Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

Exponential Technologies Pairing with Transforming (Traditional) Industries

Since the opening of Singularity University at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley in summer 2007, a lot has happened. Not only has SU opened up quite a bit (the last conference Exponential Manufacturing was completely live streamed, and is available on the web to rewatch (partially) to anyone's convenience, see this compelling article "We Are What We Make: Manufacturing's Digital Revolution is Here" on the conference was written by Alison E. Berman), it is opening dependencies in Eindhoven in the Netherlands (which opened on 2nd of June in presence of Queen Maxima), and their first official appearance in Germany at SingularityU Summit Germany in May 2016 (on Twitter and Facebook more under to be found under the hashtag #SUGermanySummit).

For the 2018 edition the hashtag is #SUGerSummit).

The public awareness about these exponential technologies that are largely based on the properties of digitization and the "6 D's of Exponentials" (how Peter H. Diamandis, one of the co-founders of SU calls this phenomenon ) is still low. The topics seldom make it in the local, and even national newspapers in a way that the topics connected with the challenges in the region. Even if they are available on social media it is by far not clear who will get notice of this, and how business leaders who might have a slight feeling that something is happening, yet sense that they will eventually affect their business, but they are not certain how to react in an appropriate time, and resources frame.

What is quite certain is that different cultures and industries around the globe will react, and adapt in quite different ways. Whereas the "Americas" have been the explorers for centuries (Silicon Valley is just one of its foreseen outcomes), "Asia" is a "buzzing hive-like" multi-cultural area, "Africa" a "forgotten continent", and Australia and Oceania so far away from the rest despite their explorer culture, Europe seems to be out of the show, as it tends to be slow.

... and yet, despite the fragmentation of nations within Europe, recent struggles in the EU about pressing social and economic challenges, and languages that are not widely spoken around the world (German, Italian, Finnish, ... to name just a few) the tide is shifting, or better to be said, rising. This not being a sign of drowning threat rather opening up the opportunity for "big wave surfing" wisely preparing to make valuable use of the upcoming opportunities for civil society, and the business community alike.

Europe's strength of the past has been in inventing, designing, and business innovation around machinery, England was the hotspot of the 1st Industrial Revolution based on the steam engine.

Over the last couple of months quite astounding conferences took place in Dresden, Saxony (which used to be the economic "powerhouse" of Germany for a long time until 1945, based on silver, and other ores first in the 13th century, about a hundred years ago the economic heart fueled by art and science was beating in the region). Early successes in optics and fine mechanics lead to becoming Dresden the main ICT provider for the COMECON states during the "cold war", and now it's again Europe's most prominent hub for semiconductors, microelectronics, and adjacent science fields like material sciences, and life sciences.

What most people don't remember is that Dresden was once a major hub for print technology, and today still over 130 companies in the region are active in this area. Mostly rather small, they don't receive much attention, as they would have due to their former economic power. KAMA GmbH (founded 1894 under the name Sächsische-Cartonnagen-Maschinen-Actiengesellschaft) was currently showcasing its latest products that enable print finish of small lots of folded/ printed packages with rapid change-overs.

The reason to mention this that this company is not just only one of a dozen print-related companies the world biggest trade fair for print and media in Düsseldorf at DRUPA (May 31 -June 10, 2016) which takes place every four years. The globally acknowledged trade fair has dared to step into the digital space beyond embedding smart technology already in their machines. The industry is placing itself on the intersection of many emerging trends like additive manufacturing, print-on-demand, Industrie 4.0, IoT, sensors, etc.

To make the stroll around the halls more pleasant and easy, even if you were not in Düsseldorf, check on Twitter #drupa2016 on what happened there.

Quite coincidently, Saxon State Minister for Labor, Economics and Infrastructure, Martin Dulig, will be touring the Netherlands, including Eindhoven visiting the High Tech Campus, this week, October 17-20, 2017, #NLtourSN (to follow on Twitter and Facebook). Within short distance there are two other hotspots of exponential technologies, science and, of course, business connections (have a look on the map (link), and how one gets across the city by bike). Singularity U The Netherlands is one of the two others, and TU Eindhoven the other one.

Just imagining such a constellation in Dresden which holds all the ingredients for good, only to be used effectively with all stakeholders, including citizens, for co-shaping the future with local businesses and engineering ingenuity.

When I should bring the essence of the above into a #PresencingStatus (short personal reflection) it is that:
  • Good - a minister who is going to places (outside his normal working area) where the highest future possibilities are in another state and "on display"
  • Tricky - connecting with the local community to what is feasible (even in the case the basis for future progress seems low, SMEs instead of DAX-registered companies), and pull them into an opportunity as the CEO of KAMA GmbH has been doing for quite some time
  • Learned - blog posts in draft-mode of the past may become timely when serendipity is happening, digital communication enables to expand the vision and also connect with the #GMISroadshow which touched down in Dresden just a week ago (see post on other blog, though in German)
  • Action - we will follow the activities in the Netherlands as soon as they are on social media via HTxA and HTxAlive 

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