DRAGON-STAR Plus organised its final Think Tank Workshop THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING: ´INDUSTRY 4.0´ MEETS ´MADE IN CHINA 2025´

DRAGON-STAR and its successor project DRAGON-STAR Plus come to an end after almost six years of operation, having organised its last Think Tank Workshop on THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING: ´INDUSTRY 4.0´ MEETS ´MADE IN CHINA 2025´ on 14 November 2017 in Shanghai.

About 80 participants, experts, representatives from universities and industry, policy makers and stakeholders from China and Europe discussed and critically highlighted the pros and cons of Made in China 2025 and its counterpart Industry 4.0 in Europe.

All experts agreed that a lot of jobs will be lost on their way but significant new profile jobs will be created.

According to Mr.Kay Matzner, Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF, major characteristics of Industry 4.0 in Europe, mainly Germany, are the shift from mass production to individual products and that salaries in regions will not be important any more. Industrial Ecosystems are located close to the customer to produce customised products and new job profiles will not be physically demanding any more due to the increasing use of robots. This raises already and will increasingly raise ethical questions after Industry 4.0.

A next step to be following is SME involvement to pick up technologies easier and get better access to Industry 4.0. Research will also need to be connected better, standardisation will need to be improved, and the legal framework of Industry 4.0 will need to be evolved. Also international cooperation will have to increase in order to assure a win-win situation between Europe and China!

Prof. Zhang Chidong, CASTED China Academy of Science and Technology for Development, highlighted why Made in China 2025 was put forward in China. According to him Chinese companies were  still at the bottom of the global industrial value chain and the goal of Made in China 2025 was to reach the medium and top level of global industrial value chain. The support and encouragement of SMEs and enterprises play a very important role in the formation of strategic alliances in China.

Mr. Roland Sommer, Industry 4.0 Austria, outlined that the digitalisation of the complete supply chain goes hand-in-hand with the switch from hardware to software, from products to services and from single product to platforms. Consequently the business model is key to reassure the positive effect on economy!

He also highlighted that it was about cooperation between industry, science, policy makers, regions, and other stakeholders addressing social issues, i.e. the great fear of workers losing their jobs.

Expert groups need to work on strategies and RDI on developing technology road maps bridging the gaps between research needs and science, norms and standards, business models targeted towards SMEs, security and safety issues, qualifications and continuous trainings, etc.

Smart logistics need to address the whole supply chain, platforms need to exchange views on international developments and regional strategies facing the concrete effects of Industry 4.0.

Prof. Tang Tang, Tongji University, stated that the mobile communication as biggest market opportunity became the world´s fastest growing technological innovation. The Internet of Things and the Internet of Services were important forces leading the world´s strategic developments.

Also Cloud Computing, Big data and Artificial Intelligence will guide China in three steps, i.e. Made in China 2025 to a manufacturing giant, Made in China 2035 to a manufacturing power and Made in China 2045 to a world power.

Talent cultivation will be the main requirement for intelligent manufacturing, i.e. cultivating systematic talents with interdisciplinary backgrounds. Also according to him international cooperation is a key to talent cultivation.


The main learnings gained during the discussion of the above mentioned experts were:

Address future employees

New technologies will add new aspects to the qualifications, so cross competences and soft skills will become crucial, such as intercultural skills, problem solving skills and qualifications, such as handling complex systems, taking responsibility for whole processes or production lines. In parallel social issues need to be addressed and systematically communicated and employees´ fears of losing their jobs need to be discussed and taken seriously.

Address future policy-makers

Future challenges will be similar in China and Europe. SME will have to incorporate the new technologies! Open policy strategies on both sides will bring a lot of opportunities.

Policy makers on both sides need to become aware that there is a big opportunity and importance to collaborate in intelligent manufacturing, besides the different culture, different industries, different policies, and different market. Goal is a win-win situation for Europe and China and a trustful environment allowing the learning from each other so both sides can reach their targets. ´Only through cooperation we can go further together´ (Roland Sommer, Industry 4.0 Austria).

All presentations can be downloaded here.


DRAGON-STAR Plus joins forces with ENRICH China, the European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs in China

After its last event THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING: ´INDUSTRY 4.0´ MEETS ´MADE IN CHINA 2025´ on 14 November 2017 in Shanghai, DRAGON-STAR Plus and ENRICH-China share a booth at China Hi-Tech Fair 2017 between 16-21 November 2017 in Shenzhen.

The China Hi-Tech Fair is an international trade fair for electronics and electrical engineering, which takes place annually at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Shenzhen. The fair is the largest Hi-Tech fair in China and therefore the largest Chinese technology fair. It is with exhibitors from about 50 countries the most extensive public platform to exchange latest technologies, concepts and solutions in electronic and electrical engineering industry. It also focuses on advanced technologies and products in the fields of energy saving, environmental protection, production of high-end appliances, new energies and materials.

With this last important promotion campaign and presence at the largest Chinese technology fair, DRAGON-STAR  and DRAGON-STAR Plus close the doors after having successfully supported the European and Chinese research communities  for almost six years to establish collaborations under Horizon 2020 and beyond and after fruitfully establishing a platform for policy makers enhancing  Sino-European STI cooperation.