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#Digitalassieme: German-Italian economic conference

German Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Italy’s Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda came together with 220 representatives in order to discuss German-Italian cooperation and agree on closer collaboration between these two industrial nations.

Sigmar Gabriel, Paolo Gentiloni, Angela Merkel and Carlo Calenda (left to right) at the German-Italian economic conference in Berlin
Sigmar Gabriel, Paolo Gentiloni, Angela Merkel and Carlo Calenda (left to right) at the German-Italian economic conference in Berlin
© BMWI/Maurice Weiss

On 18 January 2017 Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Italian counterpart Carlo Calenda hosted the German-Italian economic conference. The title of the conference was “Harnessing the potential of digitalization for companies – investing in the future”. In addition to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the conference was attended by more than 220 high-level representatives of companies and public institutions. “In terms of production value, Germany and Italy are the two largest industrial nations in Europe”, stated Sigmar Gabriel. “That should remain the case in the digital age. That is why today the main focus is on two topics: successful digitalization of our industry and investing in growth and innovation.”

Workshop on the practical application of Industrie 4.0

For countries with an industrial focus such as Italy and Germany, the digitalization of industrial production is a key future-related issue with joint perspectives. Joint test centres for instance can provide particular support to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in their implementation of Industrie 4.0 and the continued promotion of standardization. How may companies gain easy access to information and testing infrastructure? How can access to standards be made easier for SMEs? How can dialogue and cooperation between Italian and German testing bodies be enabled and promoted? And how can standardization processes be accelerated? – These were the questions discussed by representatives of both Italian and German companies and institutes during a workshop at the conference. Henning Banthien, Secretary General of Plattform Industrie 4.0 moderated the workshop. Plattform Industrie 4.0’s experience over the past years – for instance in working with the reference architecture model RAMI 4.0, the map of practical examples for Industrie 4.0 and the Industrie 4.0 compass [both only in German] – all served to provide impetus to the debate.

Vereinbarung zu enger Kooperation zwischen Deutschland und Italien

In view of shared opportunities and challenges, the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy agreed on closer cooperation in the area of Industrie 4.0. A joint position paper outlines the three key issues for this cooperation: In future, Germany and Italy will strive for an increased exchange particularly in the areas of standardisation, SME support and employee qualifications.

German Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the German-Italian economic conference in Berlin
German Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the German-Italian economic conference in Berlin
© BMWI/Maurice Weiss