You are here

Flanders prepares itself for Industry 4.0

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. 

Sweeping changes

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:

  1. Build knowledge about Industry 4.0 and facilitate information exchange between companies and the public;
  2. Research technical solutions, business models and impacts on work and jobs;
  3. Supporting companies in implementing changes;
  4. Tailor social factors, focusing on skills and competences;
  5. Link with Europe and the world.

Competitive advantage

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.”

More info

Department of Economy, Science and Innovation
Reported by
17 March 2017