A new report from the Norwegian Board of Technology highlights considerable opportunities provided by advanced production technology, such as modern industrial robots, 3D-printers and increasing digitalization of production processes.
– However, a new spring for Norwegian industrial production requires governmental initiative, as well as rapid adoption among manufacturing companies, Tore Tennøe says, Director of the Norwegian Board of Technology.
Made in Norway? How Robots, 3D-printers and Digitalisation Bring New Opportunities for Norwegian Industry
Technology made for Norway
– The industrial production of the future fits Norwegian conditions perfectly, with its high production costs and highly educated population, Tennøe says.
With high-tech products and manufacturing processes, Tennøe says, wages are a lesser share of the total production costs. This will improve our competitiveness and make Norwegian production more competitive.
New technology provides a new and more flexible, user-specific production, as well as new kinds of businesses and business models. It may also make small high-tech businesses global leaders in their field.
Norway Needs a Strategy
The report from the Norwegian Board of Technology shows that Norwegian authorities can learn from countries such as the USA, the UK, Germany and Denmark. In these countries, industrial policy is high on the national political agenda. The government seems to be paying closer attention to the technological developments that can push industrial production forward.
Jon Fixdal, project-manager at the Norwegian Board of Technology, says that even if a set of isolated industry-related initiatives have been enacted, Norway still lacks an overall strategy for how the Norwegian government, industry and higher education institutions should adapt to these technological developments.
Even if the political awareness and the number of modern industrial robots in Norway are lower than in other similar countries, we do have some advanced manufacturers.
The Norwegian Board of Technology recommends that the Norwegian government should prioritize research on advanced industrial technology – as well as exploring both the opportunities and the obstacles towards wider use. Encouraging increased cooperation between research institutions, the industry and the government, is also vital.
The Norwegian government should look to the Obama Administration, which has established an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to strengthen the cooperation between the industry, universities and government, and created an advanced research center for 3D-printing. Similar centers in the offing will research other aspects of advanced manufacturing.
The new technologies will change the traditional industrial workplaces radically. A boost of digital competence for both workers and students will be crucial.