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Digitalization could benefit Advanced Manufacturing

The ETH’s Strategic Focus Area Advanced Manufacturing could use the potential of digitalization to develop advanced finishing technologies. The focus area was inaugurated on Monday in the presence of Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann.

Empa laboratory
The ETH’s Strategic Focus Area Advanced Manufacturing was inaugurated on Monday. (Picture credit: Empa)

“The absolutely innovative networking of computers, data and physical objects” is changing methods of production in the manufacturing industry, wrote the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) in a statement.

Empa houses the ETH’s Strategic Focus Area Advanced Manufacturing (SFA-AM), which was established to meet these challenges. The focus area was inaugurated on Monday during an event entitled ‘Industry – The Foundations of our Prosperity’.

During his opening speech, Minister of the Economy, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, highlighted the Swiss economy’s strong international standing. At the same time, he warned against resting on its laurels. “Once jobs have migrated, they never come back,” he commented in the statement.   

Jean-Pascal Bobst of the eponymous industrial company emphasized that industrial firms need time and space to develop new technologies and business areas. The corporate head described politics as challenged in terms of developing visions of the future.   

A series of other speakers discussed different aspects of Advanced Manufacturing. The SFA-AM program manager Lars Sommerhäuser presented the new strategic focus area’s focal points and funding opportunities. A podium discussion rounded off the inauguration event.

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