fortiss Mittelstand

Digitalization: the key to more sustainability

Under this motto, the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrums Augsburg (center for digitalization for small-to-medium enterprises) celebrated its kick-off on Thursday, July 7 at the Technical University Munich campus in Garching. The center supports the digitalization efforts of small-to-medium enterprises and skilled craft and trade businesses in Bavaria. fortiss, which plays an integral part in the center, was on hand in Garching to participate in the festivities.

 Guiding and supporting the digital transformation

The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Augsburg, which is fully financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) within the framework of its Mittelstand-Digital program, offers its services to companies across all of Bavaria at no charge. The offerings include training, online services, project support, factory and lab tours, expert networks and the Mittelstand-Digital Mobil. The center focuses its activities on the topics of sustainability, digital strategies, artificial intelligence, work 4.0, finances 4.0 and connected production & logistics.

The research institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software-intensive systems is an integral part of the center and is responsible for the area of artificial intelligence (AI), one of focal points of the center. Philip Frankl, coordinator of transfer projects in the fortiss Mittelstands team, is responsible for the fortiss project management within the cooperation. fortiss research associate Martin Gottwald from the machine learning field of competence, is head of the AI area and serves as the expert point of contact. Apart from coordinating these focal points, fortiss will also offer webinars, training programs, information material, tutorials, potential analyses and implementation projects in the area of connected production and logistics.

Digital opening remarks

Among others, Bavarian Minister for Digital Affairs Judith Gerlach (member of the state parliament from the CSU party), sent a digital welcome to kick-off the event. An introduction to the new center and its services was then provided by the head of the center, Andreas Johannes Estner.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Fottner, chair of the TUM School for Materials Handling, Material Flow and Logistics, which is also involved in the center, provided a highly-interesting and powerful key note address on the circular economy. Prof. Fottner emphasized the logistical challenges of a holistically-designed circular economy, which is considerably more difficult to design than today’s linear supply chains.

The event also offered an excellent opportunity to follow further interesting presentations, to learn more about the center’s services and to network with others. The event furthermore triggered a wealth of new impulses related to the topics of digitalization and sustainability through various tours of the campus and the Mittelstand-Digital-Mobil, a one-of-a-kind exhibition space on wheels in the form of a truck equipped with a practical demonstrator for digitalization in industry.

Dr. Wolfgang Köhler, head of fortiss Mittelstand who was also attended the event, is looking forward to collaborating with the center. “The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Augsburg offers companies an ideal continuation and further development of the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Augsburg, in which fortiss will oversee the topic of AI from this point on. We’re looking forward to offering interested companies a starting point for the various issues related to digitalization at no cost.”

Further cooperation partners of the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Augsburg are:

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