education, science and innovation at China Policy in 2017, and led it until December 2020. Jeroen spent over ten years in China. He holds a master’s degree Languages and Cultures of China from Leiden University and wrote about Chinese popular music in his PhD dissertation.

Alessio Petino
Business Advisor, EU SME Centre

Alessio has worked for 8+ years on various EU-funded projects in China, mainly conducting policy and regulatory analysis for European companies looking to enter or already in the Chinese market. Key focus areas: market access regulations and barriers, investment attraction policies, standards & compliance – with particular focus on R&D, tech & innovation.

Alessio joined the EU SME Centre in October 2020. He coordinates reports, guidelines and technical assistance to European SMEs; he also delivers training about different market entry approaches and engagements with China, opportunities and risks, as well as do’s and don’ts.

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