The abrupt appearance of COVID-19 have induced transformative effects in all domains, including industry. The need of many operations becoming remote (work, education, entertainment, connecting with friends…) has shown that the technologies associated to the 4th Industrial Revolution offer tools to perform remotely many operations of the mentioned areas and maintain some “normality”. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, has expressed it: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
Similarly, McKinsey & Co. has analyzed this in a recent article (Jan 15th 2021): “COVID-19: An inflection point for Industry 4.0”. They have emphasized that the adoption of Industry 4.0 Technologies are a Matter of Survival for industries. Quoting a recent survey: “Analysis of a new McKinsey survey’s results suggests three outcomes: a win for companies that had already scaled digital technologies, a reality check for those that were still scaling, and a wake-up call for those that hadn’t started on their Industry 4.0 journeys.”
IE3 ERASMUS+ project, that was presented, selected and approved time in advance of the current world crises, auspiciously gives answer to the now-more-urgent need of combining organizational methodologies for the production of goods and services and new digital technologies in the implementation of the Industry 4.0 paradigm, being its main objective the design and test of innovative courses (both classes and e-learning modules) in Industrial Engineering and Management, creating new curricula for university students and industry workforce and eventually reducing the shortage of knowledgeable workers in the manufacturing sector.