Press Release

Europe's leading competence in Industry 4.0 – Plattform Industrie 4.0 takes active part in the 1st Stakeholder Forum on the Digitisation of Production

Europe is a pioneer in Industry 4.0 due to its large and highly developed in-dustrial sector. In order to maintain leadership and pace, clear rules and practical cooperation across national boundaries are required. With the Stakeholder Forum "Digitising European Industry", the framework for a Europe-wide cooperation with Industry 4.0 was created. On 31st January and 1st February 2017, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and the European Commission organised the first Stakeholder Forum in Essen (Germany). The 500 participants from all over Europe discussed the transnational network of testbeds, the harmonisation of standards and many other issues. The Plattform Industrie 4.0 supported as hosting initiative and provided content for the panels and workshops.

Panel Stakeholder Forum
Panel Stakeholder Forum
© BMWi/Michael Reitz

Essen (Germany), 1st February 2017. "Digital is the new source of energy for the competitiveness of our European industry. We must embrace the digital transformation to be successful and to be able to shape it according to our values of a competitive Social Market Economy. It is a strong signal to see 500 participants from industry, social partners, national initiatives and ministries join forces in the World Heritage coal mine of Zeche Zollverein in Essen", said Günther Oettinger, former European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society and now responsible for Budget & Human Resources. As an annual series of events, the Stakeholder Forum will provide the framework for discussing common goals and solutions for Industry 4.0. In addition to regulatory issues, the practical exchange between the Industry 4.0 initiatives is also on the agenda. “We are pioneers in Industry 4.0 and want to underline the necessity of international cooperation as hosts of the first Stakeholder Forum and expect important impulses for politics and business", adds Matthias Machnig, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Economics.

Discussing on the future of production in Essen

Participants from all over Europe discussed Industry 4.0 issues in six workshops and three panel sessions in Essen. Focus topic have been the design of the digital single market, IT security, test centres and digital skills. In the context of IT security, the requirements for a secure and trustworthy treatment of data and a reliable protection of cross-company communication were debated. For the test centres, possibilities for closer networking at European level were discussed. "Industry 4.0 is only successful through international cooperation. Practical testing in test centres is crucial", says Bernd Leukert, steering committee chairman of the Plattform Industrie 4.0 and a member of the SAP SE Executive Board. "National initiatives have led the way in this area. The Pan-European integration of all activities is the next logical step to promote the necessary global standardization."

For the training and further education of specialists, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 introduced recommendations for action and practical examples in the digital skills-workshops, which their experts from companies, trade unions and academia developed together.

International cooperation - Europe and the world

The Stakeholder Forum is the next logical step for the Plattform Industrie 4.0 to deepen and extend existing bilateral co-operations in Europe, such as the Alliance Industrie du Futur (France) and the Fabbrica Intelligente initiative from Italy. Intense dialogues are also held with the international partners outside of Europe. Its partners include the US-based Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the Robot Revolution Initiative from Japan. Just in time for the Stakeholder Forum, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 published the English version of its online map Industry 4.0. At, interested persons from all over the world can find more than 140 practical examples showing how and where Industry 4.0 has already been successfully implemented in Germany.

Participants listening to a speech at the Stakeholder Forum
Participants listening to a speech at the Stakeholder Forum
© BMWi/Michael Reitz

About the Plattform Industrie 4.0
Plattform Industrie 4.0 is the central network to advance digital transformation towards Industry 4.0 in Germany. In close cooperation with politics, industry, science, associations and trade unions over 300 players from 159 organizations are actively involved in the platform. The platform develops and coordinates information and networking services in order to make Industry 4.0 solutions better known among companies and to deploy them on site. As one of the largest international and national networks, it supports German companies – particularly medium-sized companies – in implementing Industry 4.0. It provides companies with decisive impulses through examples of company practices from across Germany as well as concrete recommendations for action and test environments. The numerous international co-operation partners underscore the platforms leading role in the international discussions on Industry 4.0. For more information

Press contact

Dr. Jonas Gobert
Plattform Industrie 4.0
Tel.: +49 30 53607729