The Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS), a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Energy and Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), announced that the third edition of its Summit, #GMIS2020, will be converted into a series of digital sessions, inviting thought-leaders from the global manufacturing community to virtually come together, for the very first time, to discuss, debate and shape the future of the manufacturing sector.
#GMIS2020 was initially planned to take place in April alongside the Hannover Messe 2020 in Germany under the theme of #GermanyConnects – inspired by the country’s leadership in connecting the global manufacturing and industrial community with its transformational digital and technological solutions. The digital series was announced in coordination with its co-chairs, and alongside its partner in Germany, Deutsche Messe, following the evaluation of the growing economical and logistical uncertainly surrounding the escalating Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Reinforcing the physical and digital convergence of Industry 4.0, the ‘#GMIS2020 Digital Series’ will leverage technology to virtually convene a truly global, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder dialogue around issues that are at the heart of the manufacturing sector and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Badr Al-Olama, head of the organizing committee for global manufacturing and industrialization Summit said: “Our highest priority has always been to arrive at the safest and most practical outcome in light of the current situation while staying true to the vision and mission of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit. The #GMIS2020 Digital Series takes a transformational approach towards ensuring a risk-free environment for participants to engage in shaping the future of manufacturing. As the pandemic sweeps across the world, paralyzing many aspects of normal life, attention must now turn to how the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be leveraged to restore our economies and our society, taking us from an era of ‘digital disruption’ to an era of ‘digital restoration’.”
There have been many debates around the disruptive, and in some cases, the destabilizing nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with regards to employment, business sustainability, and global prosperity. However, the crisis surrounding the current pandemic is casting a new lens on the power of technology to assess how it can be utilized as a force for global restoration, allowing businesses to continue to operate, providing communities with tools to keep them connected, and restructuring supply chains to overcome the recent disruption to global markets.
Companies such as Lonati SpA, an Italian manufacturing company, has 3D printed ventilator valves to address domestic shortages. Other examples include a robot named ‘Little Peanut’ that is being deployed to deliver food to people who have been quarantined; and Baidu, a Chinese technology company, is using artificial intelligence technology and computing resources to predict the secondary structure of the COVID-19 RNA sequence to help accelerate the development of a vaccine. Technology can also help restore normal business activities through the use of blockchain to securely and remotely sign and exchange documents, or enable workforce training and development, or even process certification and qualification, through widely used digital communication platforms.
As Al Olama explains, “History demonstrates that innovation has proven to be an effective tool in solving the world’s toughest challenges time and again, while also being the driving force behind the advancement of humanity and global prosperity. In a world where many discussions are taking place around some of the negative implications of 4IR technologies, it is times like this that we should encourage policymakers to streamline and fast track regulations that allow certain technologies, such as autonomous mobility, to restore many parts of our daily lives and help us overcome unprecedented challenges.”
Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the board of management of Deutsche Messe AG said: “As a strategic partner to the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, Deutsche Messe fully supports the shift towards digital sessions that can continue to gather valuable insights from the global manufacturing community. Reinforcing the #GMIS2020 theme of Germany Connects, we look forward to hosting a digital gathering of global minds.”
Established in 2015, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit is a global platform that brings together governments, organizations, NGOs, technologists, and investors to discuss, debate and shape the future of manufacturing. The Summit covers topics related to the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and dives into subjects such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and value chains – discussions that, in today’s world, are more important than ever before.