A New Industrial Revolution: Will Innovation ‘Bring Back Jobs and Growth’?

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Industry and manufacturing worldwide are on the brink of a revolution, with developments in digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and advanced materials combining to herald new ways of conceiving, producing and using products and services.

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  • AAAS Boston 17 Panel AAAS Boston 17 Panel
  • Alistair Nolan Alistair Nolan
  • Erica R.H. Fuchs Erica R.H. Fuchs
  • Philip Shapira Philip Shapira
  • Amy Glasmeier Amy Glasmeier

Industry and manufacturing worldwide are on the brink of a revolution, with developments in digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and advanced materials combining to herald new ways of conceiving, producing and using products and services across economies and in societies. 

“Pledges have been made in the US to bring back jobs and growth by rebuilding American manufacturing, while the UK’s new Industrial Strategy is the backbone of its post-Brexit economic strategy,” says Philip Shapira, a Professor with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at The University of Manchester and the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology.  “However, globally, the landscape for manufacturing and productivity is changing rapidly. We can’t recreate yesterday’s factories.”

“Innovation and technology are opening up new opportunities to dramatically restructure the way in which industry operates, including through automation, digital manufacturing, and new business models,” Shapira adds. “In developing policies for manufacturing, we need to anticipate how industry is transforming and focus on how best to harness new approaches to benefit workers, businesses, customers, and communities.”

Professor Shapira has convened a panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2017 meeting in Boston to discuss this new Industrial Revolution. Speakers from the OECD and Carnegie Mellon will join Professor Shapira and moderator Professor Amy Glasmeier from MIT to consider methods and design strategies to better address the implications of this revolution, with insights for science and engineering, policymakers, companies, and local communities.

In the US and other developed economies, there is anticipation that this transformation will restore competitive advantage and favour older industrial locations, with new digitally connected factories linked into local circular economies. Developing economies, which have traditionally relied on lower wages to attract routinized mass production, are also adopting new manufacturing strategies. Several countries have roadmaps for next generation manufacturing, including Germany (Industry 4.0) and China, while the US is pursuing a series of new advanced manufacturing initiatives. 

Yet, the new transformation of industry raises many concerns. These include issues related to the reshaping of jobs, the participation of smaller firms, sustainability and other societal goals. This panel explores how evidence-based analysis and anticipatory approaches can be used to design and guide the new transformation in industry. 
Alistair Nolan from the OECD explains “Many policies will affect the next production revolution. And new technologies will require that some types of policy evolve considerably.  Learning from international policy and programme experience is important for governments to successfully and efficiently address this transformation.”  
The panel will consider the roles for science and technology policy, the importance of new institutional intermediaries, and the development of policy frameworks and governance systems that can be effective in ensuring benefits are broadly and sustainably distributed.

The panel discussion, “Designing and Governing the New Industrial Transformation” took place at the AAAS Annual Meeting 2017 on Sunday 19 February, at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston at 10:00am.

Designing and Governing the New Industrial Transformation
AAAS Annual Meeting 2017, 10:00 am Sunday 19 February, Hynes Convention Center 


What roles for science and technology policy in the next production revolution? 
Alistair Nolan, Senior Policy Analyst, Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development, Paris, France. Major science and technology-driven changes in the production and distribution of goods and services are occurring, with far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, incomes, human well-being and the environment. Science and technology policies are central to these developments. Policy designs greatly influence the benefits from developments in production. This presentation will elaborate findings from two years of research at the OECD examining the steps that governments need to take.

Global Manufacturing & the Future of Technology: Possibilities for National Action
Erica R.H. Fuchs, Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Traditional economics suggest that the shift in manufacturing’s distribution from developed to developing nations results in net global productivity gains that outweigh the losses. It is demonstrated that shifts in manufacturing locus can affect which products are profitable, reducing incentives for innovation globally. Outcomes vary by product and sector: A policy that could enhance innovation in one sector could undermine innovation in another.  The presentation concludes with possibilities for national action.

Redesigning institutions for technology diffusion
Philip Shapira, Professor, Manchester Institute for Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, and School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. Institutions for technology diffusion – including universities, technology centers, and business networks – are vital in advancing and distributing the new transformation in industry. Yet, these institutions themselves must change to address open access, digitalization, standardization, partnerships, and developer-user interactions. This presentation examines the future for institutions for technology diffusion, drawing on current and emerging innovative and creative international examples. 

Amy Glasmeier, Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

For further information
Philip Shapira (Session Organizer) (pshapira@manchester.ac.uk);
Alistair Nolan (Alistair.NOLAN@oecd.org); Erica R.H. Fuchs (erhf@andrew.cmu.edu); Amy Glasmeier (amyglas@mit.edu)

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School of Public Policy

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  • Created By: Ryan McDonnell
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 20, 2017 - 1:59pm
  • Last Updated: Feb 20, 2017 - 2:19pm