Industry 4.0 – or the Fourth Industrial Revolution – is here. Instead of saying ‘one day in the future,’ we’re saying right now. 2019 is bringing nascent technologies into the mainstream and changing forms of industry and business.
There are several countries who are pioneering the way. Reflecting on the World Economic Forum’s 2018 report, we look at who will be most prepared for Industry 4.0.
Canada is currently a hub for innovative tech. This includes anything from blockchain to AI to complete digitalization. The Canadian government is even trialling implementations on blockchain in their communications. It also has an impressive myriad of funding opportunities for innovation and new business.
In the WEF’s Drivers of Production, Canada ranks a reasonable 33rd with its current structure of production. It ranks 7th as a driver of production. With time and preparation, Canada could pioneer the state of production globally.
Japan monopolises the number one rank as one of WEF’s leading countries with its current structure of production. It’s a strong player in manufacturing and production. On the other hand, Japan faces many societal challenges, such as an increased ageing population. Industry 4.0 could provide a solution.
Japan is already popularising the idea of ‘Society 5.0,’ which aims to solve challenges by implementing Industry 4.0 technologies. They build their ideas around the idea of “monozukuri” which refers to Japanese work ethic and skill at manufacturing.
Germany is on Japan’s level as a leading country in industry. In fact, the government even has its own strategy for Industry 4.0. It’s one that promotes digitalisation, emphasises workers, SMEs, businesses and globality.
German companies are incentivised to bring Industry 4.0 aspects into their products like AI, automation, blockchain and IIoT. It is driven by ‘Plattform Industrie 4.0’ who moderate the technological and societal exchange.
Australia isn’t quite positioned as a Leading country on the WEF’s scale, with a current rank 61 in its structure or production. However, it has potential as a driver of production, ranking 12th on that category. Australia’s manufacturing sector makes up less than a meagre 7% of its GDP.
Australia has strong potential for the future of manufacturing. Right now, though, it lags behind. It has, however, signed an agreement with Germany to collaborate on Industry 4.0 technologies.
Austria is a strong driver of production. It also boasts an Industry 4.0 scheme similar to Germany’s, with Plattform Industrie 4.0 founded in 2014. Austria prioritises interplay between industries, joint strategies as well as scalability and transferability.
It places strongly on levels such as sustainable resources, institutional framework and human capital. Austria benefits from both a strong current state of production as well as a good future of production.
Switzerland is well-positioned both with its current and future state of production. It ranks fourth for structure and third as a driver on WEF’s rating system. Unsurprisingly, Switzerland also host the headquarters of the World Economic Forum in Geneva.
Along with Germany, Switzerland has resisted economic downturn over the last few years. Switzerland currently pioneer an Industry 2025 initiative, which aims to bring together Swiss companies for Industry 4.0 technologies.
Many countries are prepared for Industry 4.0 – and others not so much. With work and preparation, however, Industry 4.0 can bring widespread value.
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