Initial situation – current demand for Industry 4.0
Germany is one of the leading industrial nations worldwide and a market leader in many sectors of industry. But the competition never sleeps. Intensive international rivalry between European nations and rapidly growing emerging economies is constantly increasing pressure on German companies to improve their own competitiveness.
Following mechanisation, electrification and informatisation of our companies and of society, we are now experiencing the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution – collectively termed Industry 4.0 – and our reflexes tend to respond to these structural changes with scepticism and conventional thinking patterns. Yet our odds will be poor should we try to improve our own competitive position whilst remaining on the sidelines!
Neither politics nor the economy will these days offer panaceas to so-called “disruptive innovation”, i.e. our response to fundamental changes to tried and tested rules of the game and the displacement of established technologies. The demand for entrepreneurial creativity and capability – i.e. not so much academic but rather practical approaches - is therefore stronger than ever here.