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Academy : National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
Publication : All

Autonomous Systems – Opportunities and risks for business, science and society (Short Version)

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

no English short version available.

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Industrie 4.0 Maturity Index – Managing the Digital Transformation of Companies

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

Digitally connected industrial production promises faster and more efficient processes – in development and production, services, marketing & sales and for adapting entire business models. Agility and the ability to make changes in real-time are key strategic characteristics of successful companies in Industrie 4.0. To acquire these features, it is necessary to create a continuously expanding data base. However, a company’s organisational structure and culture also play an important part in determining whether this data’s potential is leveraged effectively. This acatech STUDY describes a new tool for helping manufacturing enterprises to forge their own individual path towards becoming a learning, agile company. The acatech Industrie 4.0 Maturity Index is a six-stage maturity model that analyses the capabilities in the areas of resources, information systems, culture and organisational structure that are required by companies operating in a digitalised industrial environment. The attainment of each development stage promises concrete additional benefits for manufacturing companies. The model’s practical application was validated in a medium-sized company.

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Innovation Potential of Biotechnology

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

no English short version available

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On Designing Communication between the Scientific Community, the Public and the Media. Recommendations in light of current developments

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

Science and journalism are among the essential pillars of a democratic society. Despite their necessary mutual independence and their often divergent purposes, both freedoms also fulfil similar functions. They supply policy-makers and society with a diverse array of information that is as reliable as possible, reinforcing the education and knowledge of the population and stimulating democratic discourse. They should also provide a basis for reasoned political, economic and technological decisions.
The academies responsible for this position paper believe that the appropriate exercise of this function is being impaired by a series of developments in the scientific and media systems. For example, the economic conditions in both the media and the scientific community have noticeably changed in recent years.
The academies are concerned about the aforementioned development and consider it necessary that the scientific community and the media itself, as well as political decision-makers and society, take a more active role in ensuring the future quality of generally accessible information, including scientific knowledge and its representation in the media.
The recommendations expressed in the present policy paper aim to provide food for thought for decision-making authorities and in this way to counter the undesirable developments that have been observed.

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Academies call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

The Ebola virus is spreading rapidly and to an unexpected extent. The outbreak does not follow the patterns experienced in the past and the virus shows a new disease dynamic in regions, where it has never been recorded before. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – the German Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities call for the following consequences to be taken: To combat the Ebola epidemic vaccines and antivirals are urgently needed. To meet this need, the further development of experimental vaccines and medicines for clinical application needs to be accelerated. Even if the pathogen should temporarily disappear again, research must continue as a precautionary measure because another outbreak is highly probable. Such precautionary measures must also include ensuring that sufficient quantities of available vaccines and antivirals are stockpiled in case of a new outbreak. Increasing medical and social science research in this area is also vitally important for future preparedness.

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Medical care for older people – what evidence do we need?

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

In Germany today, reaching a very old age is no longer an exception. About 4.5 million people (5.4 percent of the population) are 80 years of age and older, and their numbers continue to grow. In recent decades, the over 85-year-olds have been the group with the fastest and greatest gain in life span and many positive developments for this growing population group have been recorded. The increasing life expectancy and the improved health of older people over a longer period are also attributable to therapeutic and preventive measures, in addition to other factors. Sick old people, however, may possibly have entirely different medical needs than younger people; this is not sufficiently reflected in the German healthcare system.
The high standard in medicine, not only in relation to medical care, but also in research of diseases and the development of therapies, focuses typically on middle-aged patients with a single disease. Accordingly, knowledge gained from the treatment of middle-aged people is frequently also applied for older patients – although they differ both physically and mentally from younger people in terms of their medical care priorities and personal circumstances. This does not comply with good scientific practice, and often leads not only to inappropriate care, but may occasionally also actually endanger the concerned patients.
Older people, who frequently suffer from multiple chronic disorders, take many medications at the same time, each of which focuses on one individual ailment. This polypharmaceutical treatment does not at times correspond to the health targets of older patients and may even pose a considerable health risk. There is a lack of external evidence on how to improve treatment for multimorbid older and very old people. There is also a lack of guidelines that indicate the current knowledge gaps and risks. At the same time, important medications are often not offered. Therefore, research to provide specific scientific evidence specifically for older people is absolutely essential. New treatment objectives come to the fore and determine the indication for pharmacotherapeutic, surgical and other interventions: In younger patients cure, restoration of working ability or long-term prognoses determine the course of action. In older patients, these priorities are often replaced by independence, quality of life despite complaints, and the relief of symptoms.
The pressure for a quick and effective change to the healthcare situation of older people is growing continuously in line with the rapid demographic change. Physicians, therapists and carers alike must adjust to old and very old people in their daily work – particularly in hospital care. This also applies to basic, advanced and continuing staff training and the cooperation with other health care providers. At all points in the medical care chain, from the lack of scientific evidence to the implementation in practical care, the focus must be on older people and their specific needs.

