3. International VDI Conference - Digitization in the Process Industry 2019

Please note, that this event takes place in English.

In case you prefer the German version of this site, click here.

  • Benefit from the contributions by leading experts from the process industry and IT companies
  • Learn from experiences of internationally operating companies about strategies for the introduction of digital solutions which have been proven to be successful in practice
  • Exchange ideas with colleagues and experts, and expand your Network
Digitization in the Process Industry | VDI conference

At the conference, you will learn from top experts about new opportunities emerging with the digital transformation for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Based on practical examples, find out how renowned international companies are already successfully applying digital solutions in the context of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). This knowledge helps you to develop own strategies for your company to benefit from the digital transformation.

Free of charge whitepaper download

Breaking the mold - Unleashing the power of convergence in the chemical industry
Author: Michaël Kolk, Marijn Vervoorn, Marc de Pater, Koji Uchida, Principal Chemicals

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Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation

In the context of the digital transformation, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry are facing significant changes. Increasing digitization will have a decisive impact on business models of the process industry. This opens new opportunities, while simultaneously providing challenges for businesses in terms of IT security and data protection. The conference "Digitization in the Process Industry" unites high-ranking experts from both sectors - IT and process industry - to discuss these topics and jointly develop sustainable strategies for the future.

Among other, you'll learn about the innovations involved in the digital transformation of systems construction and operation. Panel and round table discussions ensure an interactive, communicative atmosphere with many opportunities for networking.

The following topics will be covered in 2019

This year’s focus topics are:

  • “Thinking Digital” to “Doing Digital” – Updates on Digital
  • Transformation Applying Artificial Intelligence in the Process Industry
  • Utilizing Virtual Reality Solutions – From Theory to Actions
  • Becoming resilient to Digital Threats
  • Use Cases and Lessons Learned from the Industry

Download Program PDF

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address

Dr. Henrik Hahn, Chef Digital Office & CEO, Evonik Digital GmbH, Germany


Speed Networking

Participate in these quick and effective 1-to-1 interactions – Get to know the other attendees and exchange your business cards

I. Updates on Digital Transformation


Assessing the Digital Plant Maturity – Challenges and Opportunities

  • Importance of assessing the digital maturity of production sites
  • Current approaches and tools
  • Challenges related to the assessment process
  • Interpretation and utilization of results
  • Recommendations from industry perspective

Dr.-Ing. Florian Lindner, Expert Digital Manufacturing; co-author: Dr.-Ing. Steffen Nienke, Expert Digital Manufacturing, Bayer AG, Germany


Regulatory Operations & QHSE – The Digital Way

  • Impact of regulatory operations and QHSE readiness on product time to market
  • World of manual processes and disconnected systems that do not keep pace with today‘s business reality
  • So, where do you start? How do you transform these critical areas, as part of your digital transformation journey?

Ed Van Siclen, VP, Vault Platform Strategy & Business Development, Veeva, USA


Data Democratization as a Catalyst for Digital Transformation

  • Role of data in digital transformation: A framework
  • Three pillars of a data-enabled organization: Technology, processes, people
  • On the road to data democratization: Lessons learned

Dr. Olivier Maugain, Corporate Analytics & Digital Technology Lead, Henkel, The Netherlands


“Thinking Digital” to “Doing Digital” – Tackling the Transition from Tryout to Implementation

  • Digital initiatives as a cluster of prototype tryouts
  • Transition towards implementation mode; speed-up by collaboration
  • Tomorrow’s customer benefits
  • Challenges to leverage full digitization potential

Dr. Anne Bendzulla, Digital Officer, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG, Germany



II. Applying Artificial Intelligence


Applied Artificial Intelligence in the Process Industries

  • Specific challenges and requirements
  • Modelling, engineering, and operation use cases
  • Autonomous systems and human-AI collaboration

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Leon Urbas, Head of Chair PCS & PSE Group, TU Dresden, Germany


Self-creation of Artificial Intelligence for Process Optimization in Practice – Operating Use Cases & how to scale

  • Fully autonomous closed loop solution in practice – Impact and learnings
  • Self-creation of AI in-house – State of knowledge and methodology
  • Scalability across assets, plants, sites globally – Roll-out acceleration
  • Hints and tips from practical implementation

Dipl.-Ing. MBA Robert Feldmann, Senior Expert, Digital and Analytics in Manufacturing, McKinsey & Company, Germany


Artificial Intelligence in the Process Industry – Learning from the State of the Art in Life Sciences

  • Life Sciences are leading in AI applications – Other industries can benefit
  • Extrapolate from today’s known AI use cases to introduce AI to the process industry
  • Three “must-win battles” in AI for process industry leaders

Dr. Michaël Kolk, Partner & Global Practice Lead, Arthur D. Little and Dr. Michael Eiden, Associate Director, Arthur D. Little Digital Problem Solving, The Netherlands


Networking & Coffee Break


Panel Discussion

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in the Process Industry – Criteria for Success


The Digital Divide – What Skills do we need to transform the Process Industry?

