German engineer and economist Klaus Martin Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos, who holds doctorates in economics and engineering, is one of the most prominent researchers and developers of the concept of the fourth industrial revolution. Initiated by The Engineering Industries Association LINPRA and with the help of partners, professor’s book The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been just released in Lithuanian language and introduced during the Annual Economic Forum 2017 in Vilnius, 12 October.
As the main guest and speaker of the event, Klaus Shwab shared his ideas comparing the concepts of Industry 4.0 and The Fourth Industrial Revolution, explaining that revolution is much more overwhelming and refers to more aspects, not only digitalisation of the industry. One of the most important aspects is Education4.0 – traditional education mixed with lifelong learning and development of digital skills, maybe even coding, since young age.
The first official meeting of the National Industrial Competitiveness Commission ‘Industry 4.0’ (‘Pramonė 4.0’) takes place on August 29, 2017, aiming to:
Structure of the National Industrial Competitiveness Commission ‘Industry 4.0’ (‘Pramonė 4.0’) is confirmed by the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on June 13, 2017, and consists of the following:
In order to take advantage of the new Fourth Industrial Revolution and keep up with other EU Member States Lithuania also takes actions at national level. To ensure the most effective use of new technologies and taking into account the opportunities offered by digitalization, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania in cooperation with business associations, industry and the academia have prepared and submitted to the Government a resolution concerning the establishment of the National Industrial Competitiveness Commission ‘Industry 4.0’ (the Industrial Competitiveness Commission).
On 10 May 2017, the Government approved this Commission and confirmed its composition as well as the President. The Industrial Competitiveness Commission is the basis for the functioning of the established National Industry Digitalisation Platform ‘Industry 4.0’ (the National Platform ‘Industry 4.0’), which is steered and led by the Minister of Economy, and for the development of the industrial digitalization initiative in Lithuania.
The main objectives of the established National Platform ‘Industry 4.0’ in Lithuania are focused on increasing and strengthening the Lithuanian competitiveness and the productivity of industry as well as on promoting industry in the integration of digital solutions and new technologies.
Furthermore, National Platform ‘Industry 4.0’ will serve as the main venue for the dialogue between the industry, public authorities and the academic community to find the most efficient solutions for the digitalization of industry at national level. In addition, it will help ensure timely involvement in the processes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We hope that our National Platform ‘Industry 4.0’ can be part of the network of national initiatives at European level.
To ensure the proper functioning of the National Platform ‘Industry 4.0‘ Lithuania established thematic working groups to address current challenges and look at future-related issues in the areas of standardization and legal regulation, the innovation ecosystem, cyber security, education and social affairs. One more body of the National Platform ‘Industry 4.0’ set up together with thematic working groups is the Coordination Group of National Industrial Competitiveness Commission ‘Industry 4.0’ (the Coordination Group).
The Coordination Group includes representatives of ministries, associations, scientific community and other stakeholders. The main tasks of the Coordination Group is to discuss and analyze the information provided by thematic working groups and make proposals to the Industrial Competitiveness Commission. The Coordination Group coordinates the activities of thematic working groups.
Another specific action of the Digitizing European Industry Strategy, implemented in Lithuania – is the establishment of a Digital innovation hub. The Hub mission is to help companies, notably SMEs and non-tech industry, in Lithuania to become more competitive by improving their business and production processes as well as products and services by means of digital technologies. Furthermore, the Digital Innovation Hub also plays an important role for the assessment of the digital skills needed and their application in companies and it becomes an important tool for digital transformation. To implement this action successfully, the Ministry of Economy cooperates with industry associations, academia and the companies that have already integrated such technologies as Big Data, Cloud computing, IoT, Robotics, Autonomous systems in their activities and can share their experience about the integration of digital innovations as an essential part of value creation in their business strategies with the others. The Digital Innovation hub in Lithuania also aims to become part of a network of Digital Innovations Hubs and help ensure that any business in Europe could have access to a Digital Innovation Hub at ‘a working distance’.
The Internet of Things is finding its way into production. Machine-to-machine communication revolutionizes factories by decentralized control. Products with embedded digital memories guide themselves through the future’s smart factories. This generates low-volume, high-mix production in a cost-efficient way.
One of 10 “Future Projects” identified by the German federal government as part of its High-Tech Strategy 2020, the “Industry 4.0” project represents a major opportunity for Germany to establish itself as future industry lead market and integrated provider. Since on-demand-production of highly individualized products requires short logistic chains, production is guaranteed to remain the backbone of Germany’s economic performance. “Industry 4.0” is a strategic initiative to take up a pioneering role in industrial ICT which is currently revolutionizing the manufacturing and engineering sector. The strategy will allow Germany to stay a globally competitive high-wage economy.
As “Industry 4.0” also means repatriation of production from Eastern Asian markets back to Europe, it offers plenty of potential for neighbouring countries. Lithuania with its strong engineering and machinery proficiency could become one of the biggest beneficiaries of this current development.
Following a bilateral Conference on “Industry 4.0” on May 19th 2016 in Vilnius, different partners have formed have formed Lithuanian working group "Pramonė 4.0". The group consists of The German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, Lithuanian Engineering Association LINPRA, Lithuanian IT-association Info BALT, the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists LPK, Universities as well as other stakeholders and is supported by various Lithuanian ministries.