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Manufacturing is the process of transforming raw materials into finished products. Our research provides sustainable solutions and competitive advantages for the manufacturing industry.

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What is manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the process of transforming raw materials into finished products.

This is achieved with tools, machinery, human labor, and chemical processing.

Why is manufacturing important?

Manufacturing is a vital sector and economic driver for the EU.

The data below highlight how important a strong manufacturing base is to the european economy.

Key statistics

  • Manufacturing 30 million employees work in manufacturing across 2.1 million companies in the EU.
  • Manufacturing accounts for 20% of the EU's GDP.
  • Each manufacturing job supports up to 2 additional jobs in other sectors through economic multiplier effects.
  • Manufacturing represents 83% of the EU's total exports.
Additiv produksjonscelle lager SINTEF-plate.JPG
3D printing is a modern manufacturing method.

Job creation

Manufacturing industries create jobs across multiple sectors.

First, manufacturing firms hire workers and engineers on their R&D departments, shop floors and assembly lines to make the products.

Second, manufacturing activity supports jobs in industries that provide raw materials, components, machinery, and so on. It also leads to transportation, storage and distribution jobs.

Third, manufacturing drives technological progress and productivity growth. New technologies leads to the development of high technology manufacturing.

Technological innovation

The manufacturing sector drives technological innovation by adopting and creating new technologies.

For example, achieving zero-defect manufacturing requires continuous improvement and application of the latest quality control techniques

Being at the technological frontier is key for manufacturing industries in modern, high cost countries.

Economic growth

By producing high-value goods, countries can stimulate economic growth and development.

A robust manufacturing sector boosts exports and brings in international investments.

Improved standard of living

By creating employment opportunities and driving economic growth, a strong manufacturing sector raises incomes and the overall standard of living.

Manufactured goods also improve quality of life by meeting consumer needs.

SINTEF's manufacturing expertise

Our manufacturing research aims to support the digital and sustainable transformation of European industry.

Our multidisciplinary competence spans:

  • Smart factories
  • Product development
  • Materials technology
  • 3D-printing
  • Lean
  • Robotics
  • Circular manufacturing
  • and more...

Through international projects with partners from across the manufacturing value chain, we provide solutions to complex industrial challenges.


Circular Manufacturing

Circular Manufacturing

Circular manufacturing creates systems where resources, materials, components and products are reused, remanufactured and recycled.

Additive manufacturing (AM) – Processes and machines

Additive manufacturing (AM) – Processes and machines

SINTEF has been in the AM field since the first machines appeared in the late 1980s. SINTEF has experience with various AM process categories, and associated machines ("3D printers"). SINTEF has machines for R&D purposes and some industrial machines.