We stand in the shadow of a changing world with the rise of the fourth industrial revolution. It is a change defined by the synergy of industries, and yet riding on a wave of disruption, where the technological, physical and biological converge and interact.
This is a revolution of disruption. Systems of working will be changed; the way we live and interact will adapt. And it is how government and private industry work together, which will ultimately dictate the direction of that change.
GE predicts that industrial data will make up 50% of global data by 2020. That data allows us to operate more efficiently, and in a more sustainable manner than industry ever has before. The knowledge we gain from those insights offer a huge benefit in private-public partnerships (PPP) across the globe.
Great PPP projects are not simply about knowledge, but about delivering tangible results. Often those successes can be found in the area of infrastructure.
In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the E38 SMART tunnel combines the needs expressed by government with the engineering expertise of a private company. This project not only helped deliver better transport links, but contributed towards a reduction in life threatening floods that had threatened KL.
In the fourth industrial revolution, infrastructure will be just as vital. Digital infrastructure, as much as the tangible physical connections, will be key.
PPP can help bridge that gap, both in the need for sustainable energy supplies and the development of physical connections which tie together an increasingly digital world.
In ASEAN the growth of an interconnected energy network can be seen as a huge benefit to regional security and cooperation. To date, ASEAN shares over 3,500 MW of electricity across its borders.
That’s power for homes and businesses. Plans for an ASEAN Broadband Corridor could reap similar benefits. The future is connected, and those nations and organisations which most quickly adapt to that change, are the ones which will most readily benefit.
It’s not all energy and infrastructure either. Imagine a car you can summon with the touch of a button. We call it Uber. Just recently the Saudi government investment division announced US$3.5 billion of confidence in this new model, showing an adapting private-public style partnership where the Saudi government now has the place on one of the world’s most exciting private companies, and Uber itself hopes to deliver a social benefit by expanding its services in a country with a significant gender discrepancy in access to transport.
Ultimately the greatest investment in this new age of industry will, as ever, be in the people. Government and private institutions must work together to ensure this education continues, from the grassroots right through the layers of industry. Industry and government must work together to provide this education.
Preceding revolutions have delivered huge benefits to society, improving quality of life and increasing global income levels. Ultimately this new revolution has the potential to do the same, with some predicting it will add US$15 trillion to global GDP by 2030.
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