Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs chronicle Industry 4.0 manufacturing challenges, complexities, and innovation throughout the pandemic with a call for greater collaboration in 2021

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

TROY, Mich.—April 7, 2021—Automation Alley, an Industry 4.0 knowledge center and World Economic Forum (WEF) Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), provided key insight to the WEF’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs: Annual Report 2020. Automation Alley’s Cynthia Hutchison, Vice-President, and Nicole Kampe, Manager of Global Content Strategy and Development, were also expert contributors to the report, both writing and editing significant content.

Launched in 2019, the Global AMHUB Network, which tapped Automation Alley as its first North American member, now represents manufacturing ecosystems in 12 regions around the world. These regions share best practices and case examples while learning how each one addresses similar manufacturing challenges. The 2020 Annual Report summarizes this regional network, highlights specific initiatives they are engaged in (such as Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD), outlines collaborative outputs in 2020, and delineates ongoing, planned and future cross-collaborative opportunities to advance manufacturing innovation.

In June 2020, leadership from AMHUB, including Cynthia Hutchison, created its first collaborative paper, “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production,” and in November 2020, the first Roundtable of the AMHUB leaders was held virtually. From that November meeting, AMHUB leaders identified three priorities to shape cross-AMHUB collaborations for 2021:

  1. Accelerating technology adoption and skills development within SMEs
  2. Unlocking circular economy opportunities within and across AMHUB regions
  3. Mitigating the impact of future shocks to global manufacturing systems

“Capturing unique perspectives from 12 worldwide regions identified by the World Economic Forum as major industrial hubs can encourage and help small- to mid-sized manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly transforming technological advances that will disrupt their industry,” Automation Alley Vice President Cynthia Hutchison said. “The 2020 AMHUB Annual Report emphasizes that these regional manufacturing powerhouses have locally unique and globally relevant resources for manufacturing stakeholders eager to gain insights on how to adopt and advance the positive impact of Industry 4.0.”

In addition to Automation Alley input from Hutchison and Kampe, the World Economic Forum and AMHUB members contributed to the report. To download the report, visit the World Economic Forum website.

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 a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) 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.

The mission of Automation Alley is to help businesses stay in business by equipping them with the necessary knowledge to leverage the intersections of advanced technologies, systems and people to jumpstart or accelerate a digital path to strategic success.