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December 2023

Industry 5.0: What is it and what does its future hold?

At the EIT Grow Digital event in Brussels in June, Sean O’Reagain, the deputy head of Industry 5.0 for the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation, was tasked with trying to find a way to explain Industry 5.0 in simple terms. You could almost smell the scepticism in the room. Is this another one of those throwaway bits of jargon that typically resonate with management consultants and marketeers? And what happened to Industry 4.0? “What industry has told us is that they need to be much more effective in bringing together the greater speed and accuracy of digital technologies and the potential of workers,” said O’Reagain. “Also, the evidence from a lot of academic research was showing that those companies that were being most innovative were the ones that were able to capitalise on digital technologies to increase the creativity of the workforce and stimulate innovation.” So, this isn’t particularly new. To be fair, neither is the idea of Industry 5.0. The EU says that Industry 5.0 “recognises the ...

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