In the future, new technologies and digitization will play even bigger roles in industry and lead to smarter production, services, goods and logistics. Inevitably, this will have a significant impact on Flanders-based enterprises, their business models and their personnel.
A survey of 2,000 companies in 26 different countries performed by financial consulting services firm PwC shows that increasing digitization could lead to a rise in turnover of 2.9% and a decrease in costs by 3.6% per year in the next 5 years.
Even if only half of these expectations are met, this will drastically alter many industries.
Flanders’ 5-point plan
The Flemish Minister for Economy, Philippe Muyters, is hopeful: “If we implement Industry 4.0 swiftly and intelligently, we can turn it into a great asset.”
To prepare itself as thoroughly as possible and to support companies in their transitions, the Government of Flanders listed 5 specific action points:
- Build knowledge about Industry 4.0 and facilitate information exchange between companies and the public;
- Research technical solutions, business models and impacts on work and jobs;
- Supporting companies in implementing changes;
- Tailor social factors, focusing on skills and competences;
- Link with Europe and the world.
Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, sees in Industry 4.0 a spearhead of his long-term visionary plan ‘Visie 2050’. “We’re working very hard to take a strong position in the new global economy as a region that’s specialized in knowledge and production,” Bourgeois explains.
“Innovation is key: we have to strive to be a frontrunner in new production technologies and concepts such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, AI and robotics, nanotechnology, and more.”