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Siemens Press Release: 'Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce'

Prime Minister announces special taskforce to connect Australian Industry to German and US industrial leaders

  • Siemens to lead 'The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce' to Germany's Hannover Fair (world's largest industrial exhibition)
  • German 'Plattform Industrie 4.0' and US 'Industrial Internet Consortium' (IIC) have agreed to collaborate in setting global standards for digital networking
  • Taskforce to support Australia's transition to a new economy - connecting Australia's 'National Science and Innovation Agenda' to the world
  • SAP and Siemens will collaborate with government and industry in both countries including initiating a collaborative approach to the development of global Industry 4.0 standards. 

Siemens is pleased to announce the formation of a special industrial taskforce to support Australia's transition to a new economy and connect the nation to the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0.

'The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce', will enter important roundtable discussions this week at the world's largest industrial trade event, Hannover Messe, in Germany. Led by Siemens Australia Chairman and CEO Jeff Connolly and with prominent Australian members representing engineering, research, academia and advanced manufacturing, the taskforce will meet with the two most powerful groups in industrial transformation, the German Plattform Industrie 4.0' and the US 'Industrial Internet Consortium'.

This taskforce directly supports the National Science and Innovation Agenda. It is also a direct outcome of the recommendations from the Australia-Germany Advisory Group that was co-chaired by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and German Minister of State Dr Maria Böhmer.

The Group was established to build closer ties between Australia and Germany and identify opportunities for increased trade and investment. Its final report contained 59 recommendations to strengthen bilateral relations and was presented to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on 13 November 2015.

Minister Cormann today welcomed the commitment and initiative of the taskforce.
"It is vital that Australia is connected to critical developments in industrial digitalisation being led by Germany and the US," said Minister Cormann.

"'The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce' helps achieve one of the key Australia-Germany Advisory Group recommendations to initiate a collaborative approach to the development of global Industry 4.0 standards."

Germany and the US are at the forefront of setting the standards for digital networking and according to Siemens Jeff Connolly, it's a prerequisite for Australia's brightest innovators, if they are to take the global field, then we must be connected to what the future looks like in order to participate in that future.

Jeff Connolly said the taskforce stems from his participation in the Australia-Germany Advisory Group where SAP jointly with Siemens have been tasked with supporting Australia's move towards Industry 4.0.

"A significant global event happened in early March whereby two of the most advanced industrial nations, US and Germany, announced that they will work together to set the global course for digitalisation standards. We saw this as a unique opportunity to action the recommendations of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, which includes the development of global Industry 4.0 standards," said Mr Connolly. 

In roundtable discussions at Hannover Messe the taskforce will connect Australia with the German Plattform Industrie 4.0 group and the US Industrial Internet Consortium.

"The best way for Australia to punch above its weight globally in business as it does in sport is to think global and leverage the relationships and strengths of global partners. And there is no better place to do this than Hannover Fair, which is a fulcrum for technology and innovation," Mr Connolly said.

To put Mr Connolly's remarks in context, Hannover Messe (Fair) attracts thousands of people and companies from around the world each year and this year has the US as the focus country. It is taken so seriously as the global technology benchmark, that President Obama is expected to visit Hannover Messe along with German Chancellor Merkel. Siemens has the largest exhibition at Hannover Messe.

Media Contact:
Siemens, Media Relations
Keith Ritchie, phone: +61 457 841 189
About Siemens in Australia
Siemens employs about 2000 people in Australia and has continuously operated in Australia for 144 years. Our advanced technology can be found supporting Australia's most iconic infrastructure and critical industries - everything from cities to hospitals, power stations, water treatment, LNG and food industries through to the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Federation Square and even the MCG.

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2015, which ended on September 30, 2015, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €75.6 billion and net income of €7.4 billion. At the end of September 2015, the company had around 348,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at
Members of 'The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce'
The taskforce being led by Jeff Connolly, Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia and New Zealand, comprises the following prominent Australian leaders representing industry, research, engineering, advanced manufacturing and academia. Current members include:

John Ruthven, President and Managing Director SAP Australia and New Zealand
"The Prime Minister's endorsement of this taskforce is another much needed step in ensuring Australia's prosperity and global competitiveness in the new, digital economy. Australia punches above its weight regionally – now is our opportunity to scale our impact. The major challenges of the fourth industrial revolution – such as achieving universal standards for the Internet of Things, maintaining data security and creating new business models – can be mastered only through integrated networks. We look forward to the outcomes The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce will drive on the back of our collaborations at Hannover Messe."

John Pollaers, Chairman Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council
"A prosperous Australia depends on supplying high value solutions to the world, using state of the art processes. Australian companies must be globally competitive and actively engaged in multinational supply chains. And to do that we need to be at the forefront of developing and using cutting-edge technologies. The establishment of The Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce puts Australia at the head table - it crucially links us into the international collaboration on global standards for the industrial internet."

Stephen Durkin, CEO Engineers Australia
"Industry 4.0 embodies what the engineering profession is striving to achieve. There can be no doubt that Australia's future will be high-tech and knowledge based, and we congratulate the Prime Minister for his commitment to making this vision a reality. Engineers are innovative, highly skilled and vital to all sectors of the economy and Engineers Australia is delighted to support this initiative".

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (R&D), Swinburne University of Technology
"High value-add manufacturing in Australia will evolve in line with the Industry 4.0 vision, through integration of innovative design platforms with advanced manufacturing and information systems to create new business opportunities within the global supply chain. Our collaboration with Germany has the potential to speed up this process of transformation and integration".

Keith McLean, CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship Director
"A competitive advanced manufacturing sector in Australia has the potential to generate growth and high skill, high wage jobs. However, to make this a reality requires an understanding and implementation of technological disruption and especially digitisation, connections to global supply chains and the availability of specialised knowledge and skills amongst others. By collaborating, both globally and nationally, Australia has the ability to embrace this historic transformation."

Background: The Australia-Germany Advisory Group
The Australia-Germany Advisory Group was established in 2014 by leaders to examine ways to build even closer ties between the two countries. Co-chaired by Australian Finance Minister Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann and German Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Professor Dr Maria Böhmer, the group comprised senior leaders from business, academia, and the arts.

Containing 59 recommendations across five themes - trade and investment, strategic dialogue, science and education, diversity and integration, and culture and sport - the report provides a blueprint to take the already strong bilateral partnership to a new level. The report was presented to Prime Minister Turnbull and Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on 13 November 2015.

Recommendation number 10.
SAP and Siemens will collaborate with government and industry in both countries to promote increased thought leadership on digital transformation, including initiating a collaborative approach to the development of global Industry 4.0 standards.