In the early days of the Steinbeis Network in the 1970s, the main focus lay in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Since the 1990s, the network has been expanding on an international scale. As the Single Market was established in the European Union, small and medium-sized enterprises developed a strong interest in collaboration with partners in other parts of Europe. Consequently, the Steinbeis experts started to adapt to the requirements of their customers and turned more to international markets. Initially Steinbeis focused primarily on technology-based business collaboration with companies in the United Kingdom, Italy, and France. Collaborative research projects in Europe handled by Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum play a major role till date in promoting research and innovation within Europe. At present, there are Steinbeis Enterprises in around 20 countries throughout the world. Expanding its footprints globally Steinbeis Enterprises are located in 20 countries across the globe today, covering all the five continents.
There are now smartphones, smart homes, and smart factories. Everything’s connected, and in the future, maybe there will even be smart blood (if Spectre, the latest 007 film, is anything to go by). The merging of different worlds of technology seems unstoppable. This convergence appears to be affecting technologies just as much as people and technology. Convergence on a general level refers to a process in which something merges into one or becomes assimilated. When technology or people and technology converge in a digital world, one must inevitably ask the question of what is actually converging and what is just becoming more closely linked.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Norbert Höptner talks to TRANSFER magazine about European funding and how Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum helps SMEs navigate their way through different authorities. He also looks at the challenges SMEs can expect to face in the future at an international level.
An enterprise with a strong focus on international markets, the Steinbeis Consulting Center China (SBC) helps companies set up and expand their business connections in other parts of Europe and China. It takes a holistic approach to this. How it works to the benefit of clients can be seen by the successful market entry of LTM GmbH in China.
A Steinbeis partner enterprise established in 2014, the Steinbeis Technology and Innovation Centre - Republic of Korea (STIC) offers its clients consulting services as well as continuing education and training programs – making a valuable contribution to the international transfer of knowledge and technology between Korean and European companies.
Prof. Dr. Werner G. Faix explains why education is particularly important in times of globalization, and outlines his views on the mutual relationship between digital technology development and globalization.
India is the seventh largest country in the world. With over 1.2 billion inhabitants, it is the second most populated country on Earth. India sees its diversity as a unique selling point and has masterfully adjusted to international change. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India drive in 8% of the its GDP, they employ more than 69 million people, and they produce more than 6,000 products – ranging from traditional products to high-tech components. The Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India lends support to this by placing its focus on fostering knowledge and technology transfer in India.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Aleksandar Jovanovic talks to TRANSFER magazine about his fascination with risk and explains why risk management plays a particularly important role when it comes to emerging technologies, sustainability, and innovation.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) was founded in March 2014 by companies including AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel. As an open organization that is managed by its members, it has grown to more than 250 members from 26 countries. The IIC aims to accelerate developments related to the Industrial Internet as well as the Internet of Things and other commercial services. The German Country Team joined the IIC in September 2015. The team is based at the Steinbeis Transfer Center Innovationsforum Industrie (STCII), putting it right under Steinbeis’ roof.
The Asian market for medical equipment was worth around USD 4.6 billion in 2013 and is expected to hit USD 9 billion by 2019. Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia currently account for 65% of the medical product market in the region. The Steinbeis Malaysia Foundation is providing support to Malaysian business to help them register their medical products and promote them in international markets.
As economies becomes increasingly global, workers face new challenges, as do their managers. The School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at Steinbeis University Berlin has recognized changing needs and offers companies ways to meet these challenges with its Going Global Program.
For small and medium-sized enterprises, gaining access to key enabling technologies (KETs) is still not as easy as it sounds. SMEs often lack the right networks and contacts to business clusters. Working on behalf of the European Commission, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) has now set up a Europe-wide platform of professional providers of services in six KETs fields. To do this, the SEZ has categorized technology providers and their infrastructures according to quality criteria. The information generated is now accessible online.
Guy Selbherr talks to TRANSFER about the role played by Bürgschaftsbank Baden-Württemberg and Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MBG) in helping to finance small and medium-sized enterprises who lack financial security. He also looks at whether there really is too little funding for innovation or whether other factors play a role.
