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The First International Innovation 4.0 Forum is coming to Montreal

NOV. 6: Manufacturing leaders, industry experts, academics and researchers gather to prepare for the 4th Industrial Revolution
October 8, 2019

What if you want your new car to be a specific shade of blue? Or maybe you’d like a television made to measure? This kind of customization may be possible today, but at a prohibitive cost.

The mass personalization of daily goods is on the horizon, however, due to the advent of Industry 4.0.

“It’s a term coined in Germany to refer to the fourth Industrial Revolution,” explains Rolf Wuthrich, co-director of Concordia’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and professor in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. “It's the next wave taking smart manufacturing to a whole new level using interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data.”

First International Innovation 4.0 Forum

Wuthrich is Concordia’s representative in the Réseau Innovation 4.0, a network consisting of eight Quebec universities. On November 6, the network is holding the First International Innovation 4.0 Forum at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

Other institutions in the research, development and training network are: École de technologie supérieure, Université Laval, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Montréal and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

The forum brings together about 30 industry speakers who are leading the shift toward Industry 4.0 across many sectors, including transport, aerospace, energy, health, construction, forestry and logistics.

“It’s a gathering of the latest technology and training initiatives at small and large companies, and in academia and research clusters,” says Wuthrich, who is affiliated with both the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

The forum investigates how Industry 4.0 intersects with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), big data and how to finance 4.0 transitions, among other topics.

A new employee landscape

“The goal of smart factories — where automated manufacturing chains communicate, troubleshoot, predict, self-repair and order parts using AI over a cloud-based network — is to enable cost-effective personalization of daily goods and manufacturing parts,” explains Wuthrich.

“But we need new types of manufacturing technologies, far beyond 3D printers, to facilitate this shift.”

With Industry 4.0 comes new jobs — not gutted workforces.

“Industry 4.0 means manufacturing will return to Quebec from abroad because of the need for highly qualified people, not cheap labour pools,” he adds. Wuthrich points to FESTO Didactics, Mega Bloks and APN as examples of Quebec-based companies now thriving at home after implementing a complete manufacturing changeover to 4.0.

“This manufacturing revolution increases productivity, shifts economics and fosters industrial growth. Smart machines keep getting smarter as they get access to more data, so our factories become more efficient and less wasteful.”

Register now for the First International Innovation 4.0 Forum
at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on November 6. The student fee is $50.

If your research involves advanced manufacturing, digital transformation, automation and robotics, optimization and asset management, sharing and security of big data, data analytics, the Internet of Things or artificial intelligence, join the Innovation 4.0 Network. Contact Rolf Wuthrich at

Learn more about Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

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