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Time to embrace automation and robots says Siemens’ UK boss


Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of Siemens will tell an audience in the North East that society needs to embrace a “new digital industrial revolution.”

He is a keynote speaker at next months’ Northern Powerhouse Business Summit at NewcastleGateshead.

Maier is calling for a national strategy ahead of the UK’s “4th Industrial Revolution” (4IR). The Government has now agreed to create a national Made Smarter Commission and pledged £20m to support a digital technologies pilot in the North West. 

“More than 200 years ago, the North was the birthplace of the original Industrial Revolution. The dramatic shift to adopt new manufacturing processes was spearheaded by the textiles industry in the North West, ironmaking in Cumbria and steelmaking in the North East which led to building ships that visited every corner of the globe,” he explained.

“Now in 2018, the Northern Powerhouse has a chance, through embracing tech, to lead the world once again.”

Automation and robots are a central part of this 4IR.

“Information, data and technology are embedded into everything we do, both in business and our personal lives. Embracing the digital age creates more job opportunities for workers, not less.

“For every job that can be replaced by a machine or artificial intelligence, other new ones will be created. And in this new revolution most robots and artificial intelligence will assist humans rather than replace them anyway. And the new technology needs programming and maintaining, so the companies that will benefit most from automation will be those that work with their employees to upskill and train them to be able to carry out these new roles.”

Maier says there is no reason why the next tech pioneer shouldn’t be from “Sheffield, Leeds, Sunderland or anywhere else in our great region.”

The Northern Powerhouse Business Summit is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and is free to attend.

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