Monday, 4 May 2015

Relevant link of today. Blog post on Industry 4.0 by Erich Clementi, IBM Chairman and Senior Vice President Europe

I know this is advertising my own cause... but it is good and of high relevance. In a blog post on EURACTIV published today, IBM Chairman and Senior Vice President Europe, Erich Clementi, gives a very interesting and motivating and inspiring perspective on Industry 4.0. Definitely worth reading.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Interesting link of today: German student asks government to see exam questions before taking the exam

This is an interesting instance about the right of citizens to request seeing public documents. A student from Northrhine-Westfalia refers to the respective law on freedom of information (Informationsfreiheitsgesetz) by requesting access to the questions that will be asked in his final school exam (Abitur). He now gets a lot of publicitly for this - even his school master congratulates him to this clever move.

See the report in the online edition of the German national newspaper Die Welt: "Bin berechtigt, die Abi-Aufgaben vorab zu sehen".

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Very sad news: Klaus Tschira is dead

Klaus Tschira, founder of IBM and great patron in the Rhine-Neckar region, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 74. After his retirement from SAP he became a major patron in the region investing into future technologies. See for instance the local Rhein Neckar Zeitung for a very nice appreciation.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Relevant link of today: Contribution in FAZ about revolutions in the digital economy

There was a very interesting contribution from Shoshana Zuboff in yesterday's FAZ, one of Germany's leading daily newspapers. The article is called Die Vorteile der Nachzügler and encourages Europe to learn from negative results in North America and thus make best use of Europe's situation of lacking behind in some developments. Zuboff takes the theory and thinking of Schumpeter as her reference point and relates it to the current trends in the digital economy. Her main point is that there needs to be a clear balance between the interests of the customer and the new service or technology offered. And that this is often not the case when newcomers overrun the market with their offerings.

It is still available in the online edition of the FAZ and definitely worth reading. The English original called Disruptions Tragic Flaw is also available online.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Relevant link of today: Abhöraktivitäten des BND

In the German magazine Cicero's online edition of this week there is an interesting interview with a Berlin based German lawyer, Niko Härting, who went to sue the German secret service, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), because of their activities in spying the people and monitoring communication.

What is interesting in this interview is the information provided about the broad scope of activities world wide, also with other EU member states. Definitely worth reading.

Relevant link of today: A rational view on TTIP

In guest comment in the German national newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) Ulrich Grillo, president of the German Federation of Industry (BDI), gives a guest writer position on the need and the opportunities of TTIP and warns against painting negative pictures and horror stories.

The guest contribution is in German, available on the online edition of the FR under the title: "Schluss mit dem Märchen vom bösen TTIP" (Make an end to the fairy tale of the bad TTIP).

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Smart Industry - Driving Industrie 4.0 for all of Europe

It is almost two years ago that I published a blog post on Industrie 4.0 seeing it as a major challenge and new area for Europe to be addressed. Since then the topic of Industrie 4.0 got a lot of traction in Germany. There are reports about Industrie 4.0 in the German media almost every day.

Also a lot of excellent work has been done. The German Platform Industrie 4.0, which was initiated and supported by the three main German industry associations for Industrie 4.0, BITKOM, VDMA, and ZVEI, did major pioneering work in defining architecture principles, use cases, producing market insights. All future work in Germany and beyond is well positioned building on this work.

Regarding standardisation,  in Germany the DIN/DKE steering committee on Industrie 4.0 coordinates the ongoing work and gives key guidance. Moreover, globally many activities have started or strengthened in Internet of Things and M2M standardisation.

In the meantime a number of activities are also taking place in other countries in Europe as well as globally. The Industrial Internet Consortium, which was founded in the US and rapidly grew into an influential and highly agile global network, is moving on with high speed creating markets and preparing the ways for technology development and adoption.

The new European Commission has now also taken up the topic and is decided to promote it as a major area of interest for Europe. Following this strategy the topic of Smart Industry was one of the four major selected topic areas under discussion at last week's stakeholder forum DIGITAL4EU organised by DG CONNECT.

I had arrived in time in Brussels to follow the discussion which was excellent and much to the point. There was unanimous agreement in the room about the relevance of the topic for Europe and the need to lead. From my perspective: smart industry is clearly one of the main areas for the next decades for policy makers, industry and society. And will further transform the way we are working and operating in production, manufacturing, automation, down to consumer behaviour and opportunities regarding customisation of products and individual choice.

I am all excited about this to continue. The next step is to get things right: identify needs on the policy level so that industry can flourish and drive things based on identified market requirements. And for standardisation: the environment for successful global standards is available and good work is under way. All promising ... let's jointly work to make it a success for Europe.