An analysis of the drivers, barriers and readiness factors of EU companies for adopting advanced manufacturing products and technologies

The adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) by companies is a prerequisite for the modernisation of the European industry. Their adoption allows firms to increase energy efficiency and productivity, both pivotal factors for maintaining long-term competitiveness on the market and for preserving the natural environment.
According to the EU definition, advanced manufacturing technologies include:

  • high performance manufacturing, combining flexibility, precision and zero-defect
    (e.g. machine tools, advanced sensors, 3D printers),

  • ICT-enabled intelligent manufacturing, integrating ICT into production processes
    (e.g. smart factories),

  • sustainable manufacturing technologies, raising energy efficiency, reducing emissions
    (e.g. process control technologies, product lifecycle management)

Although many areas of the European economy display world class manufacturing capacity, Europe still struggles to bridge the gap between the development of technologies and their productive uptake by producing firms. Overall many firms still articulate a rather low demand for advanced manufacturing products and technologies, leading to a deceleration in growth.
Against this background EASME tendered this study to identify central drivers and barriers related to the adoption of advanced manufacturing products and technologies by European manufacturing firms, better explain relevant readiness factors among European SME and contribute to the development of an effective policy to facilitate the adoption of advanced manufacturing products and technologies in Europe.

Beyond a broad-based documentation of the current state of play with regard to different Member State’s industries AMT uptake, the study will collect qualitative and quantitative data to conduct in-depth analysis of drivers and barriers and, ultimately, to derive policy recommendations that help increase firm’s readiness to invest in relevant technologies.

To document AMT uptake across the European Union, the study makes broad and extensive use of data from the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS), tailored to its specific requirements.

Additionally, fifteen case studies are conducted with different types of manufacturing firms across Europe.

Informed by the case studies, finally, a Europe-wide survey addressing more than 2,000 firms will be conducted to identify drivers, barriers and readiness factors under multiple framework conditions.

Beyond an extensive documentation of its empirical findings regarding uptake and readiness factors, the project developed relevant policy recommendations for European policy makers.





  • European Commission (EASME, DG GROW)


  • IDEA
  • VTT