When components fail on complex machinery, the costs to the customer in terms of replacement parts and downtime soon start to add up. If parts fail when they are still under warranty, the producer bears these costs, so it is essential to calculate if this could happen. Estimating such factors can be a major challenge with parts made in small quantities, or with new models, and with machines that come in different varieties. The Stuttgart-based Steinbeis Transfer Center for Applied System Analysis (STASA) is specialized in the statistical analysis of complex technical systems and it now has a solution to this problem.
Education is of strategic importance, not just for individuals but also for society as a whole. It keeps everything moving forward in a world that is becoming increasingly complex, exacerbated by accelerated change – and occasionally revolutionary change. What could, indeed, what should be the best way to educate leaders in the future? This was the focal topic of the seventh Steinbeis Competence Day, which took place on 3 December, 2015 in the Stuttgart Haus der Wirtschaft (House of Commerce).
There has been a sharp rise in the number of buildings damaged by storms in recent years, in some cases even as a result of hurricanes. One of the most badly affected areas of a building is the roof. To make sure tiles are kept securely in place, even when the wind reaches storm force, one preventative measure is to attach storm clips to hold them firmly in position. Wurst Metal Technology, based in Höchenschwand in the Black Forest, has been working with two Steinbeis Transfer Centers (STCs) – the STC for Innovation and Implementation and the STC for Process Development – to develop an effective storm fixture that can be clipped on without needing to use tools. The project was backed by the state of Baden-Württemberg as part of the innovation voucher program (voucher A and B).
As more and more parts of the economy shift toward digital solutions, there are growing expectations that productivity will move forward in leaps and bounds as business and work processes are underpinned by ICT. One key challenge presenting itself in this context is how to provide IT systems that make the grade in terms of flexibility – people have strict requirements. Dr. Holger Gast, director of the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Agile Development of Information Systems, offers his customers an innovative software tool that makes it possible to create costum Web apps from standalone, adaptable modules.
Studies show that almost 50 percent of meetings are considered unproductive. The most frequently mentioned reason for this dissatisfaction: poor communication. Clearly something has to be done. And symm – systemic and systematic meeting management – can get things moving in the right direction. The key to the solution is a web-based workflow system which structures and documents the meeting process from planning to follow-up, lifting some of the burden from the shoulders of the meeting organizer. Steinbeis helped the partners who developed this product set up their own company.
German Synthetic Fiber Producer Seeking to Set Up Toothbrush Manufacturing Facilities in Thailand – not the normal thing you read in the Wanted ads, but the offer caught the eye of Anja Reimann just after completion of her bachelor’s degree in Amsterdam. The headline was linked to a job advertisement placed by SCMT GmbH for Hahl-Pedex as part of their executive master’s program for MBEs at the School of Management and Technology (part of Steinbeis University Berlin). The 27-year-old graduate is now gathering her first management experience as the Representative Director and CEO of BBC Hahl-Pedex Filament Ltd., a Hahl Pedex Co. joint venture in Asia.
The fundamentals of modern construction are driven by climate and environmental factors as well as the need to save resources. Requirements related to functionality, flexibility, health protection, and comfort are becoming increasingly important. To assess whether these standards are met when new buildings are constructed, the German Federal Ministry for Construction established the Assessment System for Sustainable Construction (German abbreviation BNB) in 2010. The system assesses the sustainability of non-residential, public buildings built in Germany. As a BNB system provider, the Steinbeis Transfer Institute for Building and Property Industry is recognized by the ministry and offers training and certification as a Technical Expert for Sustainable Building (SHB). The institute also offers conformity audits for BNB assessments produced by the technical experts.
The Steinbeis Company Competence Check© (UKC) is a holistic analysis of the competence held by a company. Using the tool helps firms to systematically capture which know-how they already possess, identify strengths, and proactively take on new challenges. As well as looking at the personal skills of workers, it also takes the overall organizational competence of the company into account. For the first time, the UKC has now been introduced at a German University, and in the winter semester of 2015-2016, Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences (FHWS) started teaching the concept to show students how the tool works as a basis for company evaluations.
Lightly carbonated with small bubbles and absolutely pure – that’s how a fresh draft should be. Perfectly timed to coincide with the 500-year anniversary of the German purity laws, a team of experts at the Steinbeis Innovation Center for System Solutions in Measuring and Automation Technology in Mannheim have achieved a breakthrough in a rather tricky area: keeping beverage tap units clean for utmost safety and quality. The team worked together with Flexxibl GmbH in Braunschweig, Franz Mathes GmbH in