Global Collaborations Create Hybrid Conferences for Workforce Development | #cybersecurity | #conferences

Global Collaborations Create Hybrid Conferences for Workforce Development

With so much disruption in supply chains, global trade and workforce availability, manufacturers are forced to come up with new ways to attract, train and retain employees.  

Deloitte recommends leveraging advanced digital technologies to boost productivity and streamline business operations, and “recalibrating talent strategy to incorporate workforce demands relative to scaling up production and developing the digital skills that are needed today and in the future.” An example they cite is Bosch Rexroth and Singapore Polytechnic collaborating to open two learning labs in the latter’s campus to train participants on the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing. 

To support industrial companies in their efforts to educate their automation, instrumentation and IT employees on digital transformation, cybersecurity and other essential topics, ISA has stepped up. ISA is collaborating with significant global partners to provide technical content and has added in-person conference components to its successful virtual-events programming.  

ISA’s first conference of 2022, held in March, included a collaboration with the Brazilian national oil company Petrobras. It was also ISA’s first multilingual virtual event, as it featured a translation component with all presentations delivered in Portuguese with English closed captioning.  

“The conference offered a wealth of digital transformation content sessions developed and sponsored by Petrobras, followed the next day by ISA’s IIoT & Smart Manufacturing virtual conference programmed by ISA staff and volunteers,” said manager of conferences & Events Kimberly Belinsky. The agenda included a keynote by Indranil Sircar, Microsoft CTO for manufacturing and supply chain industry as well as a panel of experts discussing how manufacturers are building organizational readiness for scaling up their smart factory projects. Solutions discussed included engaging with existing workers on upskilling and job satisfaction; embracing technology & digitalization efforts at all levels of the company; and acting on diversity in meaningful ways, said Belinsky.  

The 2022 events program is highlighting the “international” aspect of the International Society of Automation through such partnerships and adding a welcome in-person component to virtual events. “We launched our virtual conferences in October 2020, and in 2021 attracted more than 12,000 global participants,” said ISA senior manager of events Bill Furlow. “In 2022, we are building on this success by hosting these hybrid conferences—virtual events with in-person components. These live events are being strategically supported around the world by ISA sections and local partners in specific regions.”  

The upcoming 2022 event schedule is as follows. Note that the locations shown indicate the time zones during which the virtual events will take place: 

  • Digital Transformation – India, June 21. In-person location: Faridabad, Haryana, India. Supporting Organizations:  NPTI (National Power Training Institute) and CEA (Central Electricity Authority). 
  • Digital Transformation – North America, August 30. In-person location: Houston. Local partner: ISA Houston Section. 
  • Digital Transformation – Asia, October Date TBD. In-person location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Local partner: Petronaus.  
  • Cybersecurity Standards Implementation – Middle East, October 25. In-person location: Saudi Arabia. Local Partner: Saudi Aramco 
  • Cybersecurity Standards Implementation – North America, October 26. In-person location: Houston. Local Partner: ISA Houston Section. 
  • ISA Annual Technical Conference two-track, two-day integrated program covering process automation, digital transformation, cybersecurity, IIoT and more – North America, November 8-9. In-person location: Galveston, Texas. 

ISA’s hybrid conferences offer automation professionals powerful insights into key operational and business topics, enabling you to increase your knowledge and connect with peers from the convenience, comfort and safety of your phone or desktop, or in person. All promise to help members of the automation industry develop the digital skills needed to succeed.  

This piece originally appeared in the June issue of InTech magazine.

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