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Manufacturing and Value Chains

Global Manufacturing Hubs: Pioneering sustainable innovation across continents

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Sustainable innovation in action as solar panels are being assembled on conveyor. Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Manufacturing and Value Chains

  • Global manufacturing faces challenges like decarbonization and supply chain resilience, necessitating a unified approach.
  • Led by the World Economic Forum, the Advanced Manufacturing Hub initiative is reshaping manufacturing across 9 regions on 4 continents.
  • The initiative enables organizations to refine production processes, improve supply chains, and foster sustainable innovation for competitive advantage, driving local growth and global manufacturing advancements.

The impact of a global approach to transform manufacturing.

Led by the World Economic Forum Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains, the Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs (AMHUB) community is reshaping the global manufacturing landscape. Spanning nine pivotal regions across four continents, the community is promoting knowledge exchange and pioneering tech developments to transform global manufacturing practices.

The organizations involved in the hubs are introducing cutting-edge technologies within their production processes, advocating forward-thinking policy, refining supply chain efficiencies and fostering sustainable innovation that directly translates into competitive advantages for businesses. Each hub is not only absorbing global know-how but also is driving tangible growth and resilience in its local ecosystem.

Through the AMHUB network, the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains provides a platform for each region to confront and address its specific manufacturing challenges, driving manufacturing improvements at the local level. The nine hubs include: Basque Country, Spain; Denmark; Lombardy region, Italy; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Tamil Nadu, India; Türkiye; Republic of Korea; US Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

Global Manufacturing Hubs sustainable innovation
Our global network of Manufacturing Hubs

The challenge.

In an era dominated by rapid technological advancements and shifting geopolitical dynamics, manufacturing ecosystems worldwide face critical challenges. These range from decarbonization and supply chain resilience to data-sharing and regulation. Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative approach, combining global insights with local nuances.

Our approach to shaping the future of advanced manufacturing.

The Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs provides a platform for each region to confront and address its specific manufacturing challenges, driving manufacturing improvements at the local level.

Basque Hub, Spain

Through the Basque Hub, Innovalia is championing the BAIDATA Association, a public-private partnership launched in 2021 with support from the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), the European association for data infrastructure Gaia-X, and the Biscay Council. BAIDATA has set new standards for data sovereignty technology and data-sharing practices. Its Data Space Training Programme has already upskilled over 250 professionals, empowering them with advanced data-sharing skills and leading the way in building a federated data-sharing infrastructure. Prioritizing sustainability, Innovalia can leverage data for manufacturing decarbonization and reinforcing circular supply chains. The Basque Hub, with the support of the World Economic Forum, is preparing its community of over 500 stakeholders to navigate these advancements, ensuring Basque businesses not only meet but also set international standards.

Danish Hub

Central to Denmark's hub is its emphasis on 3D printing in manufacturing and the drive to achieve production with fewer resources and lower emissions. Recognizing that conventional methods of assessing a product's environmental impact from start to finish can be complicated and unclear, the Danish Hub is introducing a user-friendly CO2 calculator. This tool highlights the benefits of 3D printing and also provides a broader view by including considerations such as distribution, energy use and product longevity. This holistic approach will help manufacturers see the tangible benefits of choosing 3D printing over traditional manufacturing processes.

Lombard Hub, Italy

Representing the second largest steel-producing region in Europe and the tenth globally, the Lombardy Hub champions a circular economy and sustainable manufacturing. It is hosted by Associazione Fabbrica Intelligente Lombardia (AFIL) and focuses on end-of-life electric vehicles, batteries, composite materials, textiles, machinery tools and material production. Gathering together industry leaders, scholars, researchers and government representatives, they innovate and share sustainable design solutions in the region, harnessing technologies such as 3D printing and exploring ground-breaking fields like “plastronics”.

Qatari Hub

Supported by the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, Factory One, the pioneering industrial programme launched by the Qatar Development Bank, leads the Qatar Hub. This hub supports SMEs, promoting sustainable innovation and providing a competitive edge. Factory One has developed a lean manufacturing training, focused on minimizing waste and streamlining production processes. This training is tailored for both local and regional businesses, equipping SMEs with contemporary manufacturing methods, allowing them to increase efficiency while reducing costs and boosting productivity.

