Energising sustainable industry


Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industry returns this year from 22 to 26 April. 

Every year, representatives from business, politics and science converge in Hannover to discover new products, solutions and trends.

This year up to 4,000 exhibitors are expected, showcasing over 8,000 products and services, alongside a conference programme featuring 750 speakers including the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.

Speaking at the London Press Launch, Basilios Triantafillos, Global Director, Hannover Messe, explained how from Industrie 4.0 and artificial intelligence to carbon-neutral production and hydrogen, Hannover Messe showcases how technology energises a sustainable industry.

He said: “Innovative technologies like those we see in April at Hannover Messe are paving the way to a climate-neutral, high-performance industry.

“However, companies need guidance on how to apply automation, artificial intelligence and energy management concepts. Furthermore, bureaucracy and a shortage of skilled workers are limiting growth potential.”

According to Triantafillos, “The solution is a mix of new technologies, cross-industry collaboration and a clear political framework.”

He highlighted the five key components to this as Smart Manufacturing, Energy for Industry, AI & Machine Learning, Carbon-Neutral Production, and Hydrogen & Fuel Cells.

Industrie 4.0 enables smart factories using IoT, AI and robotics. Manufacturing X extends this model by connecting the entire ecosystem of suppliers, partners and customers. 

Together, Industrie 4.0 and Manufacturing X create a responsive, customer-centric environment that transforms traditional manufacturing into a dynamic, interconnected landscape

Industry is adopting energy management systems and renewable energy sources to increase sustainability and efficient optimise consumption. 

At the same time, governments worldwide encourage a shift to greener low-carbon and circular economy models. However, high transition costs and infrastructure limitations demand a delicate balance between meeting energy demands and addressing environmental concerns

AI and machine learning optimise production processes through predictive maintenance, quality control and supply chain management. For example, predictive analytics enhance equipment efficiency, reducing downtime and costs. 

In the energy sector, these technologies optimise resource allocation, grid management and predictive maintenance for infrastructure. For example, AI algorithms improve renewable energy forecasting and overall energy efficiency. 

Companies are adopting strategies to minimise carbon emissions throughout the supply chain, investing in renewable energy, and offsetting unavoidable emissions through carbon credits. 

While sustainable materials and circular economy models help reduce environmental impact, true carbon neutrality remains a challenge for many industries. 

Achieving Net Zero require continuous, comprehensive global collaboration.

Hydrogen and fuel cells continue to gain traction as clean energy solutions.

Producing green hydrogen with renewable energy is increasingly viable, but scaling up remains a challenge. Blue hydrogen, derived from natural gas with carbon capture, is more established but faces environmental concerns. Fuel cells offer efficient and zero-emission energy conversion 

in transport and stationary applications. Global investment and government initiatives foster research and infrastructure development.

This year the partner country is Norway. The selection of a Partner Country recognises and promotes a specific nation’s contributions to industrial progress as well as the current business opportunities it offers.

The country’s theme for 2024, “Norway 2024: Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition”, emphasises Norway’s ambitions for the transition to a low-carbon society and key role in developing solutions within sectors such as renewable energy, carbon-neutral production, and application of green and digital solutions – all necessary to transform the industry and reach net-zero.

Exhibiting companies include global technology enterprises such as Amazon Web Services, Bosch Rexroth, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Salzgitter AG, SAP, Schneider Electric, and Siemens as well as small and medium-sized enterprises such as Beckhoff Automation, EBM-Pabst, Festo, ifm electronic, igus, LAPP, Pepperl+Fuchs, Pilz, Q-CELLS, Rittal, Turck, and WAGO.

Leading research organisations such as Bavaria Innovative, various Fraunhofer institutes, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), and Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research spotlight the current state of R&D and technology transfer. 

More than 300 industrial startups boost the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.