Within the scope of last year’s Pharma MES & Process Minds Dr. Hanns-Eberhard Erle, former EVP Global Manufacturing & Supply of Merck Serono, made an assessment of trends and key challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry. From his point of view one major problem of the pharmaceutical industry is the research productivity. In the past 10-15 years there has been a lack of research activities. This will have negative effects on the pharmaceutical industry as it lives from innovation. Dr. Erle also names the application of Industry 4.0 as a key challenge for pharma, especially for companies without a high automation already on track.