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Digitalization Boost for the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg Region

Pop-Up Lab stops by at the DigiTAL Schramberg event

From October 16 to 23, 2020, the seventh BW Pop-Up Lab made a stop in the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg region – for the first time virtually, due to current circumstances. Based on the motto DigiTAL Schramberg, regional companies were offered support with planning and organizing the New Normal in a digital era. Steinbeis entrepreneur Wolfgang Müller from the Steinbeis Transfer Center Infothek also ran a workshop for the project.

Due to the pandemic, many companies have been forced to digitalize their processes within a very short timeframe. Some were able to draw on personal experience, while others found themselves having to deal intensively with digital tools for the first time. The recent BW Pop-Up Lab provided regional firms with a free opportunity to find out more about the latest trends in areas such as virtual work planning and innovations. They were also offered the chance to talk with experts and other companies and forge networks. The temporary workshop format was also an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to rethink and reshape business and digitalization beyond their day-to-day operations. Going by the motto DigiTAL Schramberg, the participants were offered a broad range of events focusing on the future and digitalization – from the prospects for automobiles, to virtual reality, online meetings, and podcasts. The target group for the event was cross-industry SMEs in Baden-Wuerttemberg and employees at all stages of their careers.

One workshop on Patents & Co. – How Can I Protect Innovative Products? featured a Steinbeiser from the region, Wolfgang Müller, who heads up the Steinbeis Transfer Center Infothek in Villingen-Schwenningen. Presenting alongside Annegret Schmid (the PATENTCOACH BW project) and Helmut Jahnke (Baden-Wuerttemberg Patent and Brand Center), Müller offered insights into the use of patents to protect products, patent search fundamentals, funding opportunities, and the exploitation of property rights. “Basically, it can be said that there’s not enough understanding of the topic of intellectual property rights in business and politics. Events like the BW Pop-Up Lab can at least plug some of the gaps,” concludes Wolfgang Müller.

Whereas past workshops were organized in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Offenburg, Bruchsal, and other locations, this time there was a short-term change of plan and all of the events that were originally scheduled to take place in Schramberg went online instead. Exactly where the BW Pop-Up Lab pitches its tent is normally decided as part of an application process overseen by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Technology Commissioner. Each program is then tailored to the region and planned with local SMEs.

The BW Pop-Up Lab is funded by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor, and Housing. It is being organized as part of a project called the Baden-Wuerttemberg Innovation Workshop with the support of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) and Steinbeis. The aim of the series of events is to raise the profile of innovation topics within the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and thus support companies in recognizing and exploiting the opportunities offered by digital transformation.

For the latest information on the BW Pop-Up Lab (in German), go to: www.popuplabor-bw.de.


Luisa Dietrich (author)
Public Relations
Steinbeis-Stiftung (Stuttgart)