Hannover Messe 2021 - Germany must become a digital pioneer


This week, the world's largest meeting of the industry is taking place again in Hanover - for the first time fully digital. Under the guiding theme of "Industrial Transformation", everything revolves around new technologies for the industry of the future.

Every year, the Hannover Messe is THE global showcase for the future of industry. With this year's partner country Indonesia, the trade fair has not only brought a country rich in raw materials and the largest economy in the Southeast Asian association of states ASEAN (virtual) to Hannover, but also an up-and-coming industrial global player. The guiding theme of Hannover Messe 2021 is "Industrial Transformation". Yet the term Industry 4.0 was coined in Hannover around 10 years ago. A lot has happened since then. More than 1,800 exhibitors will present their achievements from AI to robotics, from C02-neutral production to Logistics 4.0. The focus is on technological innovations and solutions: What role does AI play in industry? How do I generate added value from my data? What potential does hydrogen offer for industry and mobility?

The Hannover Messe clearly shows the enormous potential of these new technologies. Particularly for a closely networked and highly technological global economy like Germany, they offer enormous opportunities to further develop existing business models and open up new ones. The value creation of the future lies in the digital transformation.

It is important that Germany continues to play a leading role in international competition. Because global competition never sleeps. The trade fair also shows this. In Germany, we must actively and positively shape the digital transformation of the economy and the world of work. New ideas need freedom and cannot be developed within a tight political corset. Instead, an innovation-promoting and flexible legal framework is necessary. Rigid working time laws, for example, must be transferred to the age of digitalization and made more flexible. Data protection must also be rethought to enable and promote the use of innovative technologies.

Our goal must be to ensure that investments in Germany and Europe succeed and that jobs are created here. Education and further training will be the central key to creating opportunities for everyone to participate in a digitalised world of work. We need bright minds for the working world of the future. And even more: we finally need a mental change that makes the desire for the future the guiding principle of trade in business and politics. Openness to new technologies, business models and forms of employment is central to this.