Germany, France and Italy join forces to promote digitising manufacturing

The key digitising manufacturing initiatives of Germany, France and Italy have agreed on a trilateral cooperation to support and strengthen the digitisation processes of their manufacturing sectors as well as to promote European efforts in this field. German Plattform Industrie 4.0, French Alliance Industrie du Futur and Italian initiative Piano Industria 4.0 have developed a shared action plan with several action items and deliverables.


Plattform Industrie 4.0, Alliance Industrie du Futur and Piano Industria 4.0 initiated cooperation talks at a high-level conference on „Digitising Manufacturing in the G20“ in March 2017 in Berlin. Since then the initiatives have developed a shared action plan. On June 20th, the plan has been adopted by the steering committee of the cooperation at its initial meeting in Torino, Italy. Industry, scientific and political experts from the three countries will now work on three core subjects of shared interests: standardisation, engagement of SMEs and testbeds as well as policy support at the European level. First results of the new trilateral cooperation are expected to be presented by the first half of next year.

Core subjects of Cooperation

The trilateral cooperation focuses on three core subjects of shared interests, which are dealt with in the following three working groups:

  1. Standardisation and reference architectures. Common standards are crucial for digitalised manufacturing. Therefore, the first working group will identify relevant standards, align standardisation activities, work on the harmonisation of an administration shell and find ways to integrate SMEs in the field of standardisation. The group will capitalise on the achievements of the French-German joint working group.
  2. SMEs engagement and testbeds. To make digitisation more accessible for SMEs, the second working group will map use cases from all three countries and interlink them, diffuse and complete Industry 4.0 scenarios and promote an international network of test infrastructures.
  3. Policy support. Industry needs a favourable environment to efficiently benefit from digitisation. The working group will therefore exchange best practices on policies and programs in various fields and levels, and coordinate shared positions of the three countries at the European level and in international forums.

“Joining forces in this trilateral cooperation was the next logical step for staying at the forefront of Industry 4.0. Together, we will concentrate on important topics such as standardisation, SMEs and policy support. The results will be shared with the European Commission and other EU-members”, says Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, and Chairman of the Steering Committee of Plattform Industrie 4.0.

“Beyond our national specificities, Europe represents our common playground for the industry of the future. We need to go fast and collectively: that’s why I am very happy to see that one year after the beginning of our bilateral cooperation with Germany, we launch new ambitious objectives with our Italian partners.”, states Philippe Darmayan, President of the Alliance Industry du Futur.

“The role of SMEs is fundamental for growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in Europe. SMEs need support in order to raise their awareness and their testing capabilities for Industry 4.0 solutions. Through this trilateral agreement, a number of actions specifically addressed to SMES will be undertaken, thus providing the proper environment for their engagement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”, says Prof. Marco Taisch from Politecnico Milano, member of the Steering Committee and chair of the Working Group on SMEs engagement and testbeds.

Source: Platform Industrie 4.0