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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Center of Excellence (COE) Program is an initiative that allows member economies to showcase their best practices in areas of specialization. The COE not only serve as zones of expertise but also disseminate information and train productivity practitioners in APO members by helping them adopt and replicate models. COE also serve as seats of knowledge sharing through training, workshops, and study missions. A COE conducts research, develops resources and materials to assist other member countries, and builds up databases of experts in specific fields.
To help member countries adapt to technology-driven changing global industrial requirements and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the APO along with the National Productivity Council of India (NPC), recently concluded a national workshop in New Delhi, 6–8 June 2017, to unveil the COE on Information Technology for Industry 4.0. The workshop brought together 85 representatives from multiple organizations in the private and public sectors and was conducted by international and local experts.
The inaugural session of the workshop was attended by India’s Niti Ayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Arvind Panagariya; National Small Industries Corporation Chairman and Managing Director Ravindra Nath; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Additional Secretary and DC S. N. Tripathi; Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Additional Secretary Sanjeev Gupta; APO Research & Planning Director Joselito C. Bernardo; NPC Director General Kalpana Awasthi; and NPC Industrial Engineering Group Head Sanjay Kr. Dwivedi.
The three-day workshop served as a strategic platform to discuss the necessity for, trends in, and practical applications of IT in Industry 4.0. It also aimed at reaching out to the public to enhance the visibility of the newly designated APO COE, gaining more support from other principal stakeholders in the government. The workshop also aimed to achieve formation of strategic partnerships with industry associations and experts in the field of IT for Industry 4.0 and prepare a detailed roadmap for future COE activities.