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© Plattform Industrie 4.0

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Industrie 4.0 describes a fundamental process of innovation and transformation in industrial production. This transformation is driven by new forms of economic activity and work in global, digital ecosystems: today’s rigid and strictly defined value chains are replaced by flexible, highly dynamic and globally connected value networks with new forms of cooperation. Data-driven business models prioritise the benefit to the customer and solutions, replacing the focus on the product as the prevailing paradigm of industrial value creation. Availability, transparency and access to data are key factors for success in the connected economy and largely determine competitiveness.

A holistic approach to the shaping of digital ecosystems

In this 2030 Vision, the stakeholders of Plattform Industrie 4.0 present a holistic approach to the shaping of digital ecosystems. Working from the specific situation and established strengths of Germany’s industrial base, their aim is to create a framework for a future data economy in line with the requirements of a social market economy: emphasising open ecosystems, diversity and plurality and supporting competition between all the stakeholders on the market. The Vision is primarily addressed to industry and commerce in Germany, but explicitly highlights the importance of openness and a willingness to work together with partners in Europe and around the world.

A decentralised system of open and flexible ecosystems

The strength of German industry is rooted in a system of innovation and commerce driven by heterogeneity, diversity and specialisation. In combination with commercial freedom, data and information security, and the protection of individual personal rights, these are the central pillars of the European industrial society. A decentralised system of open and flexible ecosystems is built on this structure, and offers the best preconditions for shaping the digital economy within the set of values of a free and social market economy.

Fields of action

Three closely interlinked strategic fields of action are crucial for a successful implementation of Industrie 4.0: autonomy, interoperability and sustainability. The stakeholders on Plattform Industrie 4.0 commit jointly to these fields of action as guiding principles for the coming decade of the incipient scaling-up of Industrie 4.0 in Germany, Europe and globally. In a dialogue with all the stakeholders in the industrial society, the aim is to establish a framework for action so that – building on the current outstanding position of German industry in global terms, the digital transformation of German industry can take place in a sustainable manner, and Industrie 4.0 can be successfully established throughout a flourishing German Mittelstand.

For interoperability, Plattform Industrie 4.0 is working in an international network to lay the necessary groundwork: It supported the birth of the Project GAIA-X, a distributed and open data infrastructure for Europe.