Rob Karsmakers

Rob Karsmakers

Corporate Affairs Lead Advanced Manufacturing
Place of employment
The Netherlands
Works at

Rob (Dutch, 1961) has a broad international experience in industrial and general management functions within consumer- and professional businesses. He worked and lived for many years in (Eastern) Europe and Asia Pacific. In 2009 he returned from Asia Pacific to the Netherlands with a clear ambition: to proof that European R&D and Manufacturing Industry can outperform globally, enabling European’s future prosperity.

As site manager of the largest R&D and Industrial site of Philips Consumer Lifestyle (Philips Drachten) he demonstrated the site’s global competitiveness enabling sustainable growth. He took a leading role in creating an ambitious ecosystem. In 2014 he won the European Manufacturing Leadership Award and in 2015 his operation was rewarded as “Beste Fabriek of the Netherlands”.  He was member of the Dutch Smart Industry team drafting the roadmap. He has just taken a new role as Philips Corporate Affairs Lead Advanced Manufacturing, aiming to take benefit of industrial innovation globally. While moving to his new function he has been honoured for his achievements with the Frisian Commissioners of the King Medal.


“Europe sets the benchmark in preserving our planet and improving people’s lives by addressing global challenges via distinctive innovation and industrial outperformance. Revitalising European manufacturing industry is the foundation for future prosperity and social stability. But a united Europe needs to accelerate the valorising innovations in order to create sustainable ‘earning power’ and societal value by bringing forward globally competitive products and services and outperform other ambitious regions of the world. To strengthen our industrial ecosystem, we must show more eagerness to transfer excellent R&D into a globally competitive manufacturing industry, enabling future prosperity, employment and social stability.”


Dutch Smart Industry Policy

Track & Session

Policies for a Smart Europe

22 June, 13:30-15:00 hr

22 June, 16:45-17:45 hr - Plenary Inspirational Lecture: Industry 4.0 global versus European perspective

23 June, 17:00-18:00 hr Plenary Ceremony