Peter Totterdill
Workplace Innovation Europe

Spring is sprung and with it comes the first BRIDGES 5.0 Newsletter of 2024. This will be a year of achievement for BRIDGES 5.0, not least through the launch of the Teaching and Learning Factory interventions involving a diverse range of companies in several countries – more on this in forthcoming Newsletters. Meanwhile we’ve been busy gathering insights into the opportunities and challenges presented by Industry 5.0 by means of an online survey and a series of dialogue workshops with companies and other stakeholders, and we’ll be reporting on the results in May.

But dialogue doesn’t stop there, and the Industry 5.0 platform due later this year will actively engage stakeholders in exchanging knowledge, experience and ideas on Industry 5.0 and how we make it happen in practice. BRIDGES 5.0 is also partnering with EUWIN (the European Work Organisation Network) on a programme of webinars on closely related topics – you can register for future sessions and view the recordings of past events here.

BRIDGES 5.0 is influencing policymakers and other stakeholders on the implications of Industry 5.0, and the latest Policy Brief puts forward recommendations for companies, sectoral organisations, social partners and policymakers at EU and Member State levels. Several BRIDGES 5.0 partners are also active in the European Commission’s Industry 5.0 Community of Practice, helping shape the concept of Industry 5.0 and developing practical tools to enable it’s wider adoption.

Taking the company level as the point of departure for Industry 5.0 is emerging as a powerful theme for BRIDGES 5.0 and other researchers alike. Our Policy Brief suggests that traditional supply-side interventions focused on individual skills development are insufficient to address the opportunities and challenges posed by Industry 5.0; rather, there needs to be greater focus on how technologies are designed and deployed in the workplace, and on the creation of ‘rich learning environments’. This is reinforced by Frank Pot’s article which emphasises the importance of ‘organisational choice’. How technologies are procured and used in the workplace must be seen as part of the company’s wider choices relating to work organisation and managerial culture. In short, Industry 5.0 is a strategic choice at enterprise level. This will be elaborated further in future work.

Industry 5.0 has an increasingly clear and compelling vision for Europe, one which embraces digitalisation as the pathway to a more human-centric, sustainable and resilient economy. It is a growing movement, and along with other EU Horizon projects, BRIDGES 5.0 is playing a key role in driving it forward.

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