Record Number of Attendees at the 2018 World Manufacturing Forum

IMS International and partners Politecnico di Milano and Confindustria Lombardia held the seventh edition of the World Manufacturing Forum on September 27th and 28th at the Villa Erba in Cernobbio, Italy.   

The international event on manufacturing produced record numbers with thirty international speakers and 900 participants from over 40 countries

This year’s record turnout coincides with the newly formed World Manufacturing Foundation from partners Intelligent Manufacturing System, Confindustria Lombardia, and Politecnico di Milano. The new foundation’s success is indicative of the global outreach achieved by the World Manufacturing Forum.  

IMS Chair, Jack Harris, opened the forum and emphasized the importance of the origins of the forum and how this new organization can help to foster new and productive dialogues on the future of manufacturing.   

The President of the World Manufacturing Foundation, Alberto Ribolla

The President of the World Manufacturing Foundation, Alberto Ribolla, spoke at the opening of the WMF and communicated the foundation’s vision and mission along with three strategic activities. He presented the new initiatives including the production of the WMF Report, the annual organisation of the WMF, and the organisation of regional events.

He noted that “The WMF has found a permanent home in Cernobbio, because of the age-old manufacturing vocation of Italy and in particular of Lombardy, one of the four engines of Europe.” 

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The President of the World Manufacturing Foundation
Thanking the founding partners of the World Manufacturing

Thanking the founding partners of the World Manufacturing Foundation

Thanking the founding partners of the World Manufacturing Foundation, along with numerous supporters, Ribolla recalled that, “Manufacturing gives people social and economic well-being, and for this reason it represents the best investment in terms of resources, ideas and synergies. 

These efforts can ensure a sustainable and equitable future for the population, which is why it is necessary to generate and disseminate business culture on a global level. This is one of the main aims of the World Manufacturing Foundation”. Ribolla concluded by thanking the Lombardy Region, strategic partners, and the European Commission for the continued support they have guaranteed the foundation. 

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Presenting the report at the opening of the forum

WMF Scientific Chairman, Marco Taisch, presented the report at the opening of the forum. He highlighted that the report defines manufacturing as an architect for social prosperity that can help countries develop other important sectors of their economy and create positive economic growth.  

He added that while manufacturing plays a vital role in the global community, there are many future challenges to be addressed.

These include the changes in societal megatrends, the need for specific skills, the digitisation of entire supply chains, the need to create new urban manufacturing eco-systems, the hyper-personalisation of manufacturing, demographic and climate changes, and many others.

The 2018 WMF Report proposed the following recommendations to address these issues:   

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  • Cultivate a positive perception of manufacturing.
  • Promote education and skills development for societal well-being.
  • Develop effective policies to support global business initiatives.
  • Strengthen and expand infrastructures to enable future-oriented manufacturing.
  • Encourage eco-systems for manufacturing innovation in the world-wide.
  • Create attractive workplaces for all.
  • Design and produce socially-oriented products.
  • Assist SMEs with digital transformation.
  • Explore the real value of data-driven cognitive manufacturing.
  • Promote resource efficiency and country-specific environmental policies.