The emergence and development of new, advanced technologies and materials have spurred tremendous changes in corporate strategic approaches and the organisational models underlying the production, innovation and work systems. Referred to as the fourth industrial revolution (I4.0), these new changes have come with increasingly geographically distributed production and innovation resources, reflecting novel dynamics into global value chains (GVCs) and innovation networks (GINs). The transition to the fourth industrial era affects the way firms create value (performance of tasks internally, relations with suppliers and other business partners), how they capture value (monetization of the offers) and how they offer value (for instance, servitization or more integrated or bundled products and services). These rapid changes in GVCs and GINs configurations enabled by the application of I4.0 technologies have also important implications for the new models of work organisation and workplaces management. So far, most of the debate has focused on phenomena of polarization and skill-biased technological change, but also increasingly needs to better characterize and anticipate the implications of the new paradigm on the new world of employment – Workforce 4.0 (W4.0). Relatedly, the benefits, opportunities and challenges of I4.0 are not only technical and economic. Indeed, a key societal and policy concern is to ensure that the transition towards I4.0 and the adoption of new production, innovation and work models are sustainable from the – economic, social and environmental – perspectives.
In this setting, the workshop addressed the following questions:
- What are the main Industry 4.0/Workforce 4.0 (I4.0) issues and trends?
- What are the implications of I4.0 for the current and future glocal - global + local - value chains (GVCs) and for the development of Innovation Networks at the local and global levels (organisation of production, innovation processes and organisation of work)?
- Are there new Ownership, Location and Internationalization advantages in the I4.0 context? Can these serve as an incentive for re-investing/re-shoring?
- How can policy better account for the heterogeneous needs and weaknesses of regions and firms with respect to I4.0 (infrastructure, skills, information, awareness and readiness, etc.)?