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City of Pittsburgh set to organise inaugural edition of GMIS America in 2021

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) announced a new partnership model that will enable more cities around the world to mobilise the global manufacturing community and encourage cross-border collaboration and partnerships to advance prosperity across the world. The city of Pittsburgh in the United States is the first to join the new partnership model and will organise the inaugural edition of GMIS America in 2021.

City of Pittsburgh set to organise inaugural edition of GMIS America in 2021

Cities that are keen to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can choose to partner with GMIS through this model, which will entitle the partner city to host an annual GMIS satellite event. Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, announced the partnership with the city of Pittsburgh during the closing ceremony of the #GMIS2020 Virtual Summit, which took place on September 4-5. He said: “The story of Pittsburgh resonates very well with what GMIS is all about, and so to wrap this up, I am excited to announce that the City of Pittsburgh will be the first City to join the new partnership model and will organise the very first edition of GMIS America in 2021. And of course, bring a GMIS event back to the City of Pittsburgh every year.”

The announcement was followed by a panel discussion between William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, and Christopher Martin, Director of Engineering and Research and Development, Bosch, to highlight Pittsburgh’s successful story of transitioning into a city at the forefront of innovation and advanced technologies.

Pittsburgh: Renaissance city

Pittsburgh’s rejuvenation, from a traditional heavy manufacturing heartland that had fallen on hard times to become a modern, advanced technology, innovation and robotics hub in the space of just a few decades, is one of the success stories of the 21st century. The ‘Steel City’ was the epicentre of a region that produced much of the steel in north-east America during one of the greatest periods of economic expansion in US history. But a period of stagnation during the latter part of the 20th century left the city facing an uncertain future.

However, Pittsburgh’s traditional manufacturing legacy combined with its strong leadership, skilled labour, quality infrastructure, collaborative mindset, and proximity to two world-class, research-focused universities have allowed the city to reinvent itself as a major centre of technological innovation and advanced manufacturing in the United States.

 William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh speaks at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit

William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, said: “During the 1980s and 1990s, de-industrialisation tore the economic heart out of our region. We went through a depression greater than the Great Depression. But at the same time, the seeds were planted for what we're seeing now as our new economy. They were planted in artificial intelligence, in robotics, and in life-sciences, and so many other areas where we have become a global leader, including advanced manufacturing. Today, Pittsburgh is once again on the world stage, but this time not for the production of steel, aluminium, or glass, but for the creation of innovation. Organising GMIS America in 2021 is testament to how we have overcome the struggles of the past 30 years and turned our fortunes around.”

Christopher Martin, the Director of Engineering and Research and Development at Bosch, which established a base in the city in the 1990s just as its economy was re-emerging from a long slump, said: “We're in Pittsburgh quite simply because of the foundations that were laid at Carnegie Mellon University many years ago. The Bosch Center for AI represents one of our flagship efforts around the globe for our investment in the future of artificial intelligence and the partnership with Carnegie Mellon University is one of the pillars of our success. Through that we get to bring those benefits to the world.”

He added: “We're really looking forward to being part of that conversation and to showcase all the great things happening in our region.”

Christopher Martin, Director of Engineering and Research and Development, Bosch

Towards Society 5.0

Discussion at GMIS America in Pittsburgh will be centred around the concept of Society 5.0 – balancing technological and economic advancement with the resolution of social issues. Mayor Peduto said these ideas had already started to resonate throughout the world, but have been given fresh impetus in light of the coronavirus pandemic. However, he said Pittsburgh had long since ingrained these principles in its DNA as a city.

“Pittsburgh was the second city in the United States to adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, meaning that all the decisions that we make look at how we're lessening the negative impact as a global member,” he said. “However, years before that we adopted the principles of P4: People, Planet, Place, Performance, in creating indicators on how we are addressing all four of those critical areas when we're spending taxpayer money or creating policy.”

He added: “I think that as we look at this in Society 5.0, what we realise is the very economic model that we have lived by since the early 19th century was based on a single bottom line - profit. The reality today is that there are many bottom lines that we need to address.”

Partnerships are critical

Mayor Peduto said building partnerships between the public and private sector and academia had been the most critical element in Pittsburgh’s success in reviving its fortunes over the past two decades.

“Pittsburgh would never have survived if it weren't for the corporations who were partnering with the city in order to make sure that critical services were not diminished,” he said. “And it would never have happened if the city, the county, the state and our federal government didn't work together. The secret sauce of Pittsburgh, and what you'll see in 2021, is that we not only talk about partnerships, we create them.”

The city’s start-up scene is also thriving, with Pittsburgh being home to many innovative companies focused on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity and additive manufacturing. Martin highlighted the creation of this start-up ecosystem as a key element in the city’s revival.

“What's very important is this bottom-up innovation ecosystem that enables partnerships,” he said. “Something we're very proud of is Bosch’s Audio AI technology now installed on the International Space Station. And that was born out of a partnership that we have with a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University called Astrobotic. That connection between the University, the local start-up ecosystem, and us as a large corporate, allowed all of us to literally go places, the International Space Station, that we could not have gone alone.”

Badr Al- Olama, Head of the Organisinng Committe of GMIS

Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, said: “We are pleased to partner with Mayor Peduto and the great city of Pittsburgh on our new partnership model. The city serves as a great success story for its achievement in not just reviving its industrial heritage, but also developing it into a high-tech manufacturing cluster. For one of the United States most industrially developed city to be organising the first edition of GMIS America in 2021, and support in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development, reflects the importance of our partnership with the city of Pittsburgh, and is a testament to the vision and mission of GMIS which was first established in the United Arab Emirates.

“GMIS America will showcase Pittsburgh as a national and global hub for advanced manufacturing, serving as a perfect example for other cities around the world that are embarking on an advanced industrialisation drive for the first time.”

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit is a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Under the theme – Glocalisation: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Global Value Chains, the third edition of the Summit (#GMIS2020) has gathered a cross-section of close to 100 global leaders from the world’s public and private sector to participate across more than 20 virtual sessions to discuss pathways to accelerate the role of fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies to build more resilient global value chains and restore prosperity in a post-pandemic world.

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