Technology and innovation powering connectivity for industrialization

Technology and innovation powering connectivity for industrialization

GENEVA, 1 October 2018 – A special session of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) convened today in Geneva to discuss the potential of the technological innovations brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution for powering connectivity that can lead to inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and GMIS, the special session brought together national and international policymakers, representatives of global telecommunications firms and academic experts.

“We are, today, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where we see the growing convergence of traditional manufacturing processes, with that of digital technologies. Advanced manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, the Internet of Things and wearable technologies, among others, are impacting existing markets, working methods and institutions,” said Cecilia Ugaz Estrada, Director of UNIDO’s Department of Policy Research and Statistics.

Namir Hourani, Managing Director of GMIS, added: “Undoubtedly, advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and ICT infrastructure as a whole, are the backbone of what is now known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, without connectivity, none of the enormous benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be realized. We believe that today’s joint session with UNIDO, ITU and GMIS is the first step in our common endeavour to enable ICT to play its role in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

The participants agreed that tailored policies and global stakeholder alignment – including partnerships with public and private actors – are necessary to ensure that technological innovation, adoption and connectivity lead to a prosperous future for all.

“This Special Session opens the door to a new level of collaboration between ITU and UNIDO to help countries advance their industrialization efforts, support the growth of SMEs, and bridge the digital divide,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “Investment in ICT infrastructure has never been more important. It is the cornerstone of today’s digital economy.”

The session also looked into how sustainable smart city and societies can use advanced technologies for monitoring and optimizing quality, performance, cost-effectiveness and resource consumption of services.

The GMIS-UNIDO-ITU special session is one of many activities in key global markets shaping a wide roadshow programme – GMIS Connect – which aims to gather expertise, insights and experiences to feed into the 2019 GMIS Summit, to be held in July 2019 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, under the theme of nature-inspired technologies.

“We are looking to our series of Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit sessions to harness the trajectory of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for sustainable development, aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially Sustainable Development Goal 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure,” Ugaz Estrada concluded.

Key findings of the Special Session include:

  • Promoting cooperation and innovative partnerships is key to engage a broad range of stakeholders, including academia and small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to collate knowledge, information and data required for an inclusive and sustainable Smart City and Society.
  • New and innovative technologies should be explored and embraced to promote digital connectivity and an inclusive sustainable industrial development.
  • In fostering a dynamic national ecosystem for the Smart Society, a mix of a top-down government-led and bottom-up citizen-engaged approach is encouraged.
  • There is need to define the roles, responsibilities and incentives for all stakeholders to ensure seamless cross-sector collaboration.  
  • It is important to develop measurable performance targets to assess progress and achievements made in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
  • Continuous training and re-training of the workforce is crucial to meet the skill demands of the Smart City and Society.

All images: © Copyright GMOL 2018

For more information, please contact:

Anders Isaksson

Senior Research and Industrial Policy Officer

UNIDO Research and Industrial Policy Advice Division