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Automation Alley contributes to World Economic Forum white paper report on the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to advanced manufacturing

Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and the World Economic Forum’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America, is a contributor to a new AMHUB global network white paper report about how the manufacturing industry can survive and thrive in the midst of supply chain disruptions and halts to production caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.


Capturing unique perspectives from seven worldwide regions the World Economic Forum has identified as advanced manufacturing or major industrial hubs, including Michigan, the white paper, titled The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production: Insights from the World Economic Forum’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs, addresses the global impact of COVID-19, provides examples of manufacturing and government responses and offers best practices to get economies and citizens back to health as quickly and wisely as possible.


“The World Economic Forum established the global network of AMHUBs to help small- to mid-sized manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly transforming technological advances that could disrupt their industry,” Automation Alley Vice President and white paper contributing author Cynthia Hutchison said. “The aggregate of voices in the white paper not only reports on the manufacturing impact of COVID-19 from regional angles throughout the globe, but also shares lessons learned and best practices to mitigate repercussions and improve manufacturers’ ability to be better prepared and come out stronger.”


Input from the AMHUB responders highlight key findings:



*             The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for the necessity of Industry 4.0 technologies in a global marketplace that will now require more agile and flexible production systems and supply chains.



*             Manufacturers who apply a digital-first mindset to a physical business will reap the benefits of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.



*             The growing need for remote interaction may potentially accelerate adoption of 5G technology.



*             The latest advances in manufacturing technology show just how far we have come and that investments do pay off. Ten years ago, disruption the magnitude of COVID-19 would have forced many to completely shut down.



In addition to input from Cynthia Hutchison and Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley’s manager of global content strategy and development, AMHUB members from Turkey, Copenhagen, Boston, South Korea and Italy contributed to the white paper report.


About the World Economic Forum


The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.


It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.


About Automation Alley


Automation Alley is the World Economic Forum’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus. We facilitate public-private partnerships by connecting industry, education and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Our programs give businesses a competitive advantage by helping them along every step of their digital transformation journey. We obsess over disruptive technologies like AI, the Internet of Things and automation, and work hard to make these complex concepts easier for companies to understand and implement. Visit


The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically during a time of rapid technological change.




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