Game-changing technologies: Transforming production and employment in Europe

Eurofound studied the implications of eight game-changing technologies (GCTs) for work, employment and employment relations: £ advanced robotics £ additive manufacturing (that is, 3D printing for industrial purposes) £ Internet of Things (IoT), specifically industrial IoT (IIoT) and wearable devices £ electric vehicles £ autonomous vehicles (for example, ‘driverless’ cars) £ industrial biotechnologies £ blockchain – the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin £ virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) These technologies have the potential to cause significant disruption to European manufacturing and services sectors by 2030. Based on technology-specific studies, this report summarises the main characteristics of these technologies, the drivers of and barriers to their adoption and their (potential) application in business. It goes on to provide an overview of the impact these technologies may have on work and employment in Europe. In contrast to other types of innovation, GCTs prompt bigger, more immediate changes and have a disruptive effect on the economy, labour markets and society. While some of these technologies are already operational, others may not be implemented in practice for some time; for others still, it is difficult to predict when they will reach technological and market maturity. Although the extent to which GCTs will be applied in the future is unclear, from a policy perspective it is important to become aware of their development at an early stage and to assess their potential impact. This will enable informed policymaking in terms of timely preparation and the implementation of effective interventions.

The full report is here: ef19047en

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