04 Oct 2017

“Man, not technology, stands at the centre of innovation”

Without innovation, steel will not emerge unscathed from today’s “new normal”, where steel demand and production are essentially at a standstill. “We are at a crossroads. The digital revolution is creating huge problems, but also hitherto unimagined opportunities and possibilities for the steel industry. I am convinced that innovation will be one of the main drivers of growth in the next few years.” Among the speakers at the 4th Danieli Innovaction Meeting, held this week at the firm’s Buttrio headquarters, Made in Steel CEO Emanuele Morandi spoke to an audience of hundreds of industry participants and decision-makers from the European and global steel industry, coming from 70 countries. The Friuli company is hosting the event to discuss the future of the European steel industry, and the questions of innovation, technology and competitiveness in the steel market from here to 2035.

“I firmly believe in the need to invest in innovation and knowledge, as we have shown from 2001 to today,” stated Morandi, recalling Industria e acciaio 2030 (Industry and steel 2030) and the Stati Generali dell’ACCIAIO (STEEL General Assembly), as well as the Made in Steel Conference & Exhibition.

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about innovation in the steel industry? Innovation today can refer to different things: production techniques, ever greater sustainability, output – where the demand for better quality and better service continues to grow – but also the distribution chain, logistics and steel firms’ communication and marketing. “Just think what could be achieved through new forms of dialogue with the world of architecture or design, thus far relatively ignored.”

All, however, on one condition: “These changes will require a sort of Copernican revolution in innovation, because at its centre lies not technology, but human capital,” concluded Emanuele Morandi. “The challenges ahead will require experience and farsighted vision. Man, with his skills, education and imagination, must use all the notes at his disposal to compose the most extraordinary of all symphonies, that of social and economic development.

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