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The Next Production Revolution

Implications for Governments and Business

image of The Next Production Revolution

This publication examines the opportunities and challenges, for business and government, associated with technologies bringing about the “next production revolution”. These include a variety of digital technologies (e.g. the Internet of Things and advanced robotics), industrial biotechnology, 3D printing, new materials and nanotechnology. Some of these technologies are already used in production, while others will be available in the near future. All are developing rapidly. As these technologies transform the production and the distribution of goods and services, they will have far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, income distribution, well-being and the environment. The more that governments and firms understand how production could develop in the near future, the better placed they will be to address the risks and reap the benefits.

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The next production revolution: Key issues and policy proposals

This chapter contextualises the overall report and distils the main findings and policy ideas set out in the chapters on digital technologies, industrial biotechnology, nanotechnology, 3D printing and new materials. Also summarised and commented on are the main messages from the chapters addressing the following cross-cutting themes: institutions for technology diffusion, public acceptance and emerging production technologies, using foresight processes, emerging manufacturing research and development (R&D) priorities and policies, advanced manufacturing institutes in the United States, and how the next production revolution is unfolding in the People’s Republic of China. This introductory chapter also describes a number of additional policy considerations and provides a wider substantive background to the study, in particular by examining the following: the relationship between productivity and the technologies of the next production revolution; work, automation and new production technologies; policies for science and R&D; challenges for education and training; selected labour market developments; geography-specific policies; emerging challenges for intellectual property systems; the need for long-term policy thinking; and possible implications for global value chains. This chapter also points to themes which require further assessment.

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