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HOW TO SUCCEED WITH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AS AN SME

First industry convention held by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Industry 4.0 Transfer Platform

The Baden-Wuerttemberg Industry 4.0 Transfer Platform (TPBW I4.0) was founded in collaboration with Steinbeis with the aim of supporting SMEs in Baden-Wuerttemberg with digitalization of their value chain processes. On March 28, more than 200 visitors came to the Stuttgart House of Commerce (Haus der Wirtschaft) to enjoy a powerful and varied program of live events staged by the TPBW I4.0. The sixteen exhibitors and nine public speakers left the audience in no doubt that the practice-related transfer platform will be playing a pivotal role in helping SMEs make a success out of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation projects.

During the event, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister of Economic Affairs, underscored the valuable role she believes the TPBW I4.0 plays. She is convinced that the transfer platform will help continue the success story of industry in the region. In her keynote speech, she highlighted the important role played by small and medium-sized business in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the importance of digital transformation – particularly for SMEs – and the role played by the transfer platform: “The Baden-Wuerttemberg Industry 4.0 Transfer Platform creates transparency, shares examples, provides advice, and offers the support of a research and development partner. In doing so, it bolsters our small and medium-sized enterprises on their journey to Industry 4.0. It provides innovative and ‘hands-on’ solutions for digitalizing industrial value creation.”

STRONG PARTNERS – SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS

The industry convention highlighted the scope of services and implementation expertise offered by the universities participating in the platform. This was made particularly evident by the vivid demonstrations and talks given by the project partners. Visitors were given the opportunity to see for themselves how digital transformation projects are successfully implemented by SMEs. They could also find out more about virtual reality, digital twins, artificial intelligence, and predictive maintenance, as well as talk to exhibitors about topics such as the IIoT, edge computing, and self-calibrating localization in logistics and assembly. As such, the event successfully showcased the breadth of expertise on offer to SMEs thanks to the strong commitment not only of the universities of Aalen, Reutlingen, and Esslingen, but also of Steinbeis. The collaboration agreements already entered into with project partners in industry and education reflect not only the impact of the new platform but also the scale of demand. In his closing speech, the transfer platform’s initiator, Prof. Rainer Würslin (Steinbeis Transfer Center for Microelectronics; Esslingen University of Applied Sciences), outlined the process of entering into a collaboration agreement, bringing the day to a close with a simple message: It’s always worth entering into dialog with the transfer platform.

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