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APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0

The 59th session of the APO GBM in Tehran in April 2017 approved the establishment the APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0 under the National Productivity Council (NPC). This COE aims at supporting industries in member countries to become more competitive and productive in the global digital economy.  The COE also identifies methods to bridge gaps that could hinder the adoption of Industry 4.0 tools and technology, contributing to overall productivity improvement.

Key Objectives

  • Facilitate awareness, training, learning, and sharing of knowledge and best practices through customized training modules in the field of Industry 4.0, lean manufacturing, and continuous improvement;
  • Identify and disseminate innovations and best practices in Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing among other NPOs;
    Provide international training-of-trainers courses for APO members;
  • Develop training materials and modules to support its activities;
  • Build a database of technical and domain experts to assist APO member countries with their Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing programs;
  • Develop a certification program for Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing based on IT through national courses;
    Undertake research in the field of Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing to develop IT app-based dissemination tools for greater scalability;
  • Undertake meta-analysis and benchmarking research leading to sectoral action plans for productivity enhancement;
    Establish industry–academia linkages with institutions like IIT, Gandhinagar, to resolve productivity-related issues of SMEs specifically and the economy as a whole under the Industry 4.0 scenario through the use of IT; and
  • Develop strategic engagements with leading international organizations/bodies to maximize the benefits of Industry 4.0 in the Asia-Pacific context for different sectors, including institutions like Fraunhofer and Bosch in Germany and others in APO member countries.

Accomplishments and Outcomes

  1. Identification of Digitization Strategies for SMEs for Industry 4.0 (2017): Research on Industry 4.0 Digitization Strategies for SMEs was initiated in December 2017 to support SMEs in member countries in moving toward digitization and staying competitive in global value chains as. The research aimed to assess the current status, readiness to adopt and initiatives related to Industry 4.0 of SMEs in selected APO member countries. The research findings pinpoint the critical needs of SMEs before they can embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution. Successful strategies for digitizing SMEs will be built on a multi-stakeholder approach that includes all actors in the digital innovation eco-system and integrates digitization strategies driven by the public sector with those driven by other stakeholders. It will also take into account the SMEs’ level of maturity both in terms of its lifecycle and of its expertise in digitization and Industry 4.0 advanced technologies.
  2. Capacity Building on Industry 4.0 for MSMEs (2018 and 2019): Two national training programs were conducted in 2018 in partnership with M/S Bosch India to equip Indian government officials with fundamental knowledge of Industry 4.0. Similarly, in March 2019, two awareness workshops on Industry 4.0 were organized to disseminate the concepts, benefits, case studies on Industry 4.0 to wider audience from private sectors, consultants, technical leaders in India.
  3. Analysis of Capacity Development Needs for Industry 4.0 (2018): The level of Industry 4.0 integration into national industrial policies was assessed. Gap analysis and critical needs for capacity development for embracing Industry 4.0 at national level to achieve inclusive, sustainable economic growth were pinpointed through the study.
  4. Advisory Committee on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): An Advisory Committee (AC) comprising of 15 members representing government, associations, industries, international organization, academia and financial institutions in India is formed under the chairmanship of Director General of NPC. The AC is to advise the COE on its activities, enable I4.0 institutionalization for multiplier effect; create environment for funding I4.0 initiatives; guide on benchmark policy; and expand collaborative partnership of COE nationally and internationally
  5. Establishment of an Expert Database on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): A directory of national experts on IT for Industry 4.0 was developed in 2018 and was being expanded internationally in 2019. Once completed, the database will offer member countries access to directories of individual experts and institutions on Industry 4.0 in different sectors.
  6. Development of Demonstration Companies on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): To showcase the utilization of IT solutions for successful applications of Industry 4.0 technologies in processes to improve productivity, five demonstrations companies were selected and supported under the APO Center of Excellence (COE) on IT for Industry 4.0 umbrella. The activity will start in November 2019.
  7. Development of a Toolkit on Industry 4.0 for SMEs (2019): A toolkit guiding SMEs in identifying their own definitions of and approaches to Industry 4.0 and supporting them in adopting new, often disruptive business models is being developed. The toolkit covers the fundamentals of Industry 4.0, its implications, maturity index, and different tools and techniques in a single useful package.
  8. Sharing experience on New Technologies and Ways of Thinking (2019): An observational study mission for delegates from Singapore was facilitated by the COE. New technologies to enhance organizational productivity was showcased through the visits to various IT firms, start-up incubators.
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