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What Happens When Industry 4.0 Meets Finance?


The following keynote took place at an event hosted by Association Industry 4.0 Austria – the Platform for Smart Production on September 9, 2019, in Graz, Austria, where I initially presented in German and later transcribed the audio to English. 


My topic today will cover industry 4.0's intersection in the financial world. This is perhaps a topic that’s a little bit different from traditional industry 4.0 topics.


Still, the industry clearly shows that the financial world, for example, banks, insurance companies, and leasing companies, are currently being affected by the new business models that arise from industry 4.0 innovation. 


In today’s discussion, I will answer the following question: how will new machines be financed in the future based on data and industry 4.0 technology?



A little about me: I have been aggregating and transforming machine data into actionable insights for management ever since 2000.


My experience began when founding MIM.365, which is a manufacturing IoT platform for industrial companies or producers that have distributed production sites who need help monitoring KPIs and tracking in-house performance to help reach various business goals. 


My current experience in the space got me thinking. What else could I do with my IoT know-how? Who else could benefit from such data?


That’s when we, Paul Bruckberger and I, founded our current project, linx4, operating in the industrial fintech sector.


Throughout our market analysis, we noticed that banks and leasing companies have little information and access to machine data; that’s why we founded linx4.


So that machine data can be quickly and securely shared with third parties.



The background behind our use case overlaps into the sharing economy where SaaS models have become fully established and in high demand.


People only want to pay for what they use and, in many use cases, prefer pay-per-use models over traditional ownership.


In linx4’s case, we leverage a similar pay-per-use structure for financial products where debt payments are dependent on actual machine use.



So, who are the stakeholders here? On the one hand, of course, there is the machine manufacturer, the OEM, who wants to continue to get one hundred percent of his financing from the bank.


On the other, there’s the manufacturer who buys this machine and expects more flexible funding. 


And of course, there is also the point where industry 4.0 intersects with the