ISPT Conference 2020 session on industrial processes and societal ecosystems
What is the role of the industry in the current society under transition? Enabler, innovator, driver of transition, source of the problem or solution to the problem?
Carolien Gehrels was clear on this one: ‘Let’s not forget that the Dutch industry is the engine of our economy. We have strong captains of industry who are very aware of their responsibilities to create a more sustainable industry. Industry is part of the solution, not the problem and we can share good examples of that.’
System integration is key
Andreas ten Cate, Program Director System Integration at ISPT, agreed: ‘We need to comprehend what the industry means for society, what it actually takes to make things, and how to do that in a sustainable way.’ According to Ten Cate system integration is the key to everything. ‘The start of everything is a transition of power supply. For that industry will benefit from decision support tools to gain insight in the impact of their decisions, on their own company, on the region, on the country and even globally.’
The role of data
To provide such tools, data are needed. Frans van den Akker, ISPT Program Director Industry 4.0, Social Acceptance and PTTP, added: ‘In the new infrastructure for a sustainable industry a data infrastructure should be included. Data enable us to integrate systems. And we need to use new data to base the new world upon.’
According to Gehrels the most important step to take – before the Dutch elections in March 2021 – is to make a list of no regrets with 10 decisions to be made by governments. For example: more room for technical engineering students at universities. Ten Cate stressed the importance of trial and error. ‘Industry needs room for experimentation, to try things. The government should make this possible by regulations and financing.’ Experimentation and sharing knowledge is already happening in learning communities. Van den Akker: ‘For this transition we need well educated people and we need to learn together.’