The new industrial revolution and how Germany must prepare for it

2021-07-15
The new industrial revolution and how Germany must prepare for it

The new industrial revolution often called Industry 4.0 sets a new standard for countries, and it seems like Lithuania is prepared quite well. What about Germany? Even though it’s one of the industrial leaders of the world, there are some things where Germany is still lacking. Let’s have a look at things that Germany could learn from Lithuania while making Industry 4.0 a standard of today instead of a standard of the future.

Investing in R&D

Lithuania is focusing a lot of its resources on research and developing technologies of the future that will have a large impact on the performance of the Lithuanian manufacturing industry. Automation, robotics, photonics, cybersecurity, and AI are just a few of the technologies that the Lithuanian government with the help of educational institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, and the whole ecosystem of business, is trying to push. And even though right now Germany is one of the leaders in the development of innovations, Germany should invest more into the R&D of those sectors that the country might need in the future.

Education is a priority 

Lithuania’s population of just over 2,7 million has EU-leading higher education numbers, and the country has a very diverse talent pool: 41 500 engineering specialists, over 31 500 IT specialists, and more than 40 000 students in both these specialties combined. The government in the country is committed to growing STEM education, which is why Lithuania is the 1st country in CEE by university-business collaboration in R&D, and it is ranked 2nd globally by Bloomberg for ‘tertiary efficiency’. 

It is important both for Germany and the EU that Germany would pay more attention to encourage young people to choose the industries of the future such as IT, engineering, biotechnologies, and others as these specialties will be the core of other sectors where Germany is the leader, such as automotive, mechanical engineering, chemical, electrical industries or others.

Opening the data

Lithuania has a very open data policy. Recently, an Open Data Portal was launched in Lithuania to allow businesses, scientists and the public to access and use open data that is managed by the public sector. Germany is well-known for its bureaucracy and closed-down data which Germans are obviously used to, but in this case, Germany should make creating innovation in the country more approachable for everyone by enforcing cooperation and sharing information.

According to Mindaugas Ubartas, the CEO of Infobalt, the association of Lithuanian ICT industry, it’s a very good chance for Lithuania to work together with Germany as it’s a leading exporter of industrial and other goods globally: “This way we can get a better competitive edge not only for Lithuania but for the whole EU. We have a very good situation in regards to IT infrastructure in Lithuania: we can sign digitally, open company digitally, get services from companies and the public sector online. We need to start building a data economy. That would be my dream.”

The world must move to Industry 4.0 as soon as possible

Industry 4.0 will make it easier for companies to collaborate, share data, it will improve productivity and work output. This means that all the countries, including Germany, must move to this new standard before it becomes obsolete.

“Lithuania is the hidden champion among the EU member states and still an insider tip as a business and investment location. The economic relations between Germany and Lithuania have steadily intensified and I am very proud that the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce has been able to make its contribution to this development over the past 25 years. I am convinced that there is a lot of potential for further development, and I am very optimistic about the future. What new successful paths we can take together in the future will be the subject of the German-Lithuanian Forum on 31 May 2021. I look forward to your participation”, – concludes Florian Schröder, CEO of German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK).

Author: Vidmantas Janulevičius, President of Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists

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