Industry 4.0 in Brazil gains international expertise

Brazil will collaborate with the World Economic Forum to enable small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector to access to the technologies of Industry 4.0.

The Ministry of Economy of Brazil and the State of São Paulo will work with the Forum to implement policies to drive the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies.

São Paulo is the richest state in Brazil and the centre of the country’s industrial capabilities.

The initiative particularly targets SMEs as these businesses represent 98.5 per cent of all companies in Brazil, above the 90 per cent global average. In emerging markets such as Brazil, SMEs also serve as the drivers of economic growth, employing locals and creating 7 out of 10 jobs, yet these companies also often don’t have the capital or expertise to adopt new technologies, and larger businesses are six times more likely to utilise IIoT technology than SMEs. This makes the sector particularly worth targeted, said Jeff Merritt, head of IoT, Robotics, and Smart Cities at the Forum.

“Hopes for inclusive and sustainable economic growth hinge on our ability to help lift small and medium-sized enterprises into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The partnership extends the program that the World Economic Forum is conducting with other governments and businesses around the world. Participants utilise a toolbox of 11 policy interventions. These include financial support, expert support, industry collaboration, and employee training.

“Governments have an opportunity to not only reduce barriers to adoption but also help position these companies for success in a rapidly evolving global economy,” said Merritt.

In São Paulo the partnership will begin with 130 SMEs and expand to 2,000 by 2021, and will review government policies already in place, said Carlos Da Costa, Deputy Minister of Productivity, Employment, and Competitiveness for the Brazilian Ministry of Economy.

“This pilot project has allowed us to re-evaluate the policies implemented by the government so far and to channel our efforts to make a real impact in terms of productivity, workforce skills and willingness of SMEs to invest in emerging technologies.”