Digital age

Game-changing technologies: Transforming production and employment in Europe

Report
Gepubliceerd
22 januari 2020
Formaten
Executive summary in 22 languages

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Hoofdconclusies

  • Game-changing technologies (GCTs) are those expected to have a disruptive effect on the economy, labour market and society; GCTs should be monitored to identify early interventions to foster growth or to prevent negative effects.
  • There is considerable difference as regards technical and market maturity across GCTs and their adoption across sectors. For example, advanced robotics is a comparatively well established technology in some manufacturing sectors, while at early stage adoption in services. Blockchain, in contrast, is hardly operationally used by business in general, and if applied, then rather in services.
  • The numerical employment impact of GCTs is hard to assess, but most probably is less severe than often discussed. Most analysed GCTs show some potential for both, job creation (notably higher-skilled jobs related to data handling, science and analytics) and job loss (notably jobs characterised by a high level of automatable routine tasks).
  • More importantly, GCTs are expected to have a substantial impact on the task composition within jobs, which is likely to result in disruptive changes as regards skills needs and use and work organisation.
  • To ensure, at the same time, global competitiveness of European companies and sustainable employment and decent working conditions for the workforce, policy interventions are needed, even if the GCTs are not yet widely adopted by business.

Samenvatting

Innovation and technological advancement are natural features of developed economies, and they are necessary to maintain and improve sustainable competitiveness in an era of globalisation. However, while most innovation tends to be incremental, some has a disruptive effect on production and service provision, the labour market and social dialogue. This report discusses a selection of eight so-called ‘game-changing technologies’ (advanced robotics, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, industrial biotechnologies, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality). Each of these has the potential to substantially change business activities, work and employment in Europe. Looking at both the manufacturing and services sectors, this report gives an indication of how these technologies might be adopted and how they are expected to affect the labour market.

  • Full report

    Number of Pages: 
    54
    Reference No: 
    EF19047
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2044-1
    Catalogue: 
    TJ-03-20-015-EN-C
    DOI: 
    10.2806/198
    Catalogue info

    Game-changing technologies: Transforming production and employment in Europe

    Available formats

    Cite this publication as: 
    Eurofound (2020), Game-changing technologies: Transforming production and employment in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
  • Executive summary

    Catalogue info

    Baanbrekende technologieën: een transformatie van de productie en de werkgelegenheid in Europa

    Authors: 
    Eurofound

    Innovatie en technologische vooruitgang zijn natuurlijke kenmerken van ontwikkelde economieën en zijn noodzakelijk om in een tijdperk van globalisering het duurzame concurrentievermogen te behouden en te verbeteren. Hoewel innovatie doorgaans incrementeel van aard is, is er soms sprake van een verstorend effect op de maakindustrie en de dienstensector, de arbeidsmarkt en de sociale dialoog. In dit rapport wordt een selectie gemaakt van acht zogenoemde baanbrekende technologieën (geavanceerde robotica, additive manufacturing, het internet der dingen, elektrische voertuigen, autonome voertuigen, industriële biotechnologie, blockchain en virtual en augmented reality). Elk van deze technologieën heeft het potentieel om ingrijpende veranderingen teweeg te brengen met betrekking tot bedrijfsactiviteiten, werk en werkgelegenheid in Europa. In dit rapport wordt voor de productiesector alsook voor de dienstensector geschetst hoe deze technologieën zouden kunnen worden ingevoerd en hoe zij naar verwachting van invloed zullen zijn op de arbeidsmarkt.

    Available in 22 languages for download

    PDF
  • Working papers

    Related working papers

    The working papers accompanying this report deal with the implications for the services sector.

  • Data and infographics

    Figures

    • Figure 1: Narrow AI: fields of application
    • Figure 2: Vectors of digital change and analysed GCTs
    • Figure 3: GCTs in manufacturing: potential employment implications
    • Figure 4: GCTs in services: potential employment implications
    • Figure 5: Overview of potential impact of the analysed GCTs on selected working conditions

    Tables

    • Table 1: GCTs selected for analysis
    • Table 2: Definitions of the analysed GCTs
    • Table 3: Example applications of GCTs
    • Table 4: Estimated potential market size of analysed GCTs
    • Table 5: Overview of key factors influencing adoption of the analysed GCTs
    • Table 6: Potential job creation and job loss by sector and GCT
    • Table 7: Expected effects of analysed GCTs on skills use and skills development
    • Table 8: Expected effects of analysed GCTs on work organisation
    • Table 9: Expected effects of analysed GCTs on working time and work intensity
    • Table 10: Expected effects of the analysed GCTs on autonomy, flexibility and control
    • Table 11: Expected effects of analysed GCTs on workers’ health and safety

    Infographics

    The infographics accompanying this report deal with the implications for the services sector.

    Eurofound infographic on advanced robotics

    Eurofound infographic on autonomous transport devices

    Eurofound infographic on blockchain

    Eurofound infographic on virtual and augmented reality

    Eurofound infographic on wearable devices

     

     

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