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The new frontier of Industry 4.0 could lead up to a 50% productivity increase and spur growth

by Nicoletta Picchio

Italian companies could increase their productivity by between 30% and 50% by using new technologies.

The new frontier of Industry 4.0, which has already been the focus of other countries, must soon become our target. We are not starting from scratch, but Italy must fill its digital divide and aim at growth, according to an “Industria 4.0” study by Parliament presented yesterday at the Chamber of Deputies with recommendations for future growth.

“Businesses must be the protagonist of the fourth industrial revolution. This is not only a technological issue, but also a cultural one. The survey is important because it puts the industrial issue back on the table,” said Vincenzo Boccia, the president of employers’ association Confindustria.

Development Minister Carlo Calenda announced imminent action: “As government, we will not make another research, we will take it as basis for our work. The first government measures will come in the first week of August.”

In response to governance issues emerged from the survey, Calenda announced the creation of a steering committee from next week.

The businesses who have been successful in recent years invested in innovation, Boccia said.
“Innovation is not only about research and development, it’s about organization, technology, being excellent in every corporate role,” Boccia said. “Making good products is only a preliminary condition to enter the game,” he said.

Industria 4.0 poses the problem of corporate size, he said. “I am not against small businesses, but we need to grow, also through network and supply chains.” Potential is there: “We are the second industrial manufacturer (in Europe-Ed),” but we must tackle “the deficit of competitiveness of Italy, with a strategy of factors and offer,” the president continued.

This is even more important today, after Brexit, as the UK intends to reduce taxes, and after Italy in the past 15 years has a gap of 30 points with Germany in terms of labor cost per production unit.

“We need a project for the country, starting a season of shared responsibility, we must lead by example and be coherent, have a 4.0 mind, not only the industry,” said Boccia, convinced that Italy could be “the boutique of the world's industry.”