New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

JAPAN-SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOT ELDERLY

Robear is helping to revolutionize the manufacturing industry: do robears prefer China or Europe? (source: HuffingtonPost)

Adidas has announced that it will open its first all-robot factory in Germany, and many will follow in rich countries. Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple products fired 60,000 employees and employed robots instead of them. It seems this is the beginning of the end.

The way we manufacture products is about to change dramatically in the next decade. There are two intertwined trends that have already started to revolutionize the industry: the digitisation of industry (or the “takeover of robots”) and that global economic growth is less and less energy and machinery-intensive (more and more value added comes from services). None of these are new; however, both of these trends are in front of a new era of growth. Developments in big data and machine learning are increasing the capabilities of robots and global value chains are becoming seamless. Economic growth is coming increasingly from services, as opposed to manufacturing. Moreover, growing concerns about climate change and the ongoing shift away from heavy machinery in state-of-the-art manufacturing are leading to the growing use of lighter materials instead of metals. Continue reading New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

The coming wave of energy efficiency investments

The most energy efficient animal and the wave. Source: FatCatArt

This week’s post is concerned with energy efficiency investments in housing. We wanted to point out the importance of three factors: stable economic growth, further decrease of costs in renewables, and sufficient amount of fundings from the EU. All three factors seem to be fulfilled for the next couple of years, and we think a new wave of energy efficiency investments is likely in the future. Continue reading The coming wave of energy efficiency investments

The housing market’s James Bond: increasing immigration

Our current post is the next in line dealing with migration that has an impact on construction. Such issues will be discussed at the 80th EUROCONSTRUCT Conference.

In our previous post we concluded that lower potential economic growth and an increasing immigration are likely in Europe in the long run. An overall lower economic growth puts pressure on the construction industry as well, however, increasing immigration provides new opportunities for growth. In this post we will first elaborate on possible short-term effects and then we will present our expectation for the long-term. Continue reading The housing market’s James Bond: increasing immigration

Europe at crossroads: Economic decline and the possibilities of increased immigration

There is a series of current issues having an impact on construction that will be discussed at the 80th EUROCONSTRUCT Conference and first, we would like to address a very current issue in Europe: migration. There are many aspects of this phenomenon and it would be hard to present them all. Instead, we will address only one: how immigration can help slowing the ageing of the European Union’s population and thus increase growth prospects. Continue reading Europe at crossroads: Economic decline and the possibilities of increased immigration