Blog | 29 Apr 2021

In the 5th Industrial Revolution, creativity must meet technology

Kiki Sondh


The health crisis has wreaked havoc on global supply chains. Lockdowns, restrictions on movement and quarantine regulations have disrupted conventional working practices and put pressure on manufacturers to adapt industrial processes to stay afloat. The tables have turned from survival of the fittest to survival of the quickest—those who wish to remain competitive must embrace the latest technologies, adjust their business models, and innovate.

The pandemic has accelerated the rise of robotics, digitalisation and the onset of Industry 5.0. Like Industry 4.0, which focusses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 5.0 embodies these systems and incorporates greater human intelligence. The main difference between the 4th and 5th industrial revolutions is that Industry 5.0 seeks to foster a more balanced working relationship between increasingly smart technologies and humans. Rather than humans competing with robots for jobs, as feared with the arrival of Industry 4.0, humans are now envisioned to collaborate with them. These cobots—collaborative robots—are to be integrated into industrial processes for more repetitive and mundane tasks, providing humans with greater opportunities to use their creative flair.

wpc-29042021Creativity has been crucial amid the pandemic, especially due to the rise in e-commerce. Businesses have had to think of and find means to connect with consumers in ways they have not done so before. The concept of personalisation—with big data at its heart—is set to become a key driver in transforming the online shopping experience. By understanding data on consumers’ needs and preferences, employees have the ability to create personalised solutions, implemented with the help of smart technologies. This can already be seen across certain industries: in cosmetics, for example, L’Oréal will soon introduce Perso—a handheld mobile device that uses AI technology to assess the complexion of the user. Personalised beauty and skin care blends are then generated and produced with the help of a small 3D printer.

Over the past year, where patient information has been available, the healthcare industry has increasingly incorporated such technologies to provide personalised care to patients. The end of last year saw Covvi, a bionic prosthetics company, enter into a partnership with Glaze Prosthetics with the aim to expand into a range of customisable 3D printed limbs. This trend will likely continue in the sector, with healthcare professionals using their expertise to examine patient records and then turning to smart technologies for custom treatments such as individualised artificial organs.

As Industry 5.0 develops we are sure to see many more innovations across industries. But it will not be enough to merely automate tasks or digitize processes—the best and most successful companies will be those that can marry the twin forces of technology and human creativity.

You may be interested in


Industry Outlook 2030+ | The Semiconductor Industry

Semiconductors are central to Europe’s digital and green transformation and therefore its future competitiveness. The Industry Outlook 2030+ The Semiconductor Industry examines the status quo and future development of the semiconductor industry in Europe and Germany, the most important European semiconductor location.

Find Out More
Man wearing an AR headset


The suddenly unavoidable metaverse: Four things you need to know

It is easy to pinpoint the moment the metaverse went mainstream: October 28, 2021, when Facebook announced it was renaming itself Meta. Defining just what the metaverse is, or will be, is a little more difficult.

Find Out More


Solving the customer relevance riddle: How AI-derived insights can help insurers deliver what customers really want

A global survey of over 5,000 C-suite executives found that, for insurers to remain relevant and become Cognitive Insurers, they have to shift their focus toward customer data and AI-driven insights.

Find Out More


Don’t fear the robots—but do prepare for them

Automation and robotization are rapidly transforming industries across the world: The global stock of robots has more than doubled since 2010. This surge has been driven by lower cost, better accessibility, and higher productivity of robots, and further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. During the pandemic, small and large companies alike significantly expanded their use of robots to continue operating under tight labor conditions—reports suggest that orders for robots increased by 20% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

Find Out More