Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production

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After a decade of stagnation of manufacturing productivity, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to create up to $3.7 trillion in value by 2025. Technologies such as the industrial internet of things, advanced robotics, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing are already helping generate net manufacturing productivity increases and transforming production across industries. However, to achieve the desired broad-based economic and societal impact and to maximize productivity gains, technology must be adopted at scale and diffused throughout the production ecosystem. This would require strengthened multi-stakeholder collaboration and scaling up current efforts at both the national and international level. 

In 2017, through close engagement with the Future of Production community, the project explored and identified top use cases involving a combination of technologies to deliver business value in production sites. It also identified best practices for companies to take technology adoption in production from proof of concept at a factory level to deployment at production-system scale. In addition, it examined how governments and civil society can best support the development of industrial strategies that foster a favorable ecosystem to adopt and diffuse technology across production industries. 

In 2018, the project will translate insights into action, and leverage the Forum-s platform to incubate the first global network of key production assets to accelerate technology adoption and inclusive diffusion. The type of assets include:  
- Lighthouses: Factory sites of Forum member companies that have been transformed by deploying latest production technologies to demonstrate use cases in action, best practice and share knowledge  
- Test Beds: Research labs and model factories where relevant use cases (as agreed upon by the community) are matured to be taken to scale and can be tested by companies  
- Capability Centres: Hands-on training centres to build the capabilities required to scale the adoption of technologies in manufacturing and production