Germany has a strong economy and a strong SME sector. If this is to continue, we need to lead the way on the digitalisation of industry. The future will belong to engineering “Made in Germany” combined with IT expertise.

More than €250 billion in extra value could be added over the next 10 years. This potential for growth and jobs is to be used for the benefit of the German economy.

A first step in this direction was taken by the industrial associations BITKOM, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the Central Association of the Electrical Industry (ZVEI), with the creation of a platform on Industrie 4.0 for business associations. The close integration of information technology, mechanical engineering and electronic engineering in Industrie 4.0 requires rapid, cross-sectoral alignment processes. But Industrie 4.0 goes even further than that. It considerably influences the way we live and work. This means that Industrie 4.0 is a transversal issue that needs to be addressed jointly by business, academia, government and trade unions. In order to tackle these challenges head-on, we will expand our existing association-based platform on Industrie 4.0 and include a wide range of new partners.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy joined with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, business associations and research institutions at the 2015 Hannover fair to set up our new ‘Plattform Industrie 4.0.’