We need new champions of this technology who can help manufacturers understand the impact it can have on supply chain and product design. To create these leaders of the future we need to educate and inspire the next generation of designers and engineers to ensure we have the right talent to continue to grow the industry.
In the context of life in Myanmar, of course there is a different lens on this. Tedious work that pays is aspirational if the alternative is an inability to feed one's children. Yet, what this experience brought home to me was the depth of our double standards across the fashion industry as a whole.
The theory behind Industry 4.0 is that it will effectively create what has been called a 'smart factory', which utilises cutting edge technology, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing, in order to monitor the physical processes of a factory and make informed, decentralised decisions.
The UK - and therefore its population - is living way beyond its means. We have a Balance of Payments deficit of about 7% of GDP means that, on average, we are all enjoying a standard of living which is 7% higher than we are earning. To support this unrealistic life-style we are either borrowing from abroad or selling assets to foreign interests year after year on a scale unmatched by any other developed country.
If you were to believe the commentariat, the recent falls in the pound are a complete disaster. According to many, we are on the edge of an economic abyss. Our country is about to be plunged into financial turmoil. And, worst of all it would seem, our summer holidays abroad have become a bit more expensive...
As a UK service exporter, I feel somewhat aggrieved. Overlooked and invisible. Despite the strong and strengthening performance of service sector exports, we are often perceived as the poor relation to manufacturers. Indeed the government usually refers to the service sector as 'invisible exports', quite apt when considering where the focus of current investment is placed.
Given China's continuation of a broadly Anglo-Saxon model of economics and manufacture, instead of one derived from her own exemplary past - which in turn equates to a lost opportunity for all global consumers - the inherent 'Indianess' of Prime Minister Modi's manufacturing vision may ultimately be good news for all of us.
When all things are taken into account, the UK is investing almost nothing in its economic future. The Coalition government may have conjured some temporary growth, but this will disappear without much more new investment and if we want to avoid long-term decline we need to act right now. The hard fact is that productivity growth in the UK has ground to a halt and there's a very simple reason for this: the UK, for the first time since the start of the Industrial Revolution, has virtually stopped investing in the type of economic activities which are capable of delivering increases in output per head of the population.