Introduction of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, focuses on the seamless integration of cyber technologies and physical systems for the purpose of increasing automation and efficiency, by the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Advanced Manufacturing (AM). Such cyber-physical integration aims to connect all parties throughout the entire value chain. It is argued that cyber-based manufacturing will lead to a revolutionary change in industry, enhance productivity dramatically and create massive new business opportunities. This point is particularly depicted in the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report which led to the formation of the “Advanced Manufacturing Partnership” (AMP) initiative.  Universities in Canada are taking aim in this area by establishing high profile Research Centers and laboratories. We believe that it is strategically important for Western to mobilize a critical mass of researchers and laboratories to address the challenges of the emerging field.


R&D Directions

The members of the proposed Network have identified four major thematic areas with corresponding topics as follows:


Advanced Manufacturing and Materials

Additive Manufacturing

Materials and Nano-materials

Battery Technology

Robotics (structural)


Development of Systems and Software

 Embedded Systems

Internet of Things (IoT)

Software Systems and Services

Cloud Computing

Cyber-security and Resilience


Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure and Communications

Sensors and Devices

Robotics (software/control)

Embedded Systems Networks

Communication Systems and Protocols


Business, Analytics, Mathematical Modeling, and Statistical Analysis

Streaming Data Analytics

Machine Learning

Operations Research

Near-Real Time Predictive Modeling, Planning, Scheduling

Risk Mitigation and Operations Management