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Customer Discovery meets the Industry 4.0

Industry_4.0Industrial Internet, Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Smart Factories, Machine-to-Machine … whatever you call it, it is a BIG Movement across the globe.  How big is the economic power of the Industrial Internet? Consider one analysis that places a conservative estimate of worldwide spending at $500 billion by 2020, which then points to more optimistic forecasts ranging as high as $15 trillion of global GDP by 2030.  Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is a collective term embracing a number of contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. It had been defined as ‘a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization’ which draws together Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.

IIoTGlobalThe SearchLite has been conducting more and more Customer Discovery and Customer Validation Assessments in this space over the last year.  Our clients have been startups, second stage companies, corporations and venture capital investors.  The need is to great, that we have created a sister organization called IIoT Global to focus on this topic.  To enhance our domain knowledge, we thought that we should head out to the “home of factory automation” to get immersed into this industry.  So off to Hannover Germany we went!

Industry 4.0

hmesseI was warned before leaving home for Hannover Messe by several past attendees about how large this show was going to be. Now having returned after six days of walking the show, and with sore feet to prove it, I now understand!  This year’s HANNOVER MESSE attracted over 190,000 visitors (up from 175,000 in 2014 as the last event of comparable scope) intent on future-proofing their operations and investing in state-of-the-art technology. More than 50,000 attendees came from abroad – an increase of some 25 percent over 2014.  Attendance from the USA and China soared to record heights. Roughly 5,000 American visitors came in search of new technology for their manufacturing plants and energy systems. They were sure to have found what they hmesse2were looking for here in Hannover, and they made a lot of valuable new acquaintances along the way. With 6,000 visitors coming from China, the People’s Republic once again topped the list among foreign nations, second only to Germany as the host country. The visitor tally for the rest of Europe was 30,000.  To give you an idea of just how big the home base of Deutsche Messe is, the total venue includes 466,100 square meters of covered indoor space, 58,000 square meters of open-air space, 26 halls and pavilions:  – it’s the biggest Exhibition Center in the world.

USA is Partner Country in 2016

President Obama and Chancellor Merkel delivered the opening remarks and the Grand Opening Ceremony.  “HANNOVER MESSE 2016 has shown that the United States and Germany are equal partners in the pursuit of digitalized manufacturing and energy,” remarked Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “In order to connect products, machines, industrial enterprises and people across countries and continents, we need to arrive at universally applicable technologies and standards.

Never before were so many policymakers and top executives from leading industrial groups 2016-04-24 16.10.41represented at the trade fair. U.S. President Obama had three ministers in his delegation, including Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who stayed at the fair until Wednesday night to conduct meetings. Five of the most important EU Commissioners were at this year’s HANNOVER MESSE: Vice-President Maros Sefcovic (Energy), Günther Oettinger (Digital), Elzbieta Bienkowska (Industry), Cecilia Malmstr2016-04-27 09.59.24öm (Trade) and Carlos Moedas (Research). In the words of Commissioner Oettinger: “Apart from being the world’s leading industrial trade fair, HANNOVER MESSE has now taken on the role of a pioneer in the digitalization of industry. For the European Commission, it has become a key platform for the sharing of information and ideas, and as a place for debating the future of European industry.”  The next HANNOVER MESSE will be staged from 24 to 28 April 2017, with Poland to be featured as its official Partner Country.

State of Michigan Very Well Represented

2016-04-25 17.59.20Governor Snyder from Michigan attended a reception hosted by the state of Michigan and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, where he gave remarks and met with Dr. Nils Schmid, deputy minister-president of Baden-Württemberg and minister of finance and economics.  “Michigan has many
strong, productive and long-standing 2016-04-25 17.32.58relationships with German companies, and we thank them for their continuing contributions to our state,” Snyder said. “With 70 percent of U.S. automotive research and development happening in Michigan, and our strong manufacturing base and business-friendly environment, there is no better place in North America for European companies to expand than in Michigan.”  Baden-2016-04-25 18.08.01Württemberg is Germany’s third-largest state and home to many companies, including Daimler, Porsche, BASF, Bosch, Eberspächer, Eissmann, Heller, Mahle, and  ZF. More than 50 Baden-Württemberg-basedcompanies have locations in Michigan.  In the Baden-Wurttemberg Booth, Governor Snyder met briefly with Raj Batra, head of Siemens Digital Factory Group.

Automation Alley Trade Mission

Noel Nevshehir, Lisa Lasser and Eriola Fishman led the Trade Mission Delegation from Automation Alley in Troy Michigan.  Automation Alley trade missions help match Southeast Michigan businesses to potential customers and partners overseas. To date, Automation Alley’s highly successful trade mission program has led more than 170 companies on 24 trade missions around the globe, resulting in $472 million in export sales for those companies.  IIoT Global was extremely honored and grateful to be invited to participate in this trade mission along with several other small but growing businesses associated with Automation Alley.  The primary goal of IIoT Global’s participation was in support of Automation Alley’s First Match Program for early stage entrepreneurs and second stage growth companies.  The goal of the program is to help grow the local technology industry b2016-04-29 06.33.01y connecting established SouthEast Michigan businesses to promising new technologies — and identify technologies that might be the next big discovery.  Through First Match, Automation Alley presents new businesses and their technologies to interested innovation officers at major automotive and manufacturing suppliers, giving them access to innovations that could take their business to the next level.

So … the bottom line message is that IIoT is big and it is growing in terms of both applications and technology development … and for both start-ups and established service providers.  The SearchLite and IIoTGlobal are ready to help!

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