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Industrie 4.0 refers to a German national project being implemented through industry-government-academia collaboration, as well as to the concept of the project. The name connotes the "fourth industrial revolution." It is aimed at starting a revolution in the art of manufacturing by applying information technology to the manufacturing industries to maintain Germany's export competitiveness into the future. Characteristically, it strategically promotes standardization of technologies and formats to make it possible to export advanced production technologies themselves as well as to facilitate the production and export of high quality, high value-added products.
The word "Industrie 4.0" was first used in action plans for the "Hightech-Strategie 2020" which the German government announced in 2012. In the three year period since the announcement, initiatives to materialize a revolution in the art of manufacturing have been steadily taken, as priority research and development areas have been selected and various road maps have been prepared.