Manufacturing has recently entered into a Fourth Industrial Revolution. State-of the art technologies have reshaped the industrial landscape with smart and connected products that allow greater speed and flexibility to produce while dramatically lowering costs. What exactly is manufacturing 4.0 and how do you get there?

Framing the future of manufacturing policies

Perspectives from Whiteshield Partners based on articles published Harvard Business Review in 2016 and 2013

The current manufacturing language is outdated - As far back as human history started we defined ourselves as the civilisation of manufacturing. We used our knowledge and increasing capabilities to develop more sophisticated technologies, or ‘logical crafting’, as meant by the ancient Greek roots of the word ‘tech-nology’. Yet today, we aim at capturing the essence of what defined us through the simple measure of ‘GDP Manufacturing’. Is this sole measure of manufacturing development still relevant?

New models, new policies - Over the past two centuries alone cycles of technological innovations and its diffusions have shaped the current manufacturing sector and repeatedly created entirely new processes, production methods, and products. We are now on the dawn of a new industrial revolution that may accelerate change at an unprecedented scale driven and shaped by advances in capabilities as well as new policies and trends. The future of manufacturing will see an increased convergence of skills, materials, and processes and thus, metrics solely focused on manufacturing will not be sufficient to inform policy makers. Manufacturing will indeed become much more knowledge intensive requiring cross-domain metrics and new development models. How to therefore design business and government policies in the manufacturing sector in times of disruptive technological change? Are developing countries ready for the next industrial revolution? What are the opportunities to leapfrog through a new manufacturing skills and development model?

The need for a Future of Manufacturing Barometer - Countries are faced today with two choices: Follow the traditional manufacturing development path or leapfrog and radically change their development model by riding on the new industrial revolution. To address those choices, a Future of Manufacturing Barometer was developed as an analytic tool to assess future opportunities for the government & business leaders of the UAE. The Barometer helps measure gaps between a country current manufacturing performance, its future potential and its policy effectiveness thus helping shape more relevant industrial policies.