On November 27, the internationally independent third-party testing, inspection, and certification organization, TÜV Rheinland Greater China (TÜV Rheinland), held the Innovation Space & Smart Lab opening ceremony in Shanghai. Mei Guangqing, Vice Director, and relevant officials from the Shanghai Jing’an District Government, as well as experts and scholars represented by Tu Shandong, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, witnessed the official launch of TÜV Rheinland’s first Smart Lab and second Innovation Space in the world.

The Vice Director of Jing’an District Government said in his speech: “Jing’an District is the first public service platform demonstration zone for inspection, testing and certification approved by the state. The inspection, testing and certification industry has always been a key industry supported and built by the district government. We have been striving to achieve the best in optimizing the business environment, improving policy transparency and business services. I am glad to see TÜV Rheinland’s Innovation Space and Smart Laboratory settled in Jing’an district, marking that innovation has become a new growth point for our district. I hope that there will be more high and new technology projects in the aspects of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud services, etc. taking root here in the future.”

Dr. Michael Fuebi, CEO of TÜV Rheinland Group, said during a speech given via video: “During the past years, China has developed world leadership in innovation. We are very proud to be able to open our first Smart Lab as well as our second Innovation Space in Shanghai. These are two especially vivid signs that show we are serious about innovation in our very important Chinese market.” He went on to emphasize that, “By creating and now opening the new facilities, we aim to position TÜV Rheinland as an innovative thought leader able to act on eye level with the most innovative companies. Additionally, we aim to scale our service delivery and to create new attractive business opportunities for our clients.”

Petr Lahner, Executive Vice President of the Business Stream Industrial Service & Cybersecurity at TÜV Rheinland, said: “TÜV Rheinland Industrial Services & Cybersecurity is dedicated to the highest level of safety and security in an evolving technological environment. Our Smart Lab unites both: it is an exceptional example of using modern technology in testing processes, while it also stands for quality in safety and security. With the new Innovation Space in place and our gradually evolving Smart Lab, we will continue to provide new solutions to manufacturers.”

“I am very happy to see the opening of our first Innovation Space outside of Germany,” said Dana Goldhammer, Head of Innovation & Digitalization at TÜV Rheinland. “This is a great achievement, especially in times of a global crisis as we are facing at the moment, a great sign that we as a company are willing to actively create a better future. An innovation space is always a physical and visual hub for innovation. After setting up innovation functions here in Shanghai, we believe that the innovation activities within the region, as well as globally, will increase. In combination with the Smart Lab, this Innovation Space will facilitate cross-industry cooperation to create new businesses and new projects, and open the door to more exploration and development of cutting-edge products and services.”

Yushun Wong, CEO and President of TÜV Rheinland Greater China, said in his speech: “China has always been a top priority in TÜV Rheinland’s development strategy planning. China’s economy is entering a new stage of accelerating economic structure optimization along with industry transformation and upgrading. This year, against the background of a global economy impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have rapidly resumed our business in the Chinese market due to the effective pandemic prevention and control of the Chinese government and its policy support for enterprises. That we have decided to build a Smart Lab and Innovation Space in Shanghai is because of the strong support of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government for foreign company innovation, Shanghai’s robust innovation ecosystem and abundant talent resources, and its leading innovation competitiveness in China and even around the world. We hope that TÜV Rheinland Greater China will use Shanghai as the starting point to promote Innovation Spaces and innovation projects in more cities and regions.”

The Shanghai Innovation Space is only the second established by TÜV Rheinland in the world. Adopting an open, free, intelligent, and technology-sensitive design, it provides an optimum environment for makers to foster inspiration and for customers to exchange ideas. At the same time, it pools varied innovation resources to build an open cooperation platform and innovation incubation center, marking another milestone in TÜV Rheinland’s innovation history.

Li Tao, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Business Development at TÜV Rheinland Greater China, and the head of the innovation management scheme in Greater China, stated that the Innovation Space is an important part of TÜV Rheinland’s global innovation program Future Hub. At present, TÜV Rheinland has established a complete innovation management scheme in Greater China to support organization innovation and the digitalization process, and to assist in sustainable business development. It utilizes the Greater China and global innovation platforms to encourage more employees to contribute to multidimensional innovation, rooting innovation in the enterprise culture. At the same time, by virtue of strategy planning, creativity fostering, methodology guidance, and resource integration, TÜV Rheinland provides all-around support for innovation project incubation and inexhaustible power for business innovation. In addition, joining hands with the incubation platform Plug and Play and start-ups, TÜV Rheinland integrates international resources, explores an open innovation ecosystem, especially for such cutting-edge technologies as artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, and automated driving, and catalyzes the digital transformation of traditional industries.

Along with the completion of the Innovation Space, TÜV Rheinland’s first Smart Lab is also officially operational. It is the first fully automatic, intelligent, and unattended laboratory in the testing, inspection, and certification industry. TÜV Rheinland has successfully achieved the first tentative application of Reference Architectural Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0) in the industry, a leap from theory to practice.

At the opening ceremony, the Smart Lab project leader, Dr. Chen Weikang, Vice President of Business Stream Industrial Services & Cybersecurity at TÜV Rheinland Greater China and Senior Engineer, introduced that since nearly all the current tests and experiments in the testing, inspection, and certification industry are completed manually with cumbersome procedures, long time spans, and indeterminacy in manual operation, TÜV Rheinland has built the world’s first Smart Lab. The lab substitutes automatic intelligent equipment for manual operation, and monitors the testing process synchronously with real-time human-computer interaction. The electronic test data over the full process, combined with the artificial intelligence and deep learning model, contribute to multidimensional data analysis and help customers discover potential safety hazards in R&D design. This improves product quality, safety, reliability, and other performance aspects at the source.

This test mode can be replicated and promoted in over 70% of the main areas in the testing, inspection, and certification industry, substantially improving inspection and testing efficiency and accuracy. The Smart Lab has the potential to change the operating profile of the traditional testing, inspection, and certification industry. Especially in areas with rapidly increasing demand, scarce testing resources, and high labor costs, it can effectively eliminate the pain points in industry development, help customers prevent product safety risks at the source, and improve the service level of the entire testing, inspection and certification industry. Meanwhile, in the event of recurrent epidemic conditions, the unattended operation feature can ensure continuous and reliable laboratory operation.

Other experts and scholars attending the Innovation Space and Smart Lab opening ceremony included: Professor Yang Zhenguo, Doctoral Supervisor of Fudan University and China Failure Analysis Chief Scientist, Professor Sun Lining, Doctoral Supervisor and Head of School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Soochow University, and leader of the national robot standards committee, Shu Wenhua, Professorate Senior Engineer and Director of Shanghai Institute of Special Equipment Inspection & Technical Research (SSEI), Professor Chen Ming, Doctoral Supervisor and Industry 4.0 Academic Leader at Tongji University, Professor Yu Shurong, Doctoral Supervisor and Vice-Principal at Lanzhou University of Technology, and Professor Liu Changjun, Doctoral Supervisor and Director of Research Institute of Chemical Machinery at ECUST.

As a leader in reform and innovation in the testing and certification industry, TÜV Rheinland will further increase its R&D investment and testing capacity building in the fields of industrial infrastructure safety, new energy vehicle and supporting facilities, automated driving, rail transit, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and intelligent equipment, new materials, etc. Taking the opening of the Shanghai Innovation Space and Smart Lab as an opportunity, and drawing on its advanced experience around the globe, TÜV Rheinland will continue to open new horizons in testing standards and methods and integrate actively with the “dual circulation” development pattern with innovative services and technology practices, fully supporting the high-quality development of China’s economy.

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