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Industry 4.0 competence

More than almost any other German state, North Rhine-Westphalia has set out to tap the potential of Industry 4.0. NRW has a globally unique mix of Industrie 4.0-relevant companies in a broad range of industries in a very small area.

NRW wants to become a lead provider and lead market for 4.0 solutions and actively shape the associated change in the economy and work in a spirit of partnership. By coordinating, bundling and networking the institutions that are important in connection with Economy and Work 4.0, in particular the social partners, research capacities, company representations, networks and activities, the know-how and potential available in NRW for this purpose are to be used in the best possible way. The resulting opportunities for the competitiveness and innovative strength of business and labor and new challenges, especially in the world of work, must be shaped in this way.

Mechanical and plant engineering is the driver for Industry 4.0

As the largest industrial employer and enabler for numerous other sectors, mechanical and plant engineering is already a cross-sector driver for increased digitization in North Rhine-Westphalia. Industry and science are closely networked and work together in a practical manner. All players benefit from a research and university landscape that is both strong in technology and close to industry.

In order to leverage the potential that NRW has, networking plays an important role in expanding one’s own opportunities, in addition to technical and corporate cultural adjustments. The focus here is on networking within and outside traditional industry definitions – nationally and internationally – but also on closing ranks with companies along the value chain. Reservations, for example with regard to know-how protection, must be overcome and the focus placed on the advantages of such cooperation.

Unterstützungsangebote von ProduktionNRW

ProduktionNRW supports North Rhine-Westphalian mechanical and plant engineering and production technology to advance the opportunities of digitalization in their own companies and production to increase competitiveness.

ProduktionNRW acts with powerful partners, such as the SME centers of the state of NRW Digital in NRW, Work and Organization 4.0 and eStandards, as well as a variety of other regional, national and international networks.

Event offerings such as workshops, information events, as well as experience exchanges, working groups, and lab and factory tours ensure a professional exchange among participants and support them in translating their knowledge into solutions. In addition, ProduktionNRW provides information material via trade magazines, brochures, websites and newsletters and ensures broad thematic penetration of the topic in mechanical and plant engineering.

Many communication activities with a focus on digitization are incorporated into the overarching image campaign for North Rhine-Westphalia as an industrial location. Involvement in the industry dialog takes place here, as does cooperation with NRW.Invest and NRW.International against the backdrop of location advertising.

In addition, ProduktionNRW engages in strategic dialog with politics, science and the public. The aim is to present a strong case for the position and challenges of the mechanical engineering/plant technology lead market sector with regard to digitization and to call for a new course to be set. Bilateral talks serve this purpose, as do exchanges of views in political committees or events that enable dialog between industry, science and politics.

In this way, a bundling and transmission of knowledge is achieved from which all participants benefit. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a mediator and mouthpiece, especially for those companies that are currently working intensively to make themselves, and thus also the industrial location of NRW, a pioneer in the field of Industry 4.0.

Entering into collaborations between medium-sized companies and university and research institutions is particularly advisable when public research funding programs are to be used. The so-called lead market competitions of the OP ERDF NRW 2014-2020 represent an important public program of research funding. Their essential objectives are the transfer of scientific know-how into economic use, the development of new markets, the reduction of innovation barriers and the closing of existing gaps in value chains.