“The digital revolution has not yet come to many sectors, but now, with Industry 4.0, or the networking of machines, the next revolution is already here,” said the outgoing deputy prime minister and economics minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer in an interview with newspaper “Wirtschaft Regional”.
Whether the Liechtenstein economic location is ready for these challenges or not primarily depends on companies. However, the government can create the necessary foundations, according to Zwiefelhofer. Among them are good conditions and a modern infrastructure. Because Industry 4.0 will also alter duties in the workplace, a total overhaul of the curriculum and an expansion of school subjects will be required too.
Meanwhile, Zwiefelhofer continued, it will be important to expand the research infrastructure. Several important measures in this field have already been implemented as part of the location strategy for the Liechtenstein technology hub. As examples, Zwiefelhofer mentioned Liechtenstein’s connection to the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI), as well as the further expansion of the research infrastructure at RhySearch in Buchs, which in terms of innovation processes is in close cooperation with the University of Liechtenstein.
Regarding expanding its infrastructure, Liechtenstein has also made significant progress over the past few years, according to Zwiefelhofer. Improvements have included installing nationwide fibre-optic cables. “I am convinced that ‘Innovation follows Infrastructure’ is the right route. In other words, the state must assume an enabler function, because good ideas emerge where the necessary infrastructure is already in place,” explained Zwiefelhofer.
Mathias Maierhofer, CEO of Telecom Liechtenstein, shares this opinion. In an interview with the same newspaper, he said: “In order to advance and develop technological innovation in Liechtenstein, we need an ever greater bandwidth via both landlines and the mobile network.” He added that Liechtenstein was well set here, saying that Telecom Liechtenstein is among the providers preparing for the introduction of 5G.