Industry 4.0 is not only a competitive advantage for Germany but for Europe. For some time, Spain has massively invested in Industry 4.0 projects. The business’ interest in exchanging with German companies is large. Pilar Muñoz Juncosa, Commercial Counsellor at the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, about the significance of the European cooperation.
Innovations for tomorrow‘s networked economy originate in today’s Europe. Spain – the world’s 14th-largest economy – is an important partner. In the past years, the country achieved a high degree of technological development. The commitment of the Spanish Government is large; the turnaround in the economy is accomplished. It is true that the requirement for modernisation is still considerable in the Spanish production facilities. Yet, the bigger are the chances to focus directly on innovative technologies and solutions for intelligent manufacturing processes, sensor technology, electronics and automation in the context of investment projects. The sectors additive manufacturing and 3D printing develop particular dynamic. Moreover, there are nationwide projects for the factory of the future. The Spanish Government, with the objective of being at the forefront of digital transformation, started in 2015 the national strategy Industria Conectada 4.0 that aims to help and encourage Spanish enterprises, specially the SMEs, to modernize and increase their productivity based on the new technologies. This strategy is also coordinating actions on a regional level and with the European Union policies on the matter. Industria Conectada 4.0 is a comprehensive strategy that includes measures such as a public on-line self-evaluation tool on digital maturity, along with a financial support program.
So, it is not surprising that more and more Spanish companies cast their net towards Europe – to establish joint know-how in cooperation with companies for the networked economy of the future and therefore to strengthen their competitiveness. The interest of German companies in projects with the Spanish industry is also noticeably increasing. Visits at Fraunhofer IML like the one recently of a delegation of the Spanish Embassy initiate thrilling possibilities – beyond country borders – for a more intensive cooperation between research and business. For Spanish companies it is particularly valuable to have the possibility for example to take part in research projects like the Innovationlab Hybrid Services in Logistics and to provide use cases for testing innovative technologies.
Guarantor for more innovations
Such a cooperation beyond country borders becomes more and more significant. Because new technologies, services and business models will only gain in acceptance if they are globally thought and internationally tested. Digitisation of industry induces moreover an increasing networking and exchange of industry-relevant data beyond national borders. In this context, Industry 4.0 can only and must keep developing at European level. Cooperation is possible in many areas: from data usage in the supply chain of manufacturing industry up to intelligent business solutions – all topics that severely push forward both the initiatives of the Spanish government and networks of companies currently.
Pushing forward future topics of the networked industry – in particularly research with respect to that – at European level is a guarantor for more innovations and more growth. Therefore, it is about developing research projects and bringing together the right partners. Having Fraunhofer IML at its side, Spain is on a very good way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pilar Muñoz Juncosa is Commercial Counsellor at the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin being responsible for the areas Industrial Goods and Services.