People and skills will be the heart of the fourth industrial revolution

Innopharma Education recently hosted renowned business strategist and originator of Industry 4.0, Henrik Von-Scheel.

Delivering a keynote speech on his first visit to Dublin, Von-Scheel took part in discussions centered around how Ireland’s hi-tech manufacturing industries (biopharma, medtech and food) will need to start preparing their strategies now to ensure they are best placed to gain a competitive advantage from the opportunities which Industry 4.0 will present to businesses.

Von-Scheel’s keynote presentation outlined the various ways that Industry 4.0 will change ‘everything’ about the world we live in – industry, energy, transport and communications.

People are a summary of competencies – and competencies are dependent on investing in skills. People are the means by which businesses adapt to the changes represented by Industry 4.0.

- HV Scheel

Quantum technology, nanotechnology and bioinformatics

Driven by new technologies such as quantum technology, nanotechnology and bioinformatics; climate change and changing customer expectations, the coming decades will see rates of change and disruption ‘not previously seen in our civilisation’.

Innopharma Education wanted to bring together the biopharma business community, education leaders and government stakeholders to address the future skills needs of the industry as we enter a new decade, and look ahead to how exponential changes in technology and society will change how we live.

What is clear from the day’s discussions is that the need for ongoing learning and upskilling throughout careers is going to be critical.

Opening the day’s event with a speech on government investment in upskilling and lifelong learning, Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor outlined how the government is committed to increasing its funding for lifelong learning through programmes like Springboard.

Key learnings from a day of focus on Industry 4.0:

  1. While the fourth industrial revolution will be driven by new technologies, it will be centered around people and their ability to change and adapt.
  2. There has never been a better time for Ireland’s hi-tech manufacturing industry to embrace new ways of working, processes and innovation, increasing competitive advantage.
  3. For individuals, the need to always be learning and keeping skills relevant will not decrease, in-fact it will increase. However, learning and education models will need to change to suit people working full time.
  4. Ireland’s pharma, medtech and food industries will continue to dominate investment in our manufacturing sector, and as such are great places for engineers and scientists for focus for career development.

To view the talks from our Pharma 4.0 event, visit and to know more about digital transformation, check out our industry guide.

Interested in an industry 4.0. certification? Check out Advanced manufacturing strategy diploma. 

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