01 March 2016

Industry 4.0 and the Factory of the Future

In The future of manufacturing, revealed in an Ontario budget line item we have a good overview of the "Advanced Manufacturing Consortium being formed between McMaster University in Hamilton, Western University in London and the University of Waterloo... a $35-million, five-year commitment" announced in last week's Ontario budget. The piece is interesting in that it talks about the Internet of Things (IoT or Internet of Everything as Cisco puts it) and the so-called fourth industrial revolution. But what is distinctly lacking here is a more complete picture of the inputs into what the factory of the future entails. By this I mean the inclusion of colleges and polytechnics and industry. 

Canada's manufacturing capacity is in need of a boost - to modernize and to realize a place in the economy of the future that the IoT entails. Our launch over a year ago of the Design Centre for the Smart Economy is one way in which we are active in this area. And while it is great that the Ontario government is seeding investment at this trio of leading universities, let's hope that as the centre gets put into action that it provides a conduit for the complementary expertise needed from across the skills and research continuum.

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