The decarbonisation of European industry and the role of innovation and digitalisation in driving it

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Following Bureau Decision of 12 December 2022, the CCMI will draw up an exploratory opinion requested by the Spanish Presidency.

Spain's industry is key for the smooth functioning of its economy. Currently there are more than 190 000 enterprises active in the industrial sector and employing more than two million highly skilled workers.

Within industry, it should be noted that manufacturing processes are energy-intensive and many still rely on fossil fuels. The government is determined to support enterprises in their transition towards more environmentally friendly models and processes. It is therefore necessary to support the manufacturing industry through its decarbonisation process. Industrial sectors that are committed to sustainability and digitalisation are more likely to become future leaders.

Digitalisation and innovation contribute significantly to decarbonising European industry. Supporting efforts to acquire new digital skills will enable enterprises to master new business models and processes. At the same time, investments in R&D&I are necessary to find innovative solutions to decarbonize, but these investments will be both technically and economically high-risk.

The exploratory opinion should reflect on how to support the initiatives Spain will undertake to decarbonate the sector, focussing especially on the leverage role of digitalisation and innovation in this process.