Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Club of Three Webinar
Building industrial resilience through technology: is Europe up to the challenge? – 14 May 2024

This online discussion on the topic of technology and industrial resilience followed on from a Club of Three webinar held in 2021 on Europe’s open strategic autonomy ambition.

There had been a culture of cooperation between technological and industrial players on building up a resilient industrial base in Europe for some time, and there was now a vibrant ecosystem of projects and partnerships to drive innovation, increase competitiveness and make infrastructure more secure.

At the political level, the European Commission’s focus on strategic autonomy and resilience post-Covid had given new impetus to these efforts. As the EU was about to embark in a new 5-year political and legislative cycle, what had been achieved in terms of technological sovereignty? Were we anywhere closer to reaching this goal?

The difficulties that companies like Atos in France were going through and the purchase of European technology success stories – including in the UK – by other big players outside of Europe were a reminder this quest for autonomy was a quite tall order.

The discussion was chaired by Laura Sandys CBE, Chair of the Green Alliance and Non-Executive Director at SSE Transmission, Highview Power, & Ohme Global, and former Chair of the UK Government’s Energy Digitalisation Taskforce.

The main speakers were:

*Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone 

*Thomas Reynaert, Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa, IBM

*Frédéric Sutter, Head of Skywise Product & Service Line, Airbus; Formerly Digitalisation Programme Director (2015-20)  

*Dragos Tudorache, MEP (Renew Europe); Chair, Special Committee on AI; LIBE rapporteur on AI Act; Former Interior Minister (Romania)

Participants included: Cédric Audenis (Acting Commissioner General for Policy Planning, French Prime Minister’s Office); Professor Paul Timmers (Research Fellow, Centre on Regulation in Europe); Nick Coleman (Managing Director, Technology Risk Academy); Alberto Palomo (Chief Strategy Officer, Gaia-X); Steffen Hoffmann (President Northern & Eastern Europe, Robert Bosch GmbH); John Marks Williams (CEO, Institute of Leadership); Stefanie Stündel (Senior Representative, Digitalisation and Innovation, German Industry Association BDI); Nina Skero (CEO, Centre for Economics and Business Research); Paul Aylieff (Chief Finance Officer, Quantexa Ltd); Greg Rosen (Senior Counsel, SEC Newgate UK); and Karina Robinson (CEO, Redcliffe Advisory Ltd)