Brazil, Denmark, UAE Join Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Close the Gap between Technology and Policy

07 Jun 2018

Amanda Russo, Public Engagement Lead, World Economic Forum: Tel.: +1 415 734 0589;

· They join the governments of Bahrain, India, Japan, Rwanda and the UK, as well as 61 businesses, at the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco

· The governments will co-design new policies for Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, including the internet of things (IoT)

· United Arab Emirates will partner with the Centre to develop the first "future-flexible" national data protocol

· More information on the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network and projects

San Francisco, USA, 7 June 2018 – To close the growing gap between emerging technology and policy, the governments of Brazil, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have joined the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The announcements were made at the World Economic Forum Industry Strategy Meeting 2018.

Each government will partner with leading businesses, start-ups, civil society, academia and international organizations to co-design and pilot new approaches to policy. The new policies will help shape the trajectory of emerging technology and will be piloted by governments and businesses around the world.

Brazil and Denmark will join the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices project at the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. IoT has the potential to transform economies and improve the quality of life for billions of people. Over $14 trillion could be added to the global economy by 2030 from industrial IoT technologies. According to a recent study, the overwhelming majority of current IoT deployments advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or have the potential to do so.

Brazil will accelerate its efforts to build a competitive and globally recognized IoT ecosystem with a focus on agribusiness, health, city development and industry. Denmark will use IoT to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop new models to accelerate the responsible use of IoT and related satellite data. Both governments will send a fellow to the Centre to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between the respective governments and the project.

The United Arab Emirates, represented by the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Future, will partner with the Centre to develop a "future-flexible" national data protocol that includes policy principles and regulatory frameworks. This approach is designed to complement the fast-moving nature of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. The UAE is the first nation to take this approach.

These governments join Bahrain, India, the Inter-American Development Bank, Japan, Rwanda and the United Kingdom at the Centre in San Francisco. To help the projects scale their impact, new Centres will open in Japan, China and India later this year, creating a global Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network.

“Emerging technologies are advancing at unprecedented speed, putting enormous pressure on regulatory frameworks,” said Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum. “The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is a global hub for public-private cooperation to help governments and businesses adopt agile governance policies to maximize the benefits of science and technology for society.”

Sixty-one businesses and start-ups have joined the Centre over the past year as partners or members. A full list can be found on our website.

Based in San Francisco, the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings together governments, leading companies, civil society and experts from around the world to co-design and pilot innovative approaches to the policy and governance of new technologies. Its vision is to shape the development and use of emerging technologies in ways that will maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The Centre will develop, implement and scale agile and human-centred pilot projects that can be adopted by policy-makers, legislators and regulators worldwide to address the challenges that emerging technologies are presenting.

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Additional Quotes:

“There are more connected devices in the world today than there are humans, and with each passing minute, the internet of things grows – bringing new risks and rewards,” said Jeff Merritt, Head of IoT and Connected Devices, World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Our challenge – and the opportunity before us today – is to leverage these technologies not merely for financial gain but for the benefit of society. The Centre’s new partnerships with Brazil and Denmark provide a unique opportunity to lead by example and demonstrate a path forward towards a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.”

“UAE is demonstrating leadership in developing a truely Fourth Industrial Revolution protocol for future-flexible methodology of data and technology governance. It will serve as a model across the region and beyond,” said Anne Toth, Head of Data Policy, World Economic Forum.

“We are proud to deepen our engagement with the UAE, one of the most forward-looking nations in the MENA region, through their partnership with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where we will work together to pioneer a future-focused data policy model,” said Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.

Following the successful collaboration with Brazil to host this year’s World Economic Forum on Latin America in Sao Paulo, we are delighted to welcome Brazil to the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Marisol Argueta, Head of Regional Agenda - Latin America, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum. “This demonstrates Brazil’s commitment to spearhead the governance of emerging technologies and to paving the way towards increased growth and inclusive development.”

All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.