History of MANUNET

Manufacturing in Europe

"The manufacturing activity in Europe represents today approximately 22% of the EU GNP. It is estimated that in total 75% of the EU GDP and 70% of employment in Europe is related to manufacturing. This means that each job in manufacturing is linked to two jobs in manufacturing related services.
European manufacturing has great potential as part of a sustainable EU economy, but its success will depend upon continuous innovation in products and processes."

(MANUFUTURE A VISION for 2020 -Report of the High-Level Group, November 2004)

"Manufacturing is the driving force in EU’s economy; it accounts for 37.5 million direct jobs; 75 million via related services. Moreover, its turnover represents 6,930 billion € and the value added 1,800 billion €."

(EUROSTAT ES 2008, "Main indicators for the non financial business economy", EU 27, 2004)

"The SMEs are of utmost importance for the European Manufacturing sector. In 2005, 2.3 million enterprises or over 99 % of the business population in Manufacturing were small and medium-sized enterprises. These companies accounted for 59 % of the total employment and 45 % of the value added in the whole sector."

(Ulf Johansson. "EUROSTAT Statistics in focus", 37/2008)


MANUNET SSA (Specific Support Action) was born in 2004 as an initiative of the Basque Government. Based on the facts stated above, the Basque Government decided to generate a continental initiative to move towards a European regionally-based Research Area on manufacturing. That was the origin of the SSA “MANUNET: walking towards a European Regionally-based Research Area on New Processes and Flexible Manufacturing Systems”.

MANUNET SSA was very useful to draw the European manufacturing map, identifying regions and countries having a twofold characteristic: an important relative manufacturing weight and own funding support. The positive results of MANUNET SSA showed the need of an ERA-NET CA (Coordination Action) in the area of Manufacturing.

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The SSA laid the foundations to the CA (Coordination Action) with the same name. MANUNET was launched on 1st April 2006 with the aim of guiding SMEs towards the European Research Area (ERA) by providing:

  • Opportunity of funding R&D projects closer to market.
  • Yearly calls for proposals.
  • High success ratio of submitted proposals.

From 2007 on, MANUNET has strongly increased the number of regions/countries participating (43%) achieving the following objectives:

  • To provide more companies suitable to cooperate inside the MANUNET area.
  • To increase the impact at European level by mobilizing a higher number of projects.

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January 2017