Information about countries leading the Smart Industry 2018

USA, Europe and East Asia… who is really leading the digital era?

James Skelton, Senior Recruiter at FMC Global Talent.
James Skelton, Specialist Marketer – Smart Industry at FMC Global Talent.

The digital era reflects our intelligence, creativity, ability to innovate and adapt to change. Some of us are genuine leaders whilst others appear to be constrained by their economical complexities. Think you are championing digital transformation? Are you producing global leading engineering technology? Well, if you are American, Asian or European then you are absolutely right.


We’re all too familiar with witnessing the USA win gold at the Olympics, and in the Smart Industry it’s no different. The USA is regarded as one of the leading countries for emerging engineering technology and operate at the forefront of innovation. They scoop one of the top spots for producing the world’s leading robots for Digital Manufacturing.

In a report by The World Economic Forum, the USA are actually the front runner in a number of areas including:

• Technology & Innovation
• Human Capital
• Global Trade & Investment

And it gets much better for the US. Thanks to the above and their advanced infrastructure, economy and early industrialisation, they’re fantastically positioned for change in the future.


You guessed it, the Germans are on top once again. Pioneering the digital era, you really must give it to them, they’re relentless. Until it comes to World Cups in Russia… The UK and France also pride themselves with their ability to produce cutting-edge engineering technology and adapt to the digital era. The UK have a fantastic education system to thank. According to The World University Rankings, the UK house two of the top 5 universities globally for engineering and technology in 2018. No prizes for guessing who they are.

Best of all, Europe is an interconnected community who work together to establish goals, standards and guidelines for Smart Industry organisations to excel in Industry 4.0. Of course, this could all change for the UK with Brexit looming as many are disMayed by the prospect of a Barnier with the EU…

East Asia

Thanks to their recent industrial advancements, East Asia has experienced unprecedented growth and stacks impressively against Europe and the US. Consequently, the Digital Manufacturing, Plant and Construction markets have boomed. Take China for example, their ability to adopt and produce future technologies and digitalise manual workflows has propelled their manufacturing market to the largest in the world, ahead of the US. Best to look away now, President Trump.

Singapore and Japan have also jumped on the bandwagon. They have released various legislation and strategies which has helped organisations adopt new technologies. Nothing encourages innovation and creativity more like good old government legislation, right?

The lessons…

So, what have we learnt from all this? Well, you don’t have to be a huge country in population to pack a big punch. All you need is a stable economy, a government with a flexible and open approach to adopting new technology and a bunch of engineering Einsteins. And most importantly, there is a direct correlation between countries leading the Smart Industry and their performances at the Olympics.

Smart talent

The talent pools for the Smart Industry are constantly evolving to reflect a more data driven, process orientated and technologically advanced workforce. Recruitment from traditional industrial markets isn’t necessarily the answer to a successful recruitment strategy anymore.

Alternatively, candidates from technology led industries appear to be a much more suitable solution. There is an acknowledged challenge in luring candidates from these markets to the Smart Industry given its traditional industrial routes, but with the right branding, product and service offering, the Smart Industry represents one of the fastest growing technology markets globally.

If you are a candidate or employer operating specifically in the Digital Manufacturing, Construction or Plant sector then get in touch by visiting our website! We love nothing more than connecting the very best talent the Smart Industry has to offer with the organisations behind driving digital transformation.