The new industrial revolution and modern technologies have radically transformed this sector of the economy, increasing the autonomy of companies and governments. Industrialist are actively implementing AI to manage their enterprises and deploy blockchain-based smart contracts guaranteeing that all contractors are paid on time and eliminating the middleman. Production skills have transformed into software, while enterprise robotics and abandonment of cheap manual labor are bringing the biggest corporations back to countries with more developed infrastructure. Global platforms for promoting goods and services are being designed and rolled out, giving producers valuable insights of the markets and customer needs.
The industrial sector worldwide has long been engaged in a global race to deploy the Industry 4.0 concept. In terms of developing smart manufacturing, however, developed European countries will find it hard to compete with Asia, where China is expected to have on average 150 robots per 10,000 industrial jobs — three times as many as in 2015. Chinese companies have explosively increased spending on hi-tech development in the recent years, making the country’s industrial robots market the biggest in the world by 2013, according to an International Federation of Robotics study.
Europe and the US have their own Industry 4.0 leaders. Germany, Europe’s industrial leader, passed its hi-tech action plan in 2002, identifying 10 projects of the future. Today, it allocates 40 billion Euro annually for support and development of industrial infrastructure. United Kingdom has been funding HyperCat since 2014 — an M2M global network in which robots and computers interact and perform tasks without involving humans. France also spends €200 million on La French Tech, a program supporting development of French IT companies and startups. In 2014, the US have established a non-profit industrial Internet consortium, and hi-tech giants invest billions of dollars annually into basic technologies of Industry 4.0. This is a clear indication that Industry 4.0 leaders are likely to keep their positions while competing amongst themselves in the technology race.
Russia has everything it needs to succeed in developing the Industry 4.0 concept, such as independent digital ecosystems and critical digital infrastructure facilities. The country continues developments in robotics and artificial intelligence, as can be evidenced by major technology consortiums acquiring our startups. Moreover, Russia has adopted independent development strategies that form the foundation for industrial development and Industry 4.0. By 2020 the Government expects to increase the share of industrial enterprises implementing technology innovations. Another goal is to increase spending on R&D and Russia’s share in the global markets for hi-technical products and services to 5–10%.
Overall, Russia is showing a positive trend to increase domestic spending on research and development, but the relative spending on research is still much lower than among the leaders of Industry 4.0 development. To speed up economic and industrial growth, Russia needs to upgrade its production facility, implementing robotics and automation, promote advanced processing and concentrate efforts on those industries where the country is close to the cutting edge, developing industrial assembly in areas where it is still behind. This will help bring investors to the scene.
Alexander Borodich, founder, Universa Blockchain platform.
Universa founder Alexander Borodich comments for an RBC special issue at Innoprom 2019. was originally published in UniversaBlockchain on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.