Industry 4.0 – closing the technology gap

Industry 4.0 – closing the technology gap

VIENNA, 29 November 2017 – Representatives from the private sector, governments and academia met today at the 17th Session of the UNIDO general conference for a panel discussion titled, ‘Industry 4.0: the opportunities behind the challenge’.

The discussion was moderated by the international broadcaster, Sara Kelly, and focused on how recent technological advances, called Industry 4.0, are affecting our lives today and will shape societies in the future.

The event was divided in two panels. In the first one, speakers considered how the solutions stemming from Industry 4.0 will bring business opportunities to different economic sectors and how education will be essential in seizing those opportunities.

“The technologies are not important. What you need are the people to use those technologies. What you need is qualifications, qualifications, qualifications,” said Wilfred Sihn, CEO of Fraunhofer Austria Research.

The second panel focused on the role governments and the international community play in supporting policy to enable institutions and society to face the challenges posed by Industry 4.0.

“Artificial Intelligence innovation will be central to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Stephen Ibaraki, managing partner of REDDS Venture Investment Partners.

The event allowed for interaction with the audience through a smartphone application. Participants posed questions and voiced concerns about the impact that technological advances will have on jobs, especially for developing countries. The speakers considered the topic.

“Young people should not worry. A lot of job opportunities are being created,” said GAO Hongbing, Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of AliResearch.

“At the end of the day, we will have more jobs, but, in between, we will lose jobs. The question is what to do with the people who are losing jobs. Can we get them the qualifications they need,” Sihn added.

Panelists highlighted how important it is for developing countries to keep up with the technological changes. They also pointed out how UNIDO can play a pivotal role in assisting those countries so that they are not left behind by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

For more information, please contact:

Olga Memedovic

Chief, Business Environment, Cluster and Innovation Division

UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation