The Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) highlighted the opportunities the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will bring to the global manufacturing sector as it addressed an audience in Canada through the latest edition of an international knowledge-sharing program.
The event in Toronto formed part of GMIS’ global roadshow program, GMIS Connect, with a panel of industry experts providing their insights into how the digital revolution and technological innovation is transforming the world, and how both the private and public sector can prepare for these changes in a way that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
The event also saw GMIS sign key Memorandum of Understandings with both the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and the Canada Arab Business Council (CABC). The MoUs will enable the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the two institutions and GMIS with the aim of generating wider international impact in the sphere of manufacturing.
A joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GMIS – the world’s first cross-industry forum - brings together manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors with the aim of collaboratively channeling transformative 4IR technologies into creating the manufacturing sector of the future, ensuring it plays a pivotal role in the regeneration of the world economy and global prosperity.
GMIS Connect is designed to strengthen and expand relationships between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors – four cornerstone constituents in shaping the future of manufacturing – at local, regional, and global level. Through enabling participation in conferences and events, GMIS Connect aims to unlock ideas, perspectives and thought leadership that will flow into discussions at GMIS2019 - the second edition of the Summit.
Following the first GMIS Connect roadshow of the year at Hannover Messe 2018, the world’s biggest industrialization fair, the second edition took place on 11 May 2018 at the Rotman School of Management within the University of Toronto. Entitled ‘Growth 4.0 – Canada’s Way to Harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)’, the session highlighted potential challenges and opportunities surrounding 4IR in Canada, and critical actions that can be taken at national, regional and global level to intensify the social, economic and environmental benefits of manufacturing and industrialization. It also aimed to identify and promote effective multi-stakeholder initiatives related to the GMIS mission.
Badr Al Olama, Head of the GMIS Organizing Committee, emphasized GMIS’ commitment to ensuring the transformation of manufacturing also supports the objectives of the UN SDGs, and the importance of GMIS Connect in enabling this to happen.
Addressing Canada’s manufacturing sector, he said: “With a strong and well-established industrial base, a highly-skilled workforce, and an openness to new ideas and innovation, Canada’s manufacturing outlook is marked by positivity and clear strategic vision for translating optimism into action.
“How this nation with a manufacturing heartbeat realizes its vision is set to be determined by its ability to enable and encourage the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, expand and diversify its export market, and nurture a workforce drawn from all sectors of society and equipped to meet the demands of industry in a time of both revolution and evolution.”
Professor Walid Hejazi, Associate Professor, Rotman School of Management, and the event’s moderator, told the audience: “We are delighted to be hosting this GMIS Roadshow exploring the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Canada’s manufacturing sector.
“Committed to global good, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit aims to ensure not only the future prosperity of the manufacturing sector, but its alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in order for it to build stronger societies and communities as well as businesses.”
The Toronto event featured a panel discussion on ‘The Canadian Manufacturing Sector and Its Vision to 2030’, led by Mathew Wilson, Vice-President, National Policy, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Faisal Kazi, President and CEO, Siemens Canada’ and James Strapp, Partner Consulting & Deals, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Meanwhile, Professor Joshua Gans, Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Rotman School of Management, led a session on ‘Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence’, while Michael Helander, CEO, OTI Lumionics, also gave an engaging presentation on ‘From Lab to Fab: Scaling-up Advanced Manufacturing in Canada’.
“Women remain underrepresented in STEM”, said UNIDO Senior Industrial Development Officer Adot Killmeyer-Oleche during another panel dedicated to discuss various aspects of women in the manufacturing sector. “We need to close the gender gap –especially in engineering, manufacturing, and construction – and inspire the next generation of female innovators and leaders; this is important for developed and developing countries alike”.
Speakers also participated in an interactive element, ‘Factories of the Future: Finding Solutions to Tomorrow’s Challenges’, where they discussed how to identify the top priorities for the global manufacturing sector, and solutions that will enhance its development and transformation. Topics included sustainability, digitization and automation, gender equality, urbanization, big data, adaptive production lines and global supply chains, working practices, meeting customer demand, education and skills development, and how to attract youth to careers within the manufacturing sector.
Addressing the MoU with GMIS, Mathew Wilson, Vice-President, National Policy, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), said: “We are delighted to partner with the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit and we strongly believe, by working together, sharing knowledge and exchanging expertise, our joint entities will ensure that this unique cross-industry forum expands its reach, extends its message, and enhances its impact, for the good of the world’s economy and global society. This MoU will also ensure Canada’s strong manufacturing expertise will contribute to the advancement of the global manufacturing sector and we look forward to a successful and impactful partnership.”
He continued: “The GMIS Connect roadshow has provided a vital platform to discuss the offering of Industry 4.0 - and how Canada’s manufacturing sector can embrace new ideas and seize the opportunities that such innovation and technology presents.”
Explaining the impact and intent of GMIS Connect, Al Olama said: “Ahead of GMIS2017, our inaugural Summit, GMIS Connect roadshows were held in 16 cities across 13 countries – including London, New York, Washington DC, Moscow, Beijing, Paris, and Tokyo - and proved to be a resounding success,” he said.
“Our current series of roadshows are just the start of a transcontinental program of events that will amass a truly global bank of knowledge and insight on manufacturing and its transformation – knowledge and insight that will be invaluable in advancing our collective mission at GMIS2019, our second Summit. GMIS is for the world, and that is why we are taking it to the world.”