Industry is being transformed by Big Data, Digitalisation, the Internet of Things, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Nanotechnology and virtual reality. While information and communications technologies have made profound changes to society (social networks, instant access to information, the increase in processing speeds, Online shopping and many other aspects), the application of these new tools to industry will open the door to what everyone now regards as the “fourth industrial revolution”. The first was the use of steam power in machinery, the second was electricity and the third was automation. The rise of industry 4.0 and its links to digitalisation and robotics will mean the emergence of a whole new way of producing, working and consuming.

Chemistry and technology

Fira de Barcelona, an institution which has always kept a keen eye on innovative transformation, has aimed to bring major areas of industry together in the same space and at the same time under the banner of its Barcelona Industry Week, which this year focuses on the chemical and new technologies sectors.

There are eight major events taking place in the 68,000 square metres of the Gran Via site: Expoquimia (a reference for applied chemistry in Southern Europe), Equiplast (specialized in plastics and rubber), Eurosurfas (surface treatments), World Chemical Summit (a forum created by Fira to debate the role of chemistry in solving the great challenges facing the planet) the World Chemical Engineering Congress and two more events directly related to new technologies: Internet of Things (also known and the Industrial Internet) and In(3D)ustry, dedicated to additive manufacturing.

Accepting transformation

Our forecasts suggest that a thousand companies from a range of different industrial and financial sectors (chemicals, plastics, energy, ICT, automobiles, aeronautics, food, health, sales and infrastructures…) will be exhibiting to more than 50,000 visitors, and around a thousand speakers will take part in debates, work sessions and round tables. The director of Fira’s own projects, Salvador Tasqué, says that “Barcelona Industry Week is our response to the idea of showing how the potential of the applied chemistry industry and the increasing presence of industry 4.0 can contribute to the transformation of vital industrial processes”.

He also underlines that “Our companies, our industrial network must be prepared to accept the transformation of industrial processes and take advantage of the opportunity that it represents for society in the form of new materials, new technologies, new methods of transformation and new results.

A strong bid by Fira

Industry Week is part of a strategy by Fira to act as a motor for the national economy, encouraging innovation and supporting companies in their technological transformation, and acting as a forum for the new reality of industry and the opportunities it brings with it.

It should be remembered that Barcelona Industry Week adds to
the experience Fira has in new areas that combine a demand for sustainability, technology and innovation. Smart Cities (Smart City Expo World Congress), smart cars (Automobile Barcelona),
advanced architecture (Barcelona Building Construmat), the
reuse of resources (Circular Economy European Summit) or the mobile ecosystem (Mobile World Congress).

R.P.