Gutentag, Industry 4.0!

Industry 4.0, the buzzword coined by the German government, signifies the next massive upheaval in manufacturing whereby factories become “smart.” And who is to thank for this impending industrial revolution? IoT, of course! Germany has invested $500+Million in funding R&D as they envision the factory of the future to be entirely automated. With such a huge investment in this sector, IoT startups are well positioned to facilitate the transition to Industry 4.0 — as they work to sort out interoperability, process transparency, and system automation…

Here are some themes that I noticed after meeting with a few dozen early stage founders in Munich and Berlin this week:

  • Automation is on everyone’s mind, but the path to get there is still uncertain. Blik, a company I met in Munich provides process transparency and automation by connecting smart sensors to smart data backing.
  • Holograms and AR have a place within industry. Viscopic uses mixed reality as a training tool for the industrial sector.
  • Let’s not forget about the robots. CleanSquare is working on an autonomous street sweeping machine — coming to a city near you!

The discussion continued over at Factory Berlin where 200 people showed up for a lively panel discussion about the challenges in rewiring legacy industries (many) and the current state of Industry 4.0 (slow going but promising). The discussion was moderated by Ange Royall-Kahin, of WattX, and included Bastian Bergmann of WattX, Simon Morley of Cucumber Tony, and Jürgen Walter of Datatroniq as panelists.

I was thrilled not to be moderating for a change! Ange did an amazing job.