GMIS Summit in Hannover to be held online due to coronavirus outbreak

The event will discuss developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how manufacturing is being disrupted digitally

Industrial trade fair Hannover Messe that showcases technological innovation has been cancelled due to the virus outbreak. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit that was to be held in Hannover in April will now be convened online due to the coronavirus outbreak and cancellation of the trade fair in Germany.

"Along with our co-chairs, the United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Energy and Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, we have collectively evaluated the economic and logistical uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, as well as the preventive measures that have been planned or undertaken," Badr Al Olama, head of the GMIS organising committee said.

“Under the current circumstances, we have decided to leverage technology and march forward with #GMIS2020 by virtually connecting all participants in a series of digital sessions that truly embodies our 2020 theme of #GermanyConnects.”

The virtual event will focus on the latest developments in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital disruption of the manufacturing sector.

The shift to hold the summit online comes as the organisers of Germany's industrial trade fair Hannover Messe cancelled the event this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It is the first time in the trade fair's 73-year history that it has been cancelled.

"We are now pivoting towards a new era of 'digital restoration' – where the Fourth Industrial Revolution is restoring many parts of our daily lives and helping us overcome unprecedented challenges," Mr Al Olama said.

The first edition of the GMIS was held at Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in 2017, and had more than 3,000 leaders from government, business and civil society in attendance.

Covid-19, the biggest challenge to the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis, has disrupted trade, the travel industry and rattled investors.

Universities and schools have turned to online learning as countries introduce measures to try and contain the spread of the pandemic.

The virus outbreak, which began in China, has now engulfed Europe and North America.

It has infected more than 665,000 people with more than 30,000 deaths as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University that tracks the outbreak. More than 140,000 have recovered.