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The world is on the threshold of another, fourth industrial revolution (“Industry 4.0”) which will lead to full automation of most production processes and, as a result, to higher labour efficiency, economic growth and competitiveness of its tigers. For Russia, “Industry 4.0” is a chance to change its role in the global economic environment, but the Russian economy is not fully utilising its potential.
The concept of “Industry 4.0” was presented in 2011 by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
The World Bank and General Electric Company estimate that “Industry 4.0” may bring up to USD 30 trillion into the global economy.
The transition to “Industry 4.0” will result in fundamental changes in the employment structure – hundreds of thousands of workers may lose their jobs, and the countries undergoing the fourth industrial revolution will have to employ them elsewhere in order to avoid social upheavals.
The fourth industrial revolution will reshuffle the nations in the global competitive hierarchy. This is an opportunity for Russia.
The global market of “Industry 4.0” compliant services is currently estimated at ca. USD 773 billion, but the Russian share stands at a measly 0.28% so far.
In 2017, the Russian Government approved the first roadmap to develop the National Technology Initiative – Advanced Industrial Technologies (TechNet).
At its early stages, the roadmap will cover at least eight industries. Some projects are already underway, e.g. Volgobus unmanned commercial vehicles in the auto industry or the Arctic Project 22220, world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker, in the shipbuilding industry. Financial support for high-potential projects will be extended by Vnesheconombank.