John Kovac, Microsoft director of U.S. Industry Manufacturing, and Martina Koederitz, general manager of IBM’s U.S. Industrial Market in North America, bring their digital perspective to industries looking to modernize with disruptive technologies  

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

TROY, Mich.—October 10, 2019—Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and leading technology and manufacturing business association, announced global tech giants Microsoft and IBM will keynote Integr8, leading the conversation on continuous digital transformation and the outlook for organizations seeking to innovate by harnessing Industry 4.0 technologies. On Nov. 6 at Detroit’s TCF Center, formerly Cobo Center, John Kovac, Microsoft director of U.S. Industry Manufacturing, will kick off the global Industry 4.0 conference with a morning keynote at 8 a.m.; Martina Koederitz, general manager of IBM’s U.S. Industrial Market in North America, will deliver the lunch time keynote at noon.

Kovac, who works with executives to drive organizational and product change by re-imagining product, will share use-cases and industry best-practices regarding the digital transformation, with a focus on trends and patterns that Microsoft has identified across a variety of industries impacted by Industry 4.0.  Koederitz, who has been dedicated to helping businesses transform through technology across the electronics, automotive, aerospace and defense, chemicals and petroleum, and ‘X’ industries, will discuss how the convergence of Industry 4.0 technologies has been shaping the future to make business more successful, in addition to changing lives on a personal level.

“Many companies are beginning to understand, adapt and innovate through Industry 4.0, but we have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible with these technologies,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley’s executive director and CEO. “Integr8 is fortunate to have industry thought leaders John Kovac and Martina Koderitz address this rapid pace of change, offering guidance and inspiration to champion a forward-thinking mindset.”

Supported by blockbuster brand sponsors including IBM and Intel; locally by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and globally by The World Economic Forum, Integr8 is expected to draw 1,000 tech and manufacturing professionals to the TCF Center in Detroit. In addition to the two keynote presentations, there will be an Integr8 expo to further highlight the technology options available that facilitate digital transformation, new Industry 4.0 roundtable sessions, breakout sessions focused on Industry 4.0’s impact in a variety of industries including health care, automotive, retail, food production and more. In addition, the Smart Technology Zone, presented by Automation Alley partner the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, will focus on information and hands-on demos tailored to help the supply chain better understand Industry 4.0.

The day-long conference will close with an Afterglow featuring a panel discussion on how Industry 4.0 technologies are impacting the sports industry. The discussion, titled “Power Play: How Smart Technologies are a Sports Industry Game-Changer,” will include panelists from NASCAR, Trek cycling and professional Detroit sports teams.

“This panel discussion will demonstrate how Industry 4.0 technologies are impacting industries well beyond the factory floor,” Kelly said. “Other industry sectors can learn from the innovative ways the sports industry is using these cutting-edge technologies to connect with fans, improve player safety and performance.”  

Integr8 is a cross-discipline global conference focused on the eight core smart technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, The Cloud, Cybersecurity, Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials and Modeling, Simulation, Visualization and Immersion. Integr8 attracts a global audience seeking to learn from and engage with their American counterparts. 

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the day-long Integr8 conference are available at The evening before the conference, Nov. 5, Automation Alley is inviting the business community to mingle with Integr8 presenters and VIP guests at Integr8 Luminate, a strolling dinner and cocktail kick-off reception also held at TCF Center. Tickets for Luminate are also available on the website. 

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.