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PM’s new Industry 4.0 taskforce gets seat at international table at Hannover Messe

A high-level group will represent Australia at Germany’s Hannover Messe industrial expo this week, where discussions will be held on adopting common standards for “industry 4.0”.

The Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce was a “direct outcome” of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group and a recommendation of its report, delivered to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Australia last November. It also “directly supports” the National Science and Innovation Agenda, announced by the federal government in December, according to a statement from Siemens.

It will participate in roundtable events at Hannover and meet with the USA’s Industrial Internet Consortium and Germany’s Plattform Industrie 4.0. It seeks to build on their efforts to set and adopt a global standard.

Referring to last month’s meeting of the US and German groups, Jeff Connolly, CEO of Siemens Australia, said, “We saw this as a unique opportunity to action the recommendations of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, which includes the development of global Industry 4.0 standards.”

Connolly leads the group. Siemens and SAP, through the A-GAC, were involved in driving Australia’s Industry 4.0 transformation.

“The best way for Australia to punch above its weight globally in business as it does in sport is to think global and leverage the relationships and strengths of global partners.

The Australian Industry Group called the Australian group’s participation important.

“We need to ensure technology choices are simplified, that they are broadly accessible, and that global interoperability is made easy for our predominantly small and medium sized companies,” said chief executive  Innes Willox in a statement.

John Pollaers, chair of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, said the taskforce put Australia at the head table in discussion.

“It crucially links us into the international collaboration on global standards for the industrial internet,” he said.


Members of the taskforce are listed below.

  • John Pollaers, Chairman AAMC (represented in Germany by Jennifer Conley, Executive Director, AAMC)
  • Stephen Durkin, CEO Engineers Australia
  • Keith McLean, CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship Director
  • John Ruthven, President and Managing Director SAP Australia and New Zealand
  • Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (R&D), Swinburne University of Technology
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