The clock is ticking for an aging world. Nearly every country is facing the issue of an ageing society. According to the World Health Organisation, the number of people aged 65 or above is reckoned to increase from 524 million in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2050. While ageing is a global phenomenon, rapidly ageing populations are found in some countries of Europe and Asia while the population of the United States remains relatively young.

Coupled to this demographic trend is an equally transformative technological one: Industry 4.0 is not only about adding value to the economy, it is also about the possibilities for the advancements of society. Digitisation of industry contributes to the optimisation and customisation of production processes which reduce energy and resource consumption. It is also a chance for us to reshape the economy in a way that adapts it to an ageing population by leveraging its flexibility and efficiency.

Therefore QS-APPLE 2019 under the theme of “Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Ageing Societies: The Changing Roles of Universities in the Asia-Pacific”, seeks to not only explore how universities in the Asia-Pacific and beyond can give rise to new digital industrial technologies through excellent research and innovation and contribute to the positive growth of the society. But also, to discover how these technological advancements can help to overcome the impact of ageing populations on the global economy.

Fukuoka, Japan