First Sino-German symposium unterlines significance of Industrie 4.0 for bilateral economic relations; Source: BMWi/Andreas Mertens

First Sino-German symposium unterlines significance of Industrie 4.0 for bilateral economic relations

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Dr Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, are opening today the first Sino-German symposium on smart manufacturing and networking of the manufacturing processes (Industrie 4.0). At the two-day event, which was organised jointly by the two Ministries, around 300 representatives of government, business and academia of both countries are discussing Sino-German cooperation in the field of Industrie 4.0. The Chinese delegation comprising some 150 high-ranking representatives of business, academia and government is headed by Prof. Huai, Deputy Minister at the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology.

State Secretary Machnig said: "Last year, we deliberately chose China for our first bilateral cooperation agreement in the field of Industrie 4.0. China is an important partner for us and a key export market for our industry. We aim to promote cooperation between the companies of our two countries. Today we can present 20 Sino-German cooperation projects in the field of Industrie 4.0. This is a good start. However, we must also remove barriers for companies and lay the foundations for long-term cooperation by creating a level playing field. In the field of Industrie 4.0 it is particularly important to guarantee secure and reliable communication between companies."

The cooperation is to be continued in the coming years. For this purpose, a Sino-German working group has been established in Beijing. In the context of this working group, enterprises of both sides can contribute proposals to solve problems.

Today's symposium also serves to expand the research cooperation of the Federal Minstry of Education and Research with China in the field of Industrie 4.0. Dr Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, underlined: "Germany and China are advancing Industrie 4.0 to the benefit of both countries. Important issues including secure and reliable communication and the confidentiality of data can be better solved in the context of bilateral research cooperation." State Secretary Schütte also pointed out his Ministry's strategy on China, which serves as a common basis for the development of innovative solutions for global challenges including energy supply, electric mobility and the health industry.

Industrial value chains do not end at national borders. International standards in the field of Industrie 4.0 are key for the global competitiveness of the industries of both Germany and China. Therefore the two countries want to agree on a common approach in the field of the standardisation of Industrie 4.0. The planned measures and the results to be achieved before the 2017 annual meeting have been laid down in an operational plan. The major issues include the Reference Architecture Model (RAMI 4.0), smart manufacturing robots, IT security, wireless communication, use cases and industrial software.

The event pools the results of the following Sino-German cooperation initiatives in the field of Industrie 4.0:

  1. the agreement of July 2015 on the promotion of cooperation betweeen German and Chinese companies in the fields of smart manufacturung and the networking of the manufacturing processes betweeen the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Chinese Ministry for Industry and Information Technology (MIIT);
  2. the joint declaration of intent of January 2016 on the development and dissemination of innovative solutions resulting from bilateral scientific and technological cooperation in the fields of smart manufacturing (Industrie 4.0) and smart services between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Chinese Ministry for Science and Technology (MOST);
  3. the Sino-German sub-working group on Industrie 4.0 standardisation in the context of the Sino-German Commission on standardisation cooperation between the BMWi and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

Annual joint meetings take place in the context of these cooperation initiatives. They are held alternately in China and Germany.