The event with 250 participants from politics, industry associations and business was organized by the National Eastern Tech Transfer Center (NETC) and the Bay Valley Innovation Center (BVIC). Prof. Stremmel presented the conceptual approach, the objectives and opportunities of Industry 4.0 at the center of his speech and gave an overview on the status of current developments in Germany. As part of its Chinese network activity, the GTC accompanies the strategy development from the outset.
The great interest in the topic is obvious: with Industry 4.0 China wants to catch up internationally and overtake first of all. After the steam engine, the assembly line and industrial robot intelligent networking heralds the fourth industrial revolution. The realization of the "Intelligent Factory" will determine the rise and fall of companies and entire economies.
„China's industry has to take action, however, is still well away from the intelligent networking. The country is in large parts only on the path of industrial 2.0 to 3.0. Advanced factories are absolute exceptions. In its entire scope Chinese production is currently limited automated, let alone digitized. Currently China's economic growth decreases, wages are rising. The old model of cheap mass production no longer works“, GTC-President Ulf Stremmel commented. „China needs its own innovative strength and efficiency and quality gains through technological progress in order to remain economically successful", adds Stremmel.
So far, the Chinese 3i strategy focused primarily on the technology industry 3.0. China needs an agenda, in which the intelligent networking industry will become the focus. With its recent decisions, the central government moves heaven and earth of industrial policy for rapid industrial modernization. Public funding is significantly larger than in Germany. The German concept Industry 4.0 is for a source of inspiration and has an associated concrete development path, to which the Chinese government can focus their efforts. Later this year a strategy under the title "Made in China 2025" towards to an innovation-driven and service-oriented industry and efficient and environmentally friendly quality production.
At the same time the strategy involves a comprehensive partnership with Germany. „This offers interesting market opportunities for German suppliers“, Stremmel emphazises. „China needs technologies that are necessary for the upgrade to 4.0, and here Germany is leading. The marketing potential for German industry software, cloud computing, sensors, robotics and communications technology is enormous. Technologically, China is not ready yet and has to rely on foreign products. But the window of opportunity for gains is limited - certainly Chinese companies are closing the technology gap in the next 10 years", estimates Stremmel.
For its members the GTC continues to gather clear and workable criteria for technological cooperation at the enterprise level. Especially for German medium-sized companies, it is important to weigh the individual opportunities and risks in advance. The biggest threat for the cooperation is the loss of sensitive data in China. Data security can not be guaranteed in principle in China. Unlike large corporations, it is difficult for medium-sized companies under the current conditions in China, to execute the enormously demanding know-how and technology protection within an industry 4.0 collaborations, both technologically and legally. Technology loss can quickly become existence-threatening.
Opportunities lie in the design of business cooperation. German companies need to define clear conditions for these partnerships and the distribution of income of joint value creation. In the process, the German companies are quite in a strong negotiating position. The Chinese government wants the partnership with Germany unconditionally and will pass this requirement on to the Chinese corporate partners.