Binder Grösswang



Industry 4.0: The New Dimension of the Data Business – A discussion with experts, organized in cooperation with Leitbetriebe Austria

A discussion with experts, entitled “Industrie 4.0: Der digitale Dschungel – Herausforderungen, Gefahren und fette Beute” (Industry 4.0: The Digital Jungle – Challenges, Dangers and Rich Booty), was held on 14 September 2016 on the premises of Binder Grösswang in cooperation with Leitbetriebe Austria.

The widely-cited “Industry 4.0” not only facilitates radically new production processes but has also opened up a new dimension in data generation, data use and data trade. The opportunities and challenges arising from this latest phase in the digitization of the industrial sector constituted the central theme of a discussion focussing on “Industry 4.0: The Digital Jungle – Challenges, Dangers and Rich Booty”, organized by the platform of excellence Leitbetriebe Austria and the commercial law firm Binder Grösswang. The main tenor of the exchange between highly qualified experts was that the digital revolution has been opening up enormous potential for efficiency enhancement and innovation, but at the same time can be expected to drastically increase time pressure for the implementation of processes of innovation and change.

Binder Grösswang partner Ivo Rungg emphasized the value of data, in particular for applications referred to as “big data” and as regards other legal classifications of data generated through Industry 4.0 processes in contrast to personal data used primarily for marketing purposes: “Non-personal data, that is, data generated exclusively from production processes, is not subject to data protection restrictions, nor are entrepreneurs similarly protected against the unauthorized use of such data. In general, ownership rights cannot be asserted with respect to data, but data can often be classified as industrial or business secrets. A precondition for doing so, however, is the efficient management and protection of the data.”

In the discussion, the opportunities for Austria’s industry were underlined. Internal, inter-company and cross-industry networking of production processes engenders large amounts of highly valuable data as a by-product. This should not always be viewed only under the aspect of how to protect it from third- parties; the opportunities such data presents for generating income should be evaluated as well. Data is a valuable raw material that should be utilized in multiple ways, also for profit. Particularly in view of the growing pressure of competition through global networking in the business sector, the systematic utilization of this potential is indispensable.

As regards the further development of Industry 4.0 in Austria, Leitbetriebe Austria’s Managing Director Monica Rintersbacher is definitely optimistic: “Naturally, the transformation process has really just started to gain momentum, but leading companies in particular are already taking full advantage of it and are working assiduously on the application of cutting-edge technological possibilities. This requires, for one thing, close networking among the companies. To this purpose, Austria’s leading companies are utilizing Leitbetriebe Austria more intensively than ever before, virtually as an entrepreneurial contact broker. Associated with this is a further surge of internationalization, and here, too, the leading companies are pioneers.”

Representatives of numerous renowned Austrian leading companies participated in the discussion held by Leitbetriebe Austria and Binder Grösswang on 14 September. The most important information presented in the discussion and the keynote addresses is available on the website of Leitbetriebe Austria. 

About Leitbetriebe Austria

Leitbetriebe Austria serves as a platform of excellence for the companies certified by the Leitbetriebe Institute as being exemplary within the Austrian business sector. Under the motto “together we are one brand”, the leading companies effectively communicate value-oriented goals such as innovation, growth, market status and staff development to the public. The network is an active forum of policymakers engaging in exchange on an equal footing.   

About Binder Grösswang

Binder Grösswang has been one of Austria’s leading commercial law firms for over 50 years. More than 90 highly reputed specialists work in well-coordinated teams on tailor-made solutions that meet the requirements of their clients. These specialists’ core competences include the structuring and implementation of important, often international transactions. The firm covers all the major areas of commercial law. In the practice area IP/IT, Binder Grösswang counsels clients on all legal issues and contract structuring matters relating to marketing and the Internet, product design and product labelling, as well as intellectual property.

© Sabine Klimpt

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