A Time for Cooperation and Strong Support of Innovation
At last night’s Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Hannover Messe, some very strong and clear messages resonated, but most of all the focus was on the benefits of and the need for continued strong international cooperation, in particular between the European marketplace and the U.S.
Chancellor Angela Merkel commented that “strong links between USA and Germany contribute to success and growth in both nations, with hundreds of thousands of jobs being created by employers from the U.S. and Germany.”
President Obama stated that “the benefits of trade are diffuse and broadly shared if trade is done correctly. We can do this, by doing it right: by raising standards, safeguarding consumers, and improving environmental protection, while at the same time reducing barriers to manufacturers looking to expand globally. “
On first day of the show, the dynamic and concrete growth of Industry 4.0 (aka the “Internet of Things”) was definitely evident. Along with this growth, comes an awareness of the challenges this change is bringing about. During an “International Cooperation – Industry 4.0 Panel and Industrial Internet”, for example, key government and industry leaders spoke about the growth in connected devices, but also of the need to think about the security of those devices. UL supports this security focus – for example with the new Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP).
Another message that resonated was that there are critical differences between the US and EU regulatory systems. It’s important to note though that the trade agreements currently under discussion are not about changing them, but about finding ways to increase trade while respecting the parameters of those systems.
As German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, noted in her address at the Opening Ceremony: “The digital agenda is melding with Industry 4.0” – this means we need to work together to help ensure that people and tools are both enabled but also have the proper support and safeguards to prosper in the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
UL’s President and CEO, Keith Williams, notes that the big take away is that “it’s very exciting. Going into it’s fifth year, we definitely see that Industry 4.0 is real, it’s visible when walking the show, it’s dramatic, and it’s going to change the world.”