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Working paper

This study provides insights into the actions and strategies of public and private stakeholders in Advanced Industrial Robotics (AIR). Trade unions, but also some politicians and governments, express some degree of reluctance to the ever-increasing use of AIR and automation in general. Their main concern is a too quick, too broad reduction in the number of jobs. In short: innovation is good, but changes can be too quick and not allowing persons and organisations to anticipate and adapt. This is also reflected in positive, yet nuanced support programmes of regional, national and EU level policy makers, under labels such as Industry 4.0, Factories of the Future and advanced manufacturing.

The main purpose of the study is to better understand, and allow stakeholders to anticipate and address the impact of new technologies on production processes and work. As such, the three components of the study are:

1. The level of maturity and the scope of applicability of the technologies, in terms of specific subindustries and geographic areas across Europe;

2. The (potential) qualitative impact on the production process including the impact on value chains, business models, productivity and output/products; and;

3. The (potential) qualitative impact on work, in terms of employment (e.g. occupations that are emerging or disappearing), tasks (e.g. changes in physical, social and intellectual tasks), skill types and skill levels, education/training needs, working conditions.

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