Study: Business leaders want the EU to prioritise automation technologies

A study has found top business leaders want the EU to prioritise and support technologies relating to automation such as 5G and AI.

The survey (PDF) was carried out for the European Round Table (ERT) of Industrialists and features the views of CEOs from member companies such as Nestlé, Shell, Volvo, Siemens, and Heineken.

“We need the right policies to ensure our economies can take advantage of innovative technologies, our companies lead the world in their application and our citizens experience the benefits,” Chief Executive of BASF Martin Brudermüller wrote in an open letter to policymakers.

Business leaders believe the leading four ‘important priorities for the new commission’ should be:

  • Accelerate digitalisation and the use of AI and 5G.
  • Support the development of new technologies.
  • Ensure fair and rules-based global trade.
  • Invest in workforce skills and capabilities.

The last of the top four priorities is particularly notable given the concern around the lack of workforce skills for taking advantage of automation.

For at least the short-term, there’s a growing consensus among experts that automation will predominantly aid existing jobs rather than replace them. The full potential of automation, however, can only be unlocked with mass workforce reskilling.

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