Saudi Hub

Supported by the Forum and spearheaded by the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), the Saudi Hub identified three main challenges for SMEs in the country: securing adequate funds; upholding stringent quality standards; and accessing essential infrastructure and resources. To address these challenges, the hub launched the SME Digital Transformation Workshops. These are designed to bolster SMEs and fast-track their digital evolution by bridging the hub’s tech solution providers with industrial SMEs, with a focus on those in food & beverages, metals, textiles and fabrics. Participants delve into tech solutions spanning various areas, from quality management to B2B e-commerce strategies, from VAT management to health, safety and environmental standards. The learnings from these workshops are set to spotlight successful use cases and feasibility of these strategies for all SMEs throughout the Kingdom.

Tamil Nadu Hub, India

Supported by the Forum, the Tamil Nadu government and industrial partners such as Engie, GE, Vestas, Nodrex and First Solar, the hub launched the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission. This initiative focuses on mitigation strategies, aiming to enhance the uptake of renewable energy, foster green mobility and drive sustainable innovation in energy efficiency. With this initiative, manufacturing in the region is projected to contribute to 30% of the state's overall growth in renewables by 2030. To further fortify these sustainability goals, the hub implemented a streamlined, three-tier policy strategy. It has established an ESG framework before investments, integrated targeted actions during the investment phase and carried out specific post-investment initiatives.

Türkiye Hub

Hosted by the Turkish Employers Association of Metal Industries (MESS), the Turkish hub is driving the digital overhaul of its partners, with a focus on decarbonization and sustainable measures. Building on the Forum’s Global Smart Industry Readiness (SIRI) Initiative, the hub has conducted over 230 Smart Industry Readiness Assessments, which evaluate the preparedness of industries for digital transformation, across 10 industries. As natural extension of these evaluations, the hub also delves into environmental commitments through the Consumer Sustainability Industry Readiness Index (COSIRI). This framework measures an organization's depth in sustainability practices and ESG reporting. Through these assessments, the Turkish hub is fortifying its community with crucial insights, directing organizations toward greener initiatives and consumers toward more sustainable purchasing decisions.

Ulsan Hub, Republic of Korea

As outlined in the Forum’s Unlocking Value from Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing report, there is an urgent need to leverage AI in manufacturing operations. The Ulsan Hub launched the AI Innovation Park, a collaborative effort between industry experts, universities and the government. This initiative serves as a platform for the manufacturing community in south-eastern Korea, including Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongnam. Hosted by the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), the park offers a wide range of AI-related courses. The AI Novatus course, for example, has empowered 229 professionals from 86 companies, leading to 51 distinct AI application cases. This hands-on course encourages engineers to introduce their own datasets and challenges, allowing them to craft AI solutions tailored to their companies' specific requirements.

US Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Originally hosted by Automation Alley, Michigan's leading non-profit technology and manufacturing business association, the US Center for Advanced Manufacturing has since evolved and expanded. Now integrated within the Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, it continues to play an influential role in the AMHUB leadership network. Through the Upskilling & Reskilling the US Workforce initiative, the US Center for Advanced Manufacturing partnered with the Forum to be part of an extensive workforce interview initiative across South-East Asia, Europe, and the US – of which five US companies participated accounting for over 40 of the 120 interviews spanning seven industries. These interviews aimed to understand how technology integrates into the daily operations of factory floor workers. The outcomes of these interviews will guide industry experts through best practices in structuring the introduction of technology in their workforce. Additionally, the results will be used by the US Center to inform a second wave of interviews on the role of technology in retaining talent.

Get involved in shaping the future of advanced manufacturing.

By collaborating with the Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs community, you can align with pioneers, shaping tomorrow's best practices today.

Together we can navigate the complexities of the modern manufacturing world, ensuring it is efficient, resilient and sustainable for generations to come. Contact us to learn how.

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Marco Aguilar
Marketing Communications Lead, World Economic Forum
Kyle Winters
Initiatives and Community Specialist, Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, World Economic Forum
Related topics:
Manufacturing and Value ChainsEconomic Growth
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Partners:
Associazione Fabbrica Intelligente LombardiaAutomation AlleyENGIE GroupGeneral ElectricInnovaliaQatar Development BankSaudi Industrial Development FundTurkish Employers Association of Metal Industries (MESS)UNIST (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology)US Center for Advanced ManufacturingVestas
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Global Lighthouse Network: Transforming advanced manufacturing

Marco Aguilar

January 11, 2024

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