Industry 4.0: the canton of Fribourg demonstrates its ambition
FNF | 08.11.2022

Olivier Curty, President of the State Council and Minister of Economic Affairs and Vocational Training

“The potential is there and so is the competitive advantage. By making Industry 4.0 a pillar of our economic strategy, we want to capitalize on our strengths and invest in sectors where we have so much to offer.” Olivier Curty, President of the State Council and Minister of Economic Affairs and Vocational Training, took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of Industry 4.0 for the canton of Fribourg, praising the “new perspectives and new horizons” that it opens. This topic was the cornerstone of the event hosted on 1 September 2022 by the Fribourg Development Agency (FDA) at the Le Vivier Technology Park.

FDA Managing Director, Jerry Krattiger, was very positive as he reflected on the event: “With 3D printing, robots, machines with onboard AI, sensors, big data and even autonomous vehicles, Fribourg is an exceptional launchpad for Industry 4.0. The canton has an outstanding infrastructure, with a number of strongly-positioned innovation hubs in this sector – including Le Vivier.”

Revolution rising

Ms. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli, President of the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) and independent board member of several companies, focused on the three key components of Industry 4.0: connectivity, intelligence – the ability to extract data and manage them in real time – and automation or robotization. “Nowadays, everyone’s talking about the Internet of Things… and it’s Smart Everything! There’s plenty of hype and even if the disillusionment curve is still to come, I think it’s still early days in this fourth industrial revolution.”

Speaking through their representatives, several economic players discussed the latest Industry 4.0. trends, opportunities and their direct experiences.  “Offering tailored products at a reasonable price is one of the major promises of Industry 4.0, and it also affords greater production flexibility,” enthused Alain Codourey, CEO of Asyril SA. This sentiment was shared by Gilbert Gugler, Co-Director of the iPrint Institute at the Fribourg School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR): “Additive manufacturing enables you to produce unique items, so it clearly has a role to play. Especially as it greatly reduces waste and therefore enhances sustainability.”

Data security, a sensitive issue

Giuseppe Certo, IoT Project Manager at Sdataway, emphasized the need to retain control over data. Data storage locations and their security will certainly become particularly sensitive issues in the coming years. There were also calls for the canton to continue its efforts promoting training and nurturing innovation.

Drawing the event to a close, Jerry Krattiger lauded the dynamism of companies throughout Fribourg and how digital convergence was perfectly aligned with the canton’s industrial base and its many opportunities for collaboration between the key sectors. “Industry 4.0 offers seemingly unlimited possibilities and we are ready to explore them all!”