Johannes ‘Hannes’ Hunschofsky, joined EIT Manufacturing as Managing Director for our Co-Location center East, in Vienna, Austria at the end of April. Hannes has a long experience in leading global manufacturing companies and as a board member. He is also a well-known speaker on manufacturing strategy and leadership topics. Hannes serves on the advisory boards of the Idaho Asphalt Supply Company, the Caltech Center for Technology and Management Education and the University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science.
You have recently been nominated Director of EIT Manufacturing CLC East, in Vienna, Austria. Name three main things you want to achieve?
The three main objectives are:
Provide an uncompromising highly effective and efficient support for our partners and our network,
Growth of our network with a particular focus on the Eastern European Countries in order to establish a high-qualitative manufacturing base supporting our Western European Industries and, last but not least
Contribute to build a financially independent and sustainable EIT Manufacturing in order to support our community during and beyond the time of public funding.
I find these important as they serve the Mission and Vision of EIT Manufacturing and its strategic goals including the mandate to create financial sustainability.
Europe’s industrial sector is today facing a twin transformation: an Ecological one and a digital one? How do you think EIT Manufacturing can help with this transformation?
EIT Manufacturing East supports the ecological and digital transformation through innovation projects, embedding start-ups into our networks and therefore increasing the odds for success and educating workers, managers and leaders to be a top manufacturing workforce by all global standards.
Europe, and the world is currently facing a major pandemic, that has put about one third of the world’s population under lockdown. What role do you foresee for Europe’s manufacturing industry to help us recover after the pandemic (and even during the pandemic)?
The most important short-term task is to support the manufacturing industry in swiftly rebuilding sustainable operations, taking into account the specific demands that dictated by the pandemic itself, i.e. reinforced sanitary measures, social distancing, preventing cross contamination. In the mid to long run I foresee that European manufacturers will be rethinking and rebuilding their supply chains, relying more on suppliers that are closer geographically. This will provide new opportunites for many companies located in particular in the scope of EIT Manufacturing East to build new, sophisticated supplier networks.
You have spent your whole career working with manufacturing innovations – what attracted you to the industry in the first place?
As a five-year-old child, I remember visiting my grandfather at the manufacturing plant where he worked as an executive. I was fascinated by the large machines that they built there and that were later assembled into locomotives. An experience that marked be strongly back then, and still does to this day.
Name a major manufacturing breakthrough would you would have liked to invent? Why did you choose this innovation?
The internet. Albeit not recognized as such yet, the internet, particularly the IPv6 (the most recent version of the Internet Protocol, IP), has an even larger fundamental impact on manufacturing than the moving assembly line from Henry Ford in 1913. With the ability to address a sheer unlimited amount of individual entities, the IPv6 has become the unified basis for the communication between single components, enabling most of the technologies that we qualify today as “Smart Manufacturing”.