Study: Industry 4.0 has potential to deliver $7 billion annual opportunity to the state

CONTACT: Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley,, 248.457.3301; Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications,, 248.260.8466

TROY, Mich., May 21, 2019Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, announced today that Automation Alley and the World Economic Forum have jointly established the Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), a multi-stakeholder collaborative ecosystem focused on positioning Michigan as a global leader for advanced manufacturing.

AMHUB will be based at Automation Alley’s headquarters in Troy, Mich. and will be connected globally through the World Economic Forum, the Switzerland-based international organization for public-private cooperation that engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

“It is the highest compliment to Michigan’s manufacturing base for the World Economic Forum to have sought out Automation Alley for a partnership to establish the Advanced Manufacturing Hub,” Kelly said. “The World Economic Forum has recognized that Michigan has maintained the highest level of engineering talent post-recession relative to other states and has consistently witnessed a shared engagement among our manufacturers on matters of critical importance to Michigan’s future manufacturing leadership.”  

According to an April 2019 white paper on the new era of manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution published by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Automation Alley and Accenture Strategy, Industry 4.0 has the greatest potential to affect Michigan’s production systems while delivering an annual opportunity worth $7 billion to the state by driving competitiveness and creating sustainable growth in the automotive sector. Further, as more industries adopt these technologies, the potential value-add to the state can far exceed that number.  

AMHUB will convene leading stakeholders from government, academia and Michigan’s technology and manufacturing corporations, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses and startups, with defined goals and measurable outcomes to ensure the state is prepared for the rapid innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0. Activities will include community building, knowledge exchange and driving action.

Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 focus is intended to help manufacturers, educators and policy makers keep pace with rapid technological changes in eight core Industry 4.0 technologies: the Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing and advanced materials, and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion.

“Michigan has an innovative spirit that defined the state’s manufacturing industry for decades. However, while numerous Michigan manufacturers have taken steps to adopt smart technologies on their factory floors, no one company, organization or entity can single-handedly create an environment to ensure its future position as a global leader,” said Francisco Betti, head of advanced manufacturing industry for the World Economic Forum. “Partnerships between players throughout industries and sectors drive innovation. As technology increasingly disrupts existing industries and creates new products, services and business models, AMHUB will be critical to ensure that favorable policies and investments are in place to support advanced manufacturing.”

Collaboration between Automation Alley and the World Economic Forum began in the spring of 2018 as Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 focus caught the attention of the World Economic Forum, whose global initiatives include shaping the future of advanced manufacturing and production. Since that time, the World Economic Forum and Automation Alley have co-hosted two manufacturing roundtables with Michigan manufacturing and technology leaders, most recently on April 29, 2019, following the release of Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Report Industry 4.0: From Vision to Implementation, and on Nov. 13, 2018, in conjunction with Automation Alley’s signature Industry 4.0 global conference, Integr8. In September 2018, Tom Kelly moderated the World Economic Forum’s Community Dinner event in China, which convened global CEOs, technology pioneers and leading figures from top organizations across the public, private and academic sectors that are driving targeted efforts to collaboratively transform the manufacturing ecosystem through Industry 4.0.

Kelly noted that the World Economic Forum was particularly impressed in its most recent Michigan collaborations by the willingness of various stakeholders to engage in frank and action-oriented discussions on Industry 4.0 readiness.  

“We roll up our sleeves and get to work in Michigan. With AMHUB, we will leverage our smarts, skills and work ethic as manufacturing doers and thinkers on the global stage,” Kelly said.  

About Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a nonprofit manufacturing and technology business association and Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs, resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.

Our Mission

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 make strategic decisions during a time of rapid technological change.