Journal article

How does Industry 4.0 affect the relationship between centre and periphery? The case of the manufacturing industry in Germany





Publication Details
Authors:
Greef, S.; Schroeder, W.
Publication year:
2021
Journal:
European Planning Studies
Pages range:
1656-1671
Volume number:
29
Issue number:
9
ISSN:
09654313
eISSN:
14695944
Languages:
English

Abstract

In Germany, the debate on economic challenges and strategic orientation is strongly focussed on the industrial sector as the backbone and anchor of the German economy. In relation to the digitalization of the manufacturing industry, the term Industry 4.0 is used. The concept focuses primarily on possibilities for optimizing processes of production and product innovation. It thus aims at incremental rather than disruptive developments. Incremental digital development that enables synergies between existing regional strengths and the potentials of Industry 4.0 bears the danger of increasing rather than reducing regional disparities. The expansion of Industry 4.0 can especially be found in strong industrial centres. Many implementation examples are located in the vicinity of university towns, in regions with high population density as well as high expenditure on research and development by large industrial companies. As a result, there are hardly any shifts between the existing industrial centres and the periphery with its weak industrial base. So far, Industry 4.0 seems to have contributed little to reducing existing regional disparities.



Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2021-20-10 at 13:44