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Tag: Ask the Experts

Dr. Frank Elter, chief scientist at Telenor Research (and an associate professor at NHH – Norwegian School of Economics), discusses how to ensure that value creation is part of your next partnership deal.

“Partnership is essentially all about ‘exploring and exploiting,'” Elter said. “Exploring is the more difficult of the two, as the outcome is something unknown and can be difficult to describe. But today, we’re clearly seeing a shift, as more partnerships are being formed in the “explore” category to innovate and create growth.”

Abdullah Jarwan, CEO of the joint venture CNTXT, knows that digitalizing an entire country is a job that’s too big for a single company to handle.

“Partnerships will be essential to this journey and a key way to succeed in this rapidly advancing environment,” Jarwan said. “Further advancing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not something that can be done overnight, and it’s not something that can be done alone. It will take good partners who are committed over time to continue to bring our Vision 2030 to life.”

When two corporate entities come together, both successful in their own rights, the expectations for the partnership loom large. The truth, according to long-time corporate partnership executive Petter Lee-Johannessen, is that it doesn’t always work out as planned.

“It’s important to acknowledge that not all the partnerships you see announced in the media are successful in the end,” Lee-Johannessen said. “And it’s even more important to understand why. When you combine the challenge of making products and services with the added complexity of doing that with someone else, you come up against all kinds of roadblocks.”

There’s no getting around the global supply chain issues facing the manufacturing industry. It’s time to think locally, argues Eliano Russo, who leads Enel Green Power’s 3Sun Gigafactory, one of the largest photovoltaic production plants in Europe.

“The opportunities for local suppliers are immense, especially as we move toward a more regional and less global supply chain,” Russo said.

Read Russo’s full thoughts on how digitalization adds value to manufacturing, and how the industry will change over the next decade.

The manufacturing industry is currently using digital twins to monitor the present. Now’s the time to make them predict the future, says Thomas Lacroix, chief technology officer at Cosmo Tech.

“To overcome the challenges and tap into the opportunities, manufacturers will need to know not only how the organization is performing, but also how it will perform in the future—especially in situations that have never before been experienced,” Lacroix said.

Read Lacroix’s thoughts about how continuous efficiency improvements will drive the manufacturing industry toward a more dynamic, efficient future.

Costs are going up, supply chains are facing major disruptions, and experienced workers are leaving the manufacturing industry. Yet Microsoft’s Patrik Sjöstedt, who leads Microsoft’s business for Manufacturing & Supply Chain Industry Solutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, sees a silver lining:

“There are many tactics to address these challenges,” Sjöstedt said. “Classic cost reduction and lean manufacturing initiatives can help improve efficiencies and quality while reducing waste.”

Read Sjöstedt’s thoughts on how manufacturing companies can use data from more and more connected devices to build a “digital backbone” to support their digitalizations efforts.

Telenor’s Øystein Berg, Chief Security Architect for the telco’s Norwegian operations, talks to Ignite about the most common threats to industrial assets and what can be done to mitigate them.

Are industrial assets often a target for cyberattacks?

Øystein: Industrial systems are very much a target for cyberattacks, and given today’s security situation, these attacks can come daily and hit society hard. And many of the industrial assets under attack are important control systems that we depend on, such as access to petrol, food, heat, and electricity. These types of resources are often targeted because the gains can be substantial in terms of industrial espionage, geopolitical events, military strategy, or financial conditions.

Hydrogen will play an important role in the energy transition. According to Goldman Sachs, hydrogen generation can become a $1 trillion market.

As many companies ramp up their investments in hydrogen, it’s time to debunk a few myths about the clean fuel.

We asked Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel Hydrogen, to answer three rapid-fire questions in less than 100 words.

How does hydrogen work, how it is sustainable, and why should(n’t) it be compared to nuclear?

Jon André Løkke: Hydrogen has multiple modes of application: a storage device, handling intermittencies, decarbonizing heavy industry and chemical processes, and transportation. It’s the ultimate energy carrier! And when produced via electrolysis utilizing renewable energy sources, it’s a key part of a sustainable future.

Nuclear, on the other hand, is an energy source—not a carrier—so its uses are limited. But this power source can be turned into hydrogen, hence, hydrogen can make nuclear relevant in a range of new areas.

John Markus Lervik, CEO and co-founder of Cognite, reflects on this month’s big event that wasn’t:

For the second year in a row, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, was canceled.

You may be thinking “Good riddance!” Sure—it’s easy to joke about Davos and how it’s nothing but VIPs jetting into a resort town, spouting their supposed wisdom about the future, and taking off.

If you’re not a world leader or the head of a Fortune 100 company, however, I’d argue there’s a lot you can get out of a trip to Davos. The opportunities for interesting conversations are endless. (Besides, who wouldn’t welcome a chance to reconnect with people you might not have seen since before the pandemic?)

There are still plenty of virtual sessions on the agenda, but as we’ve learned over the past two years, going all-virtual isn’t a perfect replacement for the real thing. You can’t save the world on Zoom.

Let’s conduct a thought experiment. If Davos were still happening this week, here are the headlines I’d hope to see emerge from the Alpine town:

The man who told you about the industrial metaverse, Stein Danielsen, Cognite’s Chief Solutions Officer, is back, and this time he’s talking about the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The annual Vegas-based gadget extravaganza that is CES took place in the early days of 2022, with a mostly stay-at-home audience thanks to Omicron. But that didn’t stop the consumer electronics giants of the world from rolling out the latest and greatest in slimmer, curvier or even color-changing contraptions to wow their viewers.

Stein follows the event closely each year, so we thought we’d pick his brain on what the industrial world can learn from the big reveals at CES.

Does CES tell us anything about the future of industry?

SD: I definitely see a crossover into industry. The consumer industry is a few years ahead of industry on many fronts. In previous years it has been about handheld devices and wireless sensors. This year, I feel it was very much about robotics.

Like what?

SD: CES had a record number of new robots and in so many shapes and sizes. The usage areas span from entertainment, to hospitality, to automatically disinfecting rooms and delivering goods. I think most or all of these are applicable to industry.

Did any of the featured robots stand out as having specific industrial potential?

SD: One example is the remote-controlled robot Beomni. Beomni could easily be a telepresence option for industrial sites. It features arms and very delicate hands that allow for operating equipment remotely. LG showed CLOi, a GuideBot and a ServeBot, both of which could easily work in industry. And Samsung revealed their home companion robots, the Samsung Bot I and the Samsung Bot Handy, along with an AI Avatar. These would be great industrial coworkers, enabling telepresence and remote access to sites.

So, how far have we really come with these robots? Are they industry-ready?

SD: From my point of view, the manual, remotely operated robots are really starting to show promise to do actual work right now. As for the autonomous robots, I think we’ve solved (on an academic level) two out of the three requirements. We’ve solved the spatial awareness and the learning loop, just like a human. But we still lack actual robot hardware that can move like a human. But we’re getting there, and it’s exciting to see that in many areas and tasks – we are there!