The 4th Industrial and Societal Revolution deeply rooted in advances in Electronics, Communication, and Information Technology (ICT) has been heralded by numerous visionary initiatives sponsored and advanced by industry and governments alike, all over the industrialized world – to mention smart factories, smart grid, smart buildings, smart highways, smart transportation systems, urban automation, ... . The household names of the Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems provide conceptual and architectural frameworks as well as a technical infrastructure for those initiatives.
The functional and technical scope of those initiatives is broad. Various application domains intersect at the crossroads of the initiatives. Vision is necessary to carve the image of the initiatives. But insufficient for their realization. At the root of the success in implementing and deploying visions is technology. Technology is a tangible “realization” of solutions, which arise from innovative thinking.
The challenge laid for the broad automation of human activities and societies is vast, and requires visionary innovative thinking. Requires revolution in innovative thinking and the way we think of innovation. Nothing short of the 4th revolution in innovative thinking: innovation 4.0.