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S ince time immemorial, mankind has recognised the need for standards. Calendars – one of the earliest
examples of standardisation – can be traced back to the Sumerians who lived in the Tigris/ Euphrates valley some 5,000 years ago. With the bene t of a calendar farmers would know when to till the land, harvest the crops, celebrate holidays and record important events.
Standards gained currency during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. With the transition from manual work to machinery, there was the need for compatibility,
interoperability and repeatability, values which standardisation can help maximise.
Today, we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where emerging technologies such as robotics, arti cial intelligence (AI), addictive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) and the internet of things (IoT) are blurring the traditional boundaries between the physical, digital and biological, and disrupting industries across the world. Robots and AI will take over more and more tasks previously done by humans, 3D printing will change the way we make goods, and the IoT will add a level of digital intelligence to devices that are otherwise dumb.
The rapid pace of change is without precedent and presents immense opportunities for those who embrace it. According to one estimate, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which builds on the digital revolution, can create up to US$3.7 trillion in value to global manufacturing.
Tech savvy Singapore is well placed to reap the bene ts of this transition. In the  rst “Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018” published by the World Economic Forum, Singapore is among the 25 countries assessed to be in the best position to bene t from the changing nature of production.
The assessment framework is made up of two main components: Structure of Production,

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