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The Internet is allowing virtual communities to easily co-create digital assets and intellectual content at a very low “cooperation cost”. The ideology behind the open-source software development methodology has actually spread to new domains such as open-data, open-design and open-innovation. A new set of Internet tools and services is now available to leverage the “wealth and the wisdom of the crowd”. Complex projects can be crowd-sourced and crowd-funded by small and medium sized companies to reduce their cost of doing business. The “crowd” itself uses and modifies “open-data” to “co-create” new open-designs for the purpose of participating to “crowd-sourced” projects.
On the other hand, additive manufacturing technologies are breaking through. Thanks to the rapid advances in 3D printing, 3D Scanning, Robotic and technologies such as Contour Crafting for building construction, it now starts to be possible to build, from digital data, cheaper objects (large or small) using much less material than if manufactured traditionally using subtractive manufacturing industrial technologies. New object designs are possible that possess innovative physical properties impossible to obtain otherwise. If 3D printing technology continues to develop, it will be possible to 3D print some objects “just in time” and “locally” using “digital designs’ co-created by many users, and downloaded (legally or illegally) from the Internet. Labour, transport, storage costs might be dramatically reduced, hence further contributing to the potential emergence of a “new industrial” era.
On the payment side, the development of the use of crypto-money such as Bitcoin might dis-intermediate banks, credit-card companies and other central players in the payment business, making financial traceability, and identity tracking harder to achieve for law enforcement and fiscal purpose.
The long term combination of all these technologies may revolutionise the industry and the global economy given the potential productivity gains that may result from it. The workshop is part of a study to analyse what could be the combined and long-term effect (10 years) of these technologies on the global economy and on the manufacturing and services industry in particular, and to propose policy options to address the challenges identified and to leverage the corresponding opportunities.
Overview of workshop and technologies addressed
Co-creation and Crowdsourcing with Users and Consumers for Innovation
Crowdfunding and Open Source Economy
Big Data for Better Innovation
Open Data: a driver for economic, social and environmental value
Additive Manufacturing – Transforming EU and Global Industry
3D-Bioprinting: Transforming Medicine, Research and the Healthcare Industry
Crypto-currencies for policy makers
Privacy and security of crypto-currency transactions and payment systems