Industrials Author:WIM Committee , Fangyuan Yan Editor:Luke Sheehan Oct 30, 2020 05:00 PM (GMT+8)

The haze of trade friction has not dissipated, yet the manufacturing industry is cloaked under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image credit: EqualOcean

On December 9-11, 2020, EqualOcean will host this year's World Innovators Meet (WIM). WIM2020 will take on a bolder stance and adopt a more global outlook by taking the form of an online conference that will be streamed simultaneously in all countries and regions that champion the realm of technology and innovation. 

During the World Innovators Meet, the WIM Committee will release the annual blockbuster WIA list, the World Innovation Awards, based on our annual industry and investment research findings, together with a series of research reports.

Industrial background

The manufacturing sector is the engine that will drive the entire economic development and promote positive structural changes. In the context of the global economic downturn, advanced countries and developing countries have taken different actions to boost the manufacturing industry to reduce the unemployment rate and improve the economic condition, such as the ‘reindustrialization’ strategy.

At present, the negative impact of trade frictions in 2019 has not yet faded, and under the haze of the epidemic, the manufacturing industry has been shut down several times. The pandemic is accelerating industries’ digital transformation and reshaping the models of consumption, production, and work. The new technological revolution and industrial transformation are accelerating the reconstruction of the global innovation landscape and reshaping the global economic structure. It is essential for all countries to figure out ways to attract manufacturing return, even seeking upgrading opportunities in the global value chain.

The approach of smart manufacturing is to combine the technologies with production aspects, like R&D, product design, equipment, manufacturing, and services, to achieve “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and customer needs" (National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)). Among them, industrial automation is the foundation of intelligent manufacturing, and the industrial Internet is the core of intelligent manufacturing.

According to IT Juzi, the average investment in China's robotics-related fields has shown an upward trend from 2016 to 2019. In the year 2019, the average amount of each investment in China's robotics-related fields was 49.33 million yuan, which grew by 4.24% over the same period of the previous year. ROKAE and ForwardX, two outstanding industrial robotic companies, have received over a hundred million financing.

The Industrial Internet is the core of intelligent manufacturing. China joined the global value chain as a factory in the low end with competitive labor costs. However, with the disappearance of the demographic dividend, the profitability of manufacturing seems less appealing. Cost reduction and utility-maximizing are the priorities for the Chinese manufacturing industry, which can be achieved by data collection, analysis, and value conversion through the industrial Internet.

According to data from the Chinese Industrial Internet Industry Alliance, in 2019, the total amount of public investment in unlisted firms was 119.44 billion yuan, and 17 companies were newly listed on the stock market. The investment and financing market in the industrial Internet sector is thriving, and Deltaphone Technology and Yungongchang also completed A+ and B financing rounds, respectively, this year.

Intelligent manufacturing will reshape the international supply chain by improving the manufacturing process’s residual value and blurring the boundaries of the manufacturing and service industry.

According to the report of GE and Accenture (2015), for most companies, the adoption of smart manufacturing solutions can increase production efficiency by 30% and reduce the overall maintenance costs by 30%. Meanwhile, under the trend of small-scale and customized production, intelligent manufacturing will gradually blur the boundaries between manufacturing and design, and between manufacturing and service. Intelligent manufacturing will change the global manufacturing competition pattern and re-shape the global value chains by redefining the key factors of corporate competitiveness. How to grasp intelligent manufacturing opportunities and enhance the global competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing industry is becoming the main point of competition in the manufacturing industries of the world.

Meantime, it is difficult for China to maintain high economic growth by relying on the extensive economic growth model that is supported by the primary factor specialization strategy, in the context of the diminishing demographic dividend, growing energy consumption, increasing pressure on environmental protection, and rising land costs. We are now at a turning point for China to grasp the development opportunity by converting it into an intensive economic growth model.

EqualOcean will publish the 2020 Global Intelligent Manufacturing Technology Innovation Top 50 list and supporting research reports at the 2020 WIM World Innovators Conference. The report will focus on how the new generation of information technology companies can empower traditional manufacturing. The purpose of this list is to discover the most promising startups in the smart manufacturing vertical industries, rather than selecting current leaders.

About WIM

Hosted by EqualOcean, the World Innovators Meet (WIM) is a world-class event for innovators. It provides limitless opportunities to learn from and connect with the most sought-after technology pioneers.

About WIA

The World Innovation Awards (WIA) are announced at WIM to recognize game-changers across various industries and geographies. Selected by a committee of distinguished experts, entrepreneurs and investors, WIA are designed to acknowledge technology disruptors striving to make a positive impact.

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