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Horizon 2020-Funded EPIC Project Releases Policy Recommendations for Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things Solutions for Europe and New Zealand

Policy brief provides guidance for EU and New Zealand-based policymakers who face similar challenges in I4.0 and IoT implementation.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy
Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

The Horizon 2020-funded EPIC project has released its seventh – and final – in a series of policy briefs providing policymakers in the European Commission (EC), as well as in the project partner countries of Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, with an update on the state-of-play of ICT cooperation as relates to the EC’s actions. This publication, entitled ‘Connecting Things and Industries Around the World: EU-New Zealand Industry 4.0 and IoT Solutions’, has been drafted to inform both EU and New Zealand-based policy stakeholders in the field of digital technologies. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) bring together digital technologies to enhance the performance, output, monitoring and control of processes. It extends the idea of the internet as a computer network to all sorts of physical devices and objects. The EU and New Zealand face many similar challenges in I4.0 and IoT. Developing ecosystems that can drive innovation based on IoT solutions or I4.0 remains a key mission for policymakers. A central task is to ensure that small- and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from and deploy IoT and I4.0 solutions. Another job is to ensure trust in these solutions based on secure systems respecting privacy and other ethical principles. Both regions have already put initiatives in place to foster IoT and I4.0 innovation. Europe has developed successful showcases of I4.0 and developed key legislation relevant for IoT. New Zealand is an excellent test environment for its vast geographical area and business-minded entrepreneurs. The brief delves into the topic by first introducing the concepts of IoT and I4.0 and highlighting their importance. It then describes similar challenges in both realms faced by the EU and New Zealand as well as initiatives to develop and deploy IoT and I4.0. Finally, a series of recommendations about how the EU and New Zealand can improve the collaboration potential in the area of IoT and I4.0 solutions are put forward. The full document has been made publicly available and can be accessed at While the policy briefs are prepared as part of the EPIC project, the views expressed therein are solely those of the authors and not of the EC or its services. “We see initial evidence that firms who capture and bring together data across the business, make better use of their workforce and production assets. Using the data for live monitoring, visualising and controlling of production resources in real-time ultimately improves product performance and customer service, while informing future design and creating new revenue models. However, for the majority of businesses, this isn’t easy and often requires deep thinking. Both the EU and New Zealand can build on excellent researchers and policy initiatives, bringing in their complementary strengths to jointly develop the fields of IoT and I4.0.” Robert Blache, the Future Insights Manager for Advanced Manufacturing at Callaghan Innovation - New Zealand’s innovation agency. In addition to providing future oriented recommendations for policymakers, the EPIC policy brief series will provide insights into the main challenges and previous successes in the selected topic areas based on input from the EPIC consortium members, interviews with researchers and previous results and findings. Target audiences include research policy advisers and research counselors in Brussels, R&D policymakers in the corresponding ministries and departments in the partner countries, top researchers and research managers from leading research organizations, and ICT industry associations. EPIC is aimed at improving cooperation in the area of information and communication technologies between Europe and the three partner countries Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (ICT) under Grant Agreement No. 687794. Visit to learn more about EPIC.


Digital Economy, ICT, New Zealand, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, IoT

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