Digital innovators honoured in 2021 Transformational Leadership Awards


Rockwell Automation has celebrated the recently announced winners of Smart Industry’s second annual Transformational Leadership Awards, which were created to honour individuals and organisations leading the way to Industry 4.0.

This year’s 15 winners, chosen from across the global industrial landscape, have successfully envisioned, planned, and executed the digital transformation (DX) of one or more aspects of their business through the application of digital and disruptive technologies.

Congratulating the companies and executives honored, Susana Gonzalez, EMEA President, Rockwell Automation, said: “It is rewarding to see digital transformation projects delivering success for our customers. When you have a clear vision, connecting people, processes and technology can really help deliver astounding results. I am delighted to see how many companies across Europe have been recognised this year.”

The Smart Industry Transformational Leadership Awards recognise five categories of digital innovation:

DX Visionary

In the first category, three senior executives were recognized for the vision, innovation, perseverance, and growth mindset to inspire and lead their organizations to embark on a journey of DX, including Joris Bisschop, CEO, Technologies Added, a digitally focused contract manufacturer based in Emmen, The Netherlands. 

Upon receiving his award, Bisschop said, “‘Our factory-as-a-service model can only work if it offers maximum flexibility. It must readily adapt to multiple use cases and product formats, and this can only be achieved with an incredibly agile and tightly integrated automation and information solutions. With the help of Rockwell Automation, I have driven this ethos and, with the help of my team, created what I believe to be a real model of the future of manufacturing.”

DX Trailblazer

Three end-user organizations were recognised for the successful execution of DX in one or multiple areas of their business. This was done at scale and ranging from operations to product/service offering to customer service. The winners include Polpharma Group, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms in Starogard Gdanński, Poland.

“Modern pharma requires modern solutions – not only across different business areas but also at scale,” said Markus Sieger, CEO Polpharma Group. “Thanks to the support from Rockwell Automation, we were able to digitally transform multiple elements of our technical infrastructure management and now have the foundation to take these improvements even wider and even further.”

IIoT Pioneer

Three machine builders, or industrial original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), were recognised for the successful use of digital technologies to increase value for their customers and generate new revenue streams. 

Winning in Europe was IMA Group, a global designer and manufacturer of automated machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee, based in Bologna, Italy. 

Thomas Fricke, Commercial Director at IMA Pharma, said, “As a machine builder serving very demanding global markets, automation is essential to deliver the agility and flexibility our customers need. The digital infrastructure that forms the foundation of this control solution gives them even deeper insights into machine operation and allows them to make real-time decisions that will have an immediate positive impact on performance. Rockwell Automation’s fully integrated hardware and software really helps us to deliver these capabilities.”

DX Champion & IT/OT Teamwork

Three executives responsible for implementing DX initiatives were recognized as DX Champions for their ability to create and lead successful teams.

In Europe, the winners were Oliver Paul, Senior Director Therapy System Lifecycle Management and Larry Dubé, Vice President, PLM Strategy, Fresenius Medical Care, a global provider of products, services and systems for renal disease, based in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany. 

Fresenius Medical Care was also recognised for its ability to foster productive collaboration across traditional functional siloes resulting in the successful DX projects with an IT/OT Teamwork award.

The Transformational Leadership award criteria are aligned to reflect today's most critical business transformation challenges, including the importance of executive vision, the ability to build talent, and the successful reinvention of operational processes, customer relationships and business models. 

“The Transformational Leadership awards are intended to recognize Industry 4.0 innovators from around the world," said Keith Larson, vice president of content, Smart Industry. "A full third of our awards this year went to organisations and individuals hailing from the EMEA region, demonstrating the strength, innovation and global competitiveness of its industrial base."  

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