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Incorporating the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach – New options for a common energy and climate policy

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2017

The working hypothesis underlying the academies’ position paper is that climate protection is the main objective in the efforts leading to a transition of the energy system (“Energiewende”). The statement describes different options for an incorporation of the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach. It focuses on the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) as a key instrument for tackling climate change and facilitating European market integration. Furthermore, it describes how the EU ETS could be complemented by measures strengthening the European internal electricity market. Subsequently, the issued recommendations are reviewed regarding their legal feasibility and compliance with European law.

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Industry 4.0, Urban Development and German International Development Cooperation

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2016

Industry 4.0 has high potential to positively impact the economic development of cities in developing countries and emerging economies. It can help to promote a green urban economy and contribute to sustainable development. However, the success of its potential benefits is also dependent on the appropriate economic and urban framework conditions being in place.

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Industry 4.0 and Urban Development – The Case of India

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2015

Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing are topics of a high international relevance. They are currently intensively discussed both in the academic literature, and in practice within the framework of Industry 4.0 which refers to the so-called 4th industrial revolution. They depend to a high degree on the availability of adequate digital infrastructures and well-functioning logistics systems, and they have a number of repercussions on cities and regions.

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Industrie 4.0 in a Global Context – Strategies for Cooperating with International Partners

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2016

The transformation of the economy being brought about by Industrie 4.0 is leading to the emergence of highly flexible value networks. Businesses now need to network their production activities both in-house and with the systems of external partners. This in turn requires new forms of cooperation, both nationally and globally. Common norms and standards enabling interoperability between different systems are equally essential. This acatech STUDY analyses the opportunities and challenges for businesses of international cooperation and the current competition to establish norms and standards. It is based on interviews and discussions with more than 150 experts from Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, the US and the UK. Detailed country profiles describe the background situation and Industrie 4.0 status quo in the focus countries. Finally, the study makes a number of recommendations for German actors regarding cooperation with international partners.

Contributors: Wolfgang, Wahlster

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Skills for Industrie 4.0 – Training Requirements and Solutions (Short Version)

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2016

Industrie 4.0 is bringing lasting changes in the workplace. Technologies that connect things, data, and processes are placing new demands on employees and management, especially in industry. Workplace training for Industrie 4.0 is thus the key to the success of industrial enterprises. The implementation of the digital transformation possesses particular challenges for SMEs. At the same time, however, Industrie 4.0 is making new, digital continuing professional development formats available that allow training content to be precisely tailored to the knowledge and needs of staff and management. The constantly changing list of skills required for Industrie 4.0 must be regularly updated so that the relevant adjustments in the education system can be made. In the future, the focus will be on interdisciplinary thinking and acting, cross-functional process know-how, and IT skills involving both specialised and more general application knowledge. The goal should be to prevent a twofold digital divide between large and small industrial enterprises and between high-skilled and low-skilled workers. SMEs should receive special support to help them develop the skills needed for Industrie 4.0.

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