A tale of two cities and advanced technology skills

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06 July 2021 - DEUICC  project
Slide shared by CIMCORP during the joint workshop.

Margaret Quinn | Derry

The City-Region of Derry, Northern Ireland, and the City of Pori, Finland, are joining forces on the critical area of advanced technology skills and Industry 4.0 (I4.0). The collaboration was ignited via the Intelligent Cities Challenge initiative where both cities are amongst the 136 participating cities aiming to foster intelligent, socially responsible and sustainable growth through advanced technologies. The meeting point for the two cities is on skills needs for I4.0 for business systems across enterprises. Pori wants to attract people with these skillsets and Derry wants to retain people and grow the local talent pool.

The first of a series of workshops addressed 'The Importance of Industry 4.0 for Derry and Pori Business Systems' on June 18th 2021. It was an inspiring session with excellent speakers. The Pori skills approach was shared by Mayor of Pori, Aino Maija Luukkonen, giving plenty of examples on how the city and university are working together and putting advanced digital skills at the centre of ecosystems at all levels of education. Initiatives to upskill the workforce in the metal industry and a programme to attract talent internationally with the opportunity to learn about Finnish culture were outlined. Pori is also taking advantage of the EU Pact for Skills which provides a range of supports for upskilling and re-skilling.

For anyone interested in the state of advanced technologies an excellent resource was showcased by Giorgio Micheletti of IDC. The Advanced Technologies for Industry platform monitors the state of uptake of advanced technologies by EU industry. It gives an insightful overview of the state of advanced technology underpinning I4.0 and how industry is being profoundly transformed by the new generation of technology. Giorgio reported survey results of enterprises around Europe which indicate that nearly 80% of these organisations plan to adopt between 2 & 5 of the advanced technologies in the coming year.

Timothy Janisch of Cap Gemini gave insights into key skills areas for Industry 4.0. One of his key messages was that reskilling and upskilling is not just the right thing for cities to do, it is the smart thing to do. He noted that having a skilled workforce gives a city or region a competitive advantage and creates a virtuous circle of growth, attracting employees and employers. He discussed the disruptive impact of the rise of automation and the need for people to re-skill to take up new roles. He highlighted the growing demand for advanced skills which are already in short supply and the emergence of new roles related to technology. For Timothy the major skills areas for Industry 4.0 can be grouped as networking/Internet of Things for connected machines, data related skills such as data architects & data scientists, then coding and programming and finally of great importance, cybersecurity.

Professor Martin McGinnity of Ulster University outlined CIDRA, Ulster University’s new Centre for Industrial Digitalisation Robotics and Automation, supported by the City Deal and how it will assist manufacturing SME’s in the City-Region to understand what to do to innovate & improve their competitiveness. He also highlighted the need for a pipeline of skilled graduates and post-graduates. He shared the CIDRA engagement model bringing in promotion, interactive demos, training, advice, a digital manufacturing hub, engagement via virtual testbeds through to joint industry development projects. 

Finnish company CIMCORP Ulvila highlighted the reasons to use Industry 4.0 are the benefits of I4.0 such as better services to customers by increasing profitability and increasing quality in production process. Jori Huhtaniemi from Finnish company Huhtaware showed how 5G infrastructure used in Pori Port can used by other Ports or logistics hubs to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Pirita Ihamäki, liaison manager at Robocoast, introduced the Robocoast consortium which aims to accelerate digital transformation in Finnish exporting manufacturing/technology industry. She highlighted their 5G testing platform.

We will be in touch about the next joint Industry 4.0 event from the two cities. 
To know more contact

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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