As factories and manufacturing units make the transition to industry 4.0 facilities, several technologies come together to reduce time and costs for companies. Some of the key technologies and industry 4.0 trends include the industrial internet of things (IIoT), advanced robotics and industrial automation, cloud and edge computing, and industrial cybersecurity. The main challenge, however, remains the ability to sufficiently scale up technology operations to justify initial investments. Startups and emerging companies from around the world work to develop promising industry 4.0 solutions.
Top 5 Global Startup Hubs: Industry 4.0
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000 startups & emerging companies, we analyzed the geographic distribution of global activity in industry 4.0. We identified 46 regional hubs* that observe high activity in developing technology-driven solutions across the industry like advanced robotics, industrial internet of things, cloud computing, and cybersecurity, to name a few.
Within the hubs, we analyzed a sample of 1.172 startups and emerging companies employing technology-driven solutions to innovate in the industry. Silicon Valley, London, New York City, Bangalore, and Mumbai-Pune are home to 239 startups* and account for 20% of global industry 4.0 activity. Let us have a look at some of the innovative solutions from these 5 top hubs.
Based on our sample of 1.172 companies, we observe relatively higher activity across regions. Europe and North American hubs see the most number of startup activities with Asian hubs already accounting for a fifth of all global startup activity. Together, these big regions are home to some of the biggest industry 4.0 hubs. The German ring of manufacturing hubs from Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg account for nearly 6% of global activity.
1. Silicon Valley: 89 Startups
The manufacturing industry in the US state of California contributes towards almost a tenth of its GDP and employs hundreds of thousands of people. The region has also lost some of its manufacturing jobs due to competition from emerging countries and other emerging innovation hubs in the US. However, Silicon Valley is still home to numerous emerging advanced and digital manufacturing companies. Some key innovation areas include artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data.
Sunnyvale-based startup ThroughPut Inc. develops ELI, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered bottleneck elimination engine that analyzes existing industrial data in real-time. ELI continuously detects, identifies, prescribes, and prevents operational bottlenecks to save time, and reduce inefficiencies and lost revenue. This solution is most suitable for manufacturing and logistics companies looking to optimize their operations.
2. London: 50 Startups
The UK government has set up the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with the aim of its long-term plan to raise productivity and earning power in the UK. Some of their current focus areas include commercializing quantum, digital security, future flight, industrial decarbonization, smart manufacturing, and transforming foundation industries. The fund is a core pillar in the government’s plan to increase funding in research and development (R&D) over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business.
Operating out of London, Cambrian Intelligence develops AI-enhanced robots for manufacturing companies. Currently, these robots perform tasks like pick and place, bin-picking, and cable or part insertions. The software is compatible with different robotic systems available in the market. The Cambrian AI engine learns without supervision for a new task in cloud simulation. After the training, the AI model runs locally and guides the robot.
3. New York City: 39 Startups
The New York state government has set up the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a network of organizations that provide growth and innovation services to small and mid-sized manufacturers. Some of their key services include innovation strategy, process improvements, manufacturing scale-up, sustainable manufacturing, technology acceleration, and product development, and prototyping.
New York City-based startup Lampix offers an augmented reality (AR) solution for multiple industries, including for industry 4.0. Their tabletop AR platform provides a hands-free, low-cost solution that integrates into any environment, and its universally compatible, customer-centric software solution enables automation without the use of traditional screens.
4. Bangalore: 31 Startups
Many Indian factories today are in the process of integrating basic automation in their manufacturing. In addition, some big companies are setting up smart manufacturing facilities that are capable of a high level of autonomy. Bangalore, with its diverse and skilled workforce, provides several opportunities for emerging startups in the field of manufacturing.
Bangalore-based startup Elitia Technologies provides industrial IoT and automation solutions for various industries including steel, automotive, and manufacturing. Their IIoT solutions include edge data integration, cybersecurity, and big data services. The range of industrial automation solutions includes overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) downtime modules, statistical process control (SPC) modules, and changeover modules.
5. Mumbai-Pune: 30 Startups
For Indian manufacturing units to transition from Industry 2.0 to Industry 4.0 requires a push from all stakeholders. The government has set up various institutes for raising awareness and supporting R&D, including in Pune. This hub, along with India’s financial center in Mumbai, is home to several automotive and heavy manufacturing sectors. Startups take advantage of incentives and a general desire to increase productivity and improve manufacturing standards in the country.
Pratiti Technologies is a Pune-based startup providing IoT solutions for multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, and energy. Their MFG Connect Solutions Set helps manufacturing plants adopt Industry 4.0 solutions. Factories connect to any asset through Pragate IoT Gateway, collect data from sensors, and transmit via the internet. It also provides technical assistance and, in some cases, autonomous systems, by leveraging data science.
As robotics, security, and connectivity improve, the manufacturing sector gearing up for an overhaul that will include novel human-machine hierarchies, improved worker safety, and an increase in productivity and output. Not to mention the higher cost-benefits of operating continuous and lights-out production capabilities. As a result, more and more startups will develop and provide solutions that cater specifically to enable industry 4.0.
*We define a hub as the regional geographic center of activity for this topic. It covers the center point with a radius of 100km. We define startups as those founded after 2015.