In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, industry has faced unprecedented upheaval. For instance, the pandemic has accelerated digitalization but, at the same time, it has exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. According to Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, industry faces a crucial question: Which strategies, measures and partnerships ensure competitiveness? The Hannover Messe Digital Edition looks to provide the answers, he said.
Taking place from April 12 to 16 as an entirely virtual event, this year’s Hannover Messe features an expo, conference and ample networking opportunities. The goal is to create the greatest added value for both visitors and exhibitors, explained Köckler.
“Industrial companies have to carry out in a few months what would otherwise have taken years,” said Köckler. “This requires a platform where challenges can be discussed, solutions presented and networks expanded — which is exactly what the Hannover Messe Digital Edition is all about. Even in times of Corona, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology remains the central platform for innovations and solutions surrounding industrial transformation.”
In the expo area, visitors will have direct access to extensive product overviews from more than 1,000 exhibitors. Areas of interest include fluid power, compressed air and vacuum technologies; mechanical and electrical drives, automation and robotics; and digital platforms, VR and AR, and predictive maintenance. Other key topics include additive manufacturing, energy efficiency and e-mobility.
Each company and organization will showcase new-product highlights, best-case applications, video technology tutorials, and exhibitor live-streaming events, with the potential for follow-up conferencing with presenters and participants. In addition, video chats will enable visitors to not only learn about specific solutions for optimizing their processes, but also to enter into direct exchanges with exhibiting companies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will open Hannover Messe Digital Edition to all attendees and exhibitors. The virtual conference program begins on Monday, April 12, with an emphasis on economic policy issues, such as the coronavirus’s effect on globalization, and how transatlantic relations will change in the post-Trump era. The day concludes with a ceremony announcing the winner of the prestigious Hermes Award for technical innovation.
From Tuesday to Thursday, the conference focus is on engineering advances, successful applications and long-term future strategies. Major topics range from IIoT, AI and IT security to carbon-neutral production and alternative energy sources like hydrogen. The WomenPower career congress takes place on Friday, April 16, under the motto “Reset.Rethink.Restart.” The program includes keynotes by industry leaders, workshops, panel discussions and numerous collaboration possibilities.
A key component of this year’s digital fair is the ample opportunity for networking. “For more than 70 years people from all over the world have traveled to Hannover to see new products, exchange ideas and discuss concepts like automation, decentralized systems or lightweight designs,” said Köckler. That will be the case again this year as individualized dashboards will let attendees search for specific products, find educational video tutorials, learn about successful applications, join in video chats, and directly contact conference speakers, exhibitors and like-minded visitors.
Digital formats are not perfect, admits Köckler. But in light of the pandemic, visitors and exhibitors alike can nonetheless profit from Hannover’s virtual platform. “We are still the Olympics of technology, every year companies come here to show their best technology, innovation ideas and new developments,” he said, in a unique setting that combines everything from automation, energy and logistics to engineered materials.
Coronavirus is a game-changer for industry in terms of globalization, digitalization and automation. The Hannover Messe Digital Edition, said Köckler, promises to be the global platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation.
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