Industries, companies and institutions are challenged by intensive technology development where digitalization has a key role. Digitalization affects processes and value creation, and creates other technological advances to economic benefits. At the same time, continued global growth requires better resource utilization, increased productivity and re-use of both products ans material. Many believe that the demands placed on society are so radical that it is justified to speak of a new industrial revolution.

The development involves an industrial shift with growth and resource scarcity as driving forces and technology development as traction – we describe it in terms of a jump to the next S-curve. The transformation is critical and can affect the international competitiveness both negatively and positively. Efforts to make the transition as efficient as possible are therefore important and the subject of many strategic and national gatherings:

Industry 4.0 in Germany, Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition in the US, Smart Industry in the Netherlands, Made Different in Belgium, Made in Denmark and the EU’s EFFRA are some examples. China, France, Korea and England also make similar investments. In Sweden, similar initiatives have been established through the Strategic Innovation Program (SIP), which clearly focus on selected growth areas.

The critical issue for companies is the ability to adopt technology and create transformational processes that lift to the next S-curve so that productivity and competitiveness increase. This requires that technical development is matched with organizational development, competence, processes, logistics and business models. And that requires good knowledge of the changes in the world.

As a basis for further activities in the Strategic Innovation Program Process Industrial IT and Automation (PiiA) and on a broader level in the idea we call Future Smart Industry, we have therefore studied how markets can be affected by population development and prosperity. How the resource situation calls for action and what strategies may be required. How technology development is so rapid and comprehensive that more and more talk about a new industrial revolution. The result of the study is about twenty articles.

This report summarizes selected parts of that article series. The ambition is to provide an easily accessible overview of the driving forces that are rapidly and forcefully affecting global business. We also touch on the industry’s perception of success factors that are necessary to understand in order to renew industrial value creation.