The process industry is rapidly changing and digital skills are increasingly becoming a requirement for innovation. But what exact skills do we need? And how do we get the right talent to further develop our industry? LinkedIn provides insights into the development of digital skills, showcases current trends and gives advice on how to ensure we are future-ready.

Alexandra Kolleth, Member of the DACH Management Board – Head of Marketing Solutions, Heike Burr, Account Director LinkedIn Marketing Solution, LinkedIn, Germany


End of Conference Day One



At the end of the first conference day we kindly invite you to use the relaxed and informal atmosphere for in-depth conversations with other participants and speakers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

III. Data Security & Cybersecurity


Cyber Security in Process Industries

  • Current state of cyber threats in the industrial sector
  • Upcoming changes in cybersecurity directives
  • Turning theories into practice
  • Asset management and cybersecurity

Patrik Olssen, Head of Group Security, CSO, ÅF Pöyry, Sweden


Becoming resilient to Digital Threats: The ESTEP Approach for the Steel Industry

  • The ESTEP Smart Factory Roadmap as a tool to provide the vision and the R&D lines for the European steel industry
  • Depicting a “good enough“ approach to cybersecurity for the steel industry: The OT issue as an example
  • The ambition to quantitatively define the baseline and the evolution to cybersecurity: The ESTEP Questionnaire in cooperation with the key players

Prof. Ing. Costanzo Pietrosanti, Chairman Smart Factory Focus Group, ESTEP, Belgium & Danieli Automation SpA, Italy


Adversarial Machine Learning: How to fool industrial IoT and AI Systems

  • What are adversarial attacks and how & why they work?
  • What’s so remarkable about these attacks?
  • Potential risks to intelligent systems embraced in industrial settings
  • Is it inevitable and how to develop defense?

Veysel Kocaman, Principal Data Scientist, yDataLabs, The Netherlands


Networking & Coffee Break


Clean Algorithms in dirty Processes

  • Application of data-based models in solids processing
  • How to join „real“ process expert knowledge with „virtual“ plants
  • Challenges, examples and success stories

Dr.-Ing. Martin Weng, Managing Director, aixprocess GmbH, Germany

IV. 5G as a Key Enabling Technology


How 5G will accelerate Industry 4.0 Technologies

  • 5G and its importance for industry applications
  • Current status and next steps in 5G development and integration into process industries
  • Identifying the pressing challenges as well as the greatest opportunities in implementing 5G

Speaker tba



 V. Round Table Session


Interactive Round Table Discussions in small Groups on different Topics

1. AI in Process IndustriesAnother Hype or real Performance Booster? Dr. Martin Winter, Innovation Manager/Innovation Policy, Cefic, Belgium

2. How can B2B Marketplaces improve the Sales & Marketing of industrial Goods? Sebastian Brenner, Managing Director, CheMondis GmbH, Germany

3. Utilizing VR Solutions in Process Industries – From Theory to Actions Kai Vikman, COO Process Industries Division, ÅF Pöyry, Finland

4. IIoT for Brownfield and Greenfield – Exploring the Use and Benefit Thomas Dhollander, CTO & Co-founder, TrendMiner, Belgium and more...


Networking & Coffee Break

VI. Real World Use Cases


Practical Use Case Analysis from the pharmaceutical Industry

Speaker tba


The Digitalization of the Maintenance Manual

  • Importance of a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) solution
  • Data collection from sensors for an effective preventive maintenance
  • BIM (Building Information Modelling) integration in the facility management
  • Case studies and project applications with an open source software solution

Dr. Alessandro Pasqualini, Sales Manager, Tecnoteca Srl, Italy


Conference Chair’s closing Remarks


End of Conference

Who should participate

The VDI conference "Digitization in the Process Industry" is aimed at experts and executives as well as project and process engineers of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and IT companies offering digital solutions to the process industry. The target group includes:

  • Business Development Managers
  • Project and Process Engineers
  • Data Analysts
  • Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Data Officers (CDOs)
  • Plant Construction Engineers from the process industry

Accompanying program

All participants of the conference are invited to an exclusive evening event on the first day of the conference. Use this opportunity to communicate with other experts in a relaxed atmosphere.

Deepen your knowledge at one of our workshops prior to the conference on November 4, 2019 “Digital Leadership Excellence – Challenging People to Drive your Digital Transformation Successfully” or after the conference on November 7, 2019 “Continuously Improve operational Excellence through the Democratization of advanced Analytics”. Benefit from a reduced combination price if you book the conference and the workshop(s) together.

Experienced conference chair and high-class speakers

Chairman of the VDI conference "Digitization in the Process Industry" is Dr. Henrik Hahn, Chief Digital Officer of Evonik.

Secure your seat now

Would you like to know how the digital revolution will impact the chemical and pharmaceutical industry? Would you like to learn from other companies how to apply digital solutions successfully? Then secure your seat now at the VDI conference "Digitization in the Process Industry".

Eventnumber: 05KO005

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Hotel Reservation

A limited number of rooms has been reserved for the benefit of the conference participants at the conference venue. Please use the reference "191104VDIT" when booking your room by phone +31 20 655 3131 or e-mail.

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