Hannover Messe is coming back this week, from May 30 to June 2, 2022, on site or digital. Prior to the show, we asked a few questions to Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe AG about what to expect from this new edition.
What will be the main focus this year after two years of pandemic and a new war in Europe?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: Two years of pandemic and the war in Ukraine are straining a world economy geared for growth. With our lead theme at HANNOVER MESSE, Industrial Transformation, we focus on two very important issues in industry: digitalization and sustainability. Exhibitors will show how networked production plants can work more efficiently and spare resources as well as how to generate and transmit energy sustainably. More than 600 speakers at seven stages will address these issues and many others.
How do you think industry and innovation will be impacted by the war in Ukraine and how industrial transformation can help face the situation?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: The war in Ukraine has further underscored the critical importance of energy and supply chain security. HANNOVER MESSE brings together the decision-makers who influence and steer economic, political and technological strategies. Many of the keynotes and podium discussions examine such topics as improving climate protection with electrification and digitalization, how to turn production from a liability to an asset, and the game-changing roles of lightweight construction and hydrogen.
For many years, Hannover Messe has been promoting industry 4.0 as a way to optimize industrial processes. Today we are living a terrible war in Europe, we are not done with COVID. How can industry 4.0 technology help our industries face the international situation?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: COVID had already exposed weaknesses in global supply chains and triggered materials shortages. The war in Ukraine marks a turning point in global economic and energy policy.
Industrie 4.0 enables networked factories that produce without waste, networked energy systems that reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and new approaches to securing global value chains.
What kind of technologies showcased during the fair could be mobilized?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: Facing such challenges requires massive investments in digitalization, renewable energies and green hydrogen. Companies at HANNOVER MESSE offer a range of solutions to challenges like these, including automation, artificial intelligence, lightweight materials, energy efficiency, IT security, e-mobility, and supply chain management.
What about nearshoring or reshoring? Is that a theme this year considering the international situation?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: No, that is not a theme this year.
Will there be any Ukrainian exhibitors?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: We currently have one company from Ukraine registered to exhibit.
Will there be any event in support of the Ukrainians during the fair?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: During the fair, there are no special events for Ukraine. However, in the months leading up to the fair we hosted refugees from Ukraine in several of our exhibit halls.
What about climate change and decarbonization: how will this be highlighted during the fair?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: Europe wants to reach climate neutrality by the middle of the century. More and more companies are setting ambitious climate goals, which means they have to rethink their manufacturing processes and services completely. This is where automation and digitalization come into play.
For example, Microsoft will demonstrate how to test new and sustainable manufacturing procedures.
SAP will present AI-based software that supports waste prevention and emissions management.
Bosch will show how intelligent energy management and networked manufacturing equipment can advance battery production.
Will Hannover Messe features more industrial players involved in renewables and eco-manufacturing?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: Renewables, circular economy and hydrogen are key topics at HANNOVER MESSE. For example, the Fraunhofer Institute will show a H2 reference factory with new technologies for producing hydrogen economically. Iberdrola will present Europe’s biggest hydrogen production plant for industrial purposes. In fact, we host Europe’s largest platform for hydrogen and fuel cells with 250 exhibiting companies.
Portugal is the partner country this year: how is Portugal involved in industry 4.0? What are its major industrial assets and how can it benefit its digital transformation?
Dr. Jochen Köckler: Under the motto “Portugal Makes Sense”, companies from Portugal will display products and solutions for digital transformation, energy transition and reliable supply chains.
For example, in the Digital Ecosystems area, Portugal has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystems in Europe as well as one of the most open policies to international investment.
Portugal is a hub of high-tech and innovation in areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.
Partner Country Portugal is a great opportunity for the world to meet 120 companies from Portugal and learn why it makes sense to source from, outsource to, innovate with, and invest in Portugal.