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Track 7.2 - Innovation is the trigger of Industry 4.0. What about the opposite?

Lia TIRABENI​, University of Turin
Klas Eric SODERQUIST, Athens University of Economics and Business
Gianluca D'ANTONIO, Dr., Polytechnic of Turin


Track's Contacts : 

lia.tirabeni[AT]unito.it
soderq[AT]aueb.gr


Industry 4.0 is a paradigm based on the Cyber-Physical Systems concept – a fusion of the physical and virtual worlds - the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services, which will have a disruptive impact on every aspect of manufacturing companies (Almada-Lobo, 2015). Accordingly, enterprises are now facing the challenge and the opportunity provided by new technologies, within the Industry 4.0 paradigm, to evolve towards the new industrial concept of intelligent factory. This paradigm can be broken down into several themes: systems to enable customized production; strategies, methods and tools to promote sustainability; systems for the enhancement of the role of the people in factories; high efficiency production systems; innovative production processes; production systems that can evolve and adapt; strategies and management approaches to develop next-generation production systems (Industrie 4.0., 2014).

Industry 4.0 has become a popular buzzword among different communities such as manufacturers, governmental institutions, policy makers and academics. However, the understanding of this phenomenon is mostly limited to the implementation of technological innovation aimed at process automation and an overall performance improvement. Further, the path towards the development of novel technologies and services compliant with the Industry 4.0 paradigm has been structured through different approaches such as open innovation, business model innovation, and industrial organization. However, the role of the Industry 4.0 design principles – such as interoperability, transparency in information, technical assistance, decentralization of decision - in supporting and shaping novel innovation approaches is still poorly investigated.

In line with these considerations, the track will call for both conceptual and empirical papers that address, but are not restricted to, the following questions:

- How do the Industry 4.0 technologies impact the way organizations drive innovation? How do they change existing innovation models and create new ones?
- How can the enterprise organizational structure and culture support innovation in an Industry 4.0 environment?
- How can novel business models foster innovation in an Industry 4.0 context?
- Which new skills and capabilities are necessary to appropriately address and integrate the new technologies and business models required for implementation of Industry 4.0?
- How can the characteristics of interoperability, transparency in information, technical assistance, decentralization of decision, typical of the Industry 4.0, drive new innovation processes?
- What kind of systems for the enhancement of the role of the people in factories can foster innovation in an industry 4.0 context? What kind of new innovation models do they create?
- What kind of strategies and management approaches to develop next-generation production systems can support new innovation models and processes in an industry 4.0 context?


References

Almada-Lobo, F. (2015), “The Industry 4.0 revolution and the future of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)”, Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 3, n. 4, pp. 16-21
“Industrie 4.0. Smart Manufacturing for the Future”, (2014), Germany Trade & Invest, Report.