Collaborative innovation highlights China’s industrial internet development

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By Gu Yekai, People’s Daily

The 2022 Global Industrial Internet Conference and Industrial Digital Transformation Annual Meeting was recently held in Wuzhen township, Tongxiang, east China’s Zhejiang province.

The conference, focusing on the digitalization of industrial enterprises, invited a number of experts and scholars to discuss the new trends and paths in the development of the industrial internet.

Industrial internet is the application of internet and other new information technologies in the sphere of industries. It is fundamental for building digital industries.

According to statistics, the industrial internet has seeped into 45 major categories of the national economy, and the scale of the industrial internet industry has exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($144.9 billion).

So far, China has kicked off more than 3,100 “5G + Industrial Internet” projects. There are more than 150 featured platforms with certain industry and regional influence. Among them, key platforms have over 79 million 5G-connected devices and over 280,000 industrial apps.

In recent years, China’s industrial internet has completed the building of network, platform and security systems, and ranks among the best in the world in terms of systematic development. It has achieved important progress in supporting the digitalization of the real economy and driving industrial integration.

Industrial internet is a basic path and method for the digitalization of industrial enterprises. At present, industrial enterprises are going through digitalization in such forms as digital designing, big data-based market segmentation, individualized customization, intelligent precise manufacturing, networked synergetic operation, informationized operation and management, as well as manufacturing service extension.

Today, China’s economic and social development is becoming more digital and entering a new phase featuring digital production. Digital twin, cyber-physical systems, low-code and other new technologies are widely applied in the industrial internet, which is driving the higher-quality collaborative innovation of the industrial internet in wider aspects and at deeper levels.

Industrial internet, apart from tackling the issues in sensing, needs to be capable of controlling physical objects, which requires further development of cyber-physical systems.

A cyber-physical system is a complicated system that combines comprehensive computing, network and physical environment. It is able to sense and control large engineering systems in real time, playing an important role in the industrial internet.

Experts said that a cyber-physical system is a controlling system. It is not just simply connecting devices, but creating a number of devices that are able to compute, communicate, control and synergize. The development and popularization of cyber-physical systems will further promote the upgrading of industrial products and technologies.

After going through digitalization, many major enterprises transformed into platforms, and to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises with intelligentization.

Xiong Meng, member of the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, told People’s Daily that the innovative application of industrial internet has been expanded to more enterprises on industrial chains from leading players, and a new development pattern is taking shape where enterprises of all sizes are innovating in a collaborative manner.

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