Production has traditionally been an engine for growth, prosperity, and innovation in economies around the world. Many advanced economies today accelerated their growth and development through early industrialization. Newly industrialized countries followed similar paths in more recent decades, achieving unprecedented growth and development through industrialization and export-led growth. However, traditional industrial development models that have worked in the past are now being challenged as viable growth models for the future. Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, wearables, robotics and additive manufacturing, are spurring new production techniques and business models that will fundamentally transform global production systems. Identifying the capabilities, factors, and institutions needed to benefit from these technological changes and facilitate structural transformations will be critical for countries to compete in the future. Furthermore, unprecedented possibilities for leapfrogging may emerge as we transition toward a new technological paradigm. While many countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, China and India have launched new industrial strategies to capitalize on the opportunities wrought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is an urgent need for strengthened trust, alignment and cooperation between the public and the private sector, both at national and international level.
The Country Readiness project has launched a new diagnostic tool, benchmarking framework, and dataset to build awareness on the key levers and factors required to transform production systems, help decision-makers assess the extent to which their country is “ready” and positioned to shape and benefit from the changing nature of production, catalyse public-private sector dialogue, and inform the development of joint actions and modern industrial strategies. In 2018, the project will release additional tools, including a transition framework to help governments design new strategies in collaboration with the private sector, civil society, and academia. Country engagement activities, such as multi-stakeholder workshops, national deep dives, and regional collaboration efforts, are underway to catalyse multi-stakeholder dialogue and action to transition to future realities.
The goal of this project is to develop a tool for identifying and monitoring capabilities required for future production, and building multistakeholder agendas for change that will then be possible to track with the tool. A first stage requires formulating a new framework that captures the most recent insights from development theory, modern industrial organization, and the recent literature on modern industrial policy, or productive development policies. A second stage will involve the data collection, calculation, and testing of a scorecard capturing the insights from the framework and gradually increasing coverage as new indicators become available. The construction of this new benchmarking tool will help create a new data set to understand technological diffusion and the patterns of transformation of production systems as well as to point out the need for new indicators and new statistics to capture the capabilities required for production in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.