Western's Network for Industry 4.0 in Canada

Participating Faculties: Faculty of Engineering (host), Faculty of Science, Richard Ivey School of Business

Project Leaders: Jun Yang, Kostas Kontogiannis, Frank Henning

Total Project Funding:  $540,000

Funding Period: 3 years


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 this emerging field.

Through the support of an IDI project, we propose the formation of the Western’s Network for Industry 4.0 (WNI 4.0) which aims to achieve three objectives:

  1. a) Establish interdisciplinary research projects among the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Ivey Business School. The collaboration will take the form of i) student co-supervision; ii) enhancement of course materials, capstone projects, and joint fourth year projects and; iii) compilation of academia-industry projects with groups in Canada and abroad.
  2. b) Compilation of a comprehensive Body of Knowledge for Industry 4.0 curricula for the purpose of designing a professional Master’s program covering areas of additive manufacturing, robotics, ICT, materials, finance, management, and operations research.
  3. c) Initiation of international workshop series related to Industry 4.0 as well as students and scholars exchanges. The support from the IDI program will greatly assist Western researchers to take the technologies in this upcoming fourth industrial revolution.