The Global Manufacturing Industry Gathered for the Final Day of GMIS in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to Discuss: The Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Dector; Man with Machine not Man Versus Machine; and Responsible Business in the New Age of Industry
YEKATERINBURG, Russia, 11 July 2019 – Thought leaders from the global manufacturing community gathered for the final time at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), to address key topics that are emerging as Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies continue to drive the transformation of the global manufacturing sector.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Summit, Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee highlighted the importance of the key insights shared by some of the high-level dignitaries to include H.E. Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, UAE; H.E. Eng. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, UAE; LI Yong, Director General, UNIDO; Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade, Russian Federation; and H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company.
Badr Al-Olama said the President’s speech had inspired the organisation to announce the new global initiative to help start-ups integrate resource efficient, nature-based technologies into industry, and that this would be the lasting legacy of the 2019 edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) in Russia. “It is extremely important that this Summit is about achieving tangible outcomes. We invite the rest of the world to help us achieve these goals,” he said.
He concluded that the event would help establish a framework for the future of manufacturing that would include all countries. Only by leveraging the combined efforts and resources of the manufacturing community can the Fourth Industrial Revolution truly become global and inclusive, he said.
Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), addressed the closing ceremony with a speech in which he thanked the Russian Federation for hosting the Summit in Yekaterinburg. He said the input from all the high-level speakers over the three days had contributed to an enlightening and reflective summit. He said the Summit had heard about nature-inspired technologies and how they could contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He concluded that the event would help establish a framework for the future of manufacturing that would include all countries. Only by leveraging our combined efforts and resources can we make the Fourth Industrial Revolution truly global and inclusive, he said.
The final day of the Summit included a number of panel discussions, including Responsible Business in the New Age of Industry: What it Looks Like and What it Can Do attended by Helen Hai, Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and CEO of Made in Africa.
She told the session of the need for economic transformation and said it was essential to revisit the existing development models and look towards job creation. From 1960 until 2008, Hai said, only two lower income economies moved to the higher income bracket (South Korea and Taiwan), and out of the 13 economies that moved from middle to high, eight were in Europe. She added that to continue to progress, one of the most important issues is to bridge the poverty gap.
In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the need for responsible business is more imperative than ever, and such practices can drive change across communities as well as promote economic growth, the session heard. The experts on a panel discussion talked about how innovations in technology can be used as positive mechanisms for change across a range of industries, while they also highlighted the need for effective leadership to be found among both public and private sectors and for these sectors to collaborate for future growth and diversification.
The human impact of automation was the central focus of the panel discussion The Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Sector: The Future of Work, Industry 5.0, Learning and Human-Centric Automation, involving Pankaj Bajaj, Director, Bajaj Industries, Qiuliang Chen, VP, HIT Robot Group, and Dr. Adam Nagy, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Hungary.
The panellists said governments needed to consider the social implications of automation and robotisation. This is particularly of concern for poor countries with large populations where hundreds of millions of low skilled jobs could be lost. These workers will need to be reskilled. The panel said traditional employment models will need to be rethought to perhaps include flexible working hours, remote working, a shortened working week and a universal basic income. Dr Nagy said Hungary currently has about 100-120 robots per 10,000 of the population, with the automotive and medical device industries seeing the highest level of automation.
The future of automation and the rise of robots was also discussed on day three of the Summit in a panel titled Man with Machine not Man vs Machine. There was a focus on the general fear that the introduction of robots in the workforce could lead to loss of jobs. However, the general agreement was that the inclusion of robots in the manufacturing industry would actually lead to the creation of higher-skilled and specialised roles in the workforce – which will be safer than the existing roles in the sector.
A challenge that could arise with the introduction of robotics, however, is a potential skills shortage where the industry is already facing a shortage of qualified operators and programmers of robots. Education and upskilling needs to be accessible, therefore, but there needs to be clarity on the kinds of skills needed before training takes place.
Dr. Susanne Bieller, General Secretary of IFR International Federation of Robotics, said that there have been many studies around the destructive effect of automation. She noted that there is actually a correlation between robot use in companies and the number of jobs increasing in those organisations. The introduction of robots also means a sustained level of production capacity, especially when there’s a shortage of labour for certain mundane tasks such as welding, for example, she noted.
Chris Moehle, Managing Director of The Robotics Hub, said the argument that it’s man versus machine is largely an emotional one, while the idea that it’s man and machine is a fact-based one. He agreed with Dr. Bieller and said that technology has been a great creator of jobs for more than hundred years. People need to look at robots as co-workers, he said, which makes their introduction less scary.
Jessica Leigh Jones, Engineer of Sony Europe, who has been listed in “Forbes 30 Under 30”, said that it was important for the global workforce to see robotics as a good opportunity rather than as a threat. Robotics in the manufacturing industry will free up humans to carry out more interesting and creative tasks, rather than focusing on mundane activities, she said. Jones added that all the research shows that automation will have a net positive increase on jobs, albeit new kinds of roles.
The closing ceremony marked the official handover of GMIS to Hannover, Germany where the next Summit will be held on April 20-21, 2020. Held along with strategic partner Deutsche Messe, the 2020 Summit will work to adopt uniform global standards for the application of 4IR technology in manufacturing. The event will also promote sustainable industrial development through innovation and the adoption of 4IR technologies on a global scale.
Key topics will include the standardisation of robotics and automation; The future of additive manufacturing and advanced materials; The boom of the chemical industry; Building a sustainable machine tool and precision tool market; The growth of sensors and instrument market through industrial automation/internet of things, and building in-country partnerships with local entities to enable advanced manufacturing.
A joint initiative of the United Arab Emirates and UNIDO, GMIS is the world’s first cross-industry and cross-functional platform that unites manufacturers, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), technologists, and investors to build a roadmap towards investing in capabilities, fostering innovation and developing the skills needed to position the manufacturing sector at the forefront of global economic growth and a key driver to advance the 17 SDGs.
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The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) was established in 2015 to build bridges between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) transformation of manufacturing, to enable the regeneration of the global economy. A joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GMIS is a platform that presents the manufacturing sector with an opportunity to contribute towards global good, and that is committed to bringing benefit to all. As the world’s first cross-industry initiative, GMIS offers a platform for leaders to engage on the issue of the future of manufacturing, highlighting the need for greater investment in capabilities to foster innovation and drive skills development on a global scale. Uniting key stakeholders – including world leaders, industry CEOs, and specialist researchers and academics – GMIS has placed manufacturing at the heart of economic transformation and government policy-making, promoting it as a tool for global cooperation and collaboration.
The first edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at the Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in March 2017. It brought together over 3,000 leaders from government, business, and civil society from over 40 countries to advance manufacturing and industrial development globally, and to identify key trends and opportunities across 6 themes.