Connolly’s appointment was celebrated at the residence in Berlin of Lynette Wood, the Australian Ambassador to Germany, during a welcome function for Australian business delegations attending the Hannover Messe trade fair currently being staged in Germany.
Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, presented the certificate to Connolly.
“This award recognises Jeff’s expertise in advanced manufacturing business and his many contributions to driving the Industry 4.0 strategy and industry transformation in Australia,” Professor Subic said.
“Swinburne is proud to be involved with both Jeff and Siemens as we continue to work together to create economic and social impact through positive industrial transformation.”
“Clearly this recognition is acknowledgement of the relevance in Australia of Germany’s holistic framework for dealing with the profound societal consequences of the fourth industrial revolution. I am proud to work for a responsible multinational company like Siemens, which - due to its global experience and unquestioned local reputation - is able to articulate the future of electrification, automation and digitalisation in a way that sets a direction for real progress in the country,” Connolly said.
“Successfully competing in the future world is all about urgent pursuit of global best practice in both what we do and how we do it. We must be interconnected and enabled by the right tools and the right skills.”
Wood said: “It is fitting to present the award here in Berlin amongst a large group of Australian businesses and stakeholders, because the first joint meeting of the Australia Germany Advisory Group was also held in Berlin in July 2015. Industry 4.0 remains a critical topic for both Australia and Germany and I’m pleased to see so much interest from Australia in this topic.”
Siemens says the Australia-Germany relationship has been an “important catalyst for the Industry 4.0 transformation journey”.
Following the G20 in Brisbane in 2014, the Australia-Germany Advisory Group was established. It was led by the Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, on the Australian side and includes the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Woodside and Siemens.
Its purpose was to identify ways to broaden, strengthen and deepen the relationship between Australia and Germany. Recommendations for collaborative efforts between the two countries specifically included Industry 4.0 and were endorsed by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Australia’s then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2015.
Siemens began taking formal delegations to Germany a few years ago to specifically see and experience Hannover Messe and German industry where Industry 4.0 is the major topic.
“In a digitalised and globalised world, Australian companies and stakeholders need to understand the benchmark if they want to compete in the future,” Connolly said.
“We may not be able to be the best at everything, but we certainly can be the best at some things – so long as we have the right skills and tools to participate in the global economy.”