I40-Transform

Study to explore new, innovative business models for smart production, with a focus on manufacturing companies.

Enormous advances in the fields of sensor technology and ICT enable an increasing connectivity between (smart) products, production facilities and supply chains. This digital transformation is still at an early stage, but is believed to have far-reaching implications in the long term. Therefore, in particular in German speaking countries, is has been coined and described as the “fourth industrial revolution” (short: “Industry 4.0”). It is expected that the trend towards smart production will put into question existing business models of manufacturing companies and that new models will be developed and established. Many companies are in search for a strategic response to this change.

Some business surveys have already explored companies’ activities and plans with regard to smart production. However, there is a lack of linking this information with a strategic assessment of the opportunities and risks for the companies that arise from the development. In particular, companies are looking for innovative business models that enable them to actively and successfully respond to the digital transformation and to profit from the development. It is exactly the goal of this study to explore new, innovative business models for smart production, with a focus on manufacturing companies. The study addresses two target groups: the industry (by delivering ideas that help in developing a strategy for the digital transformation ahead) and policy (by delivering recommendations for the design of adequate economic and innovation policy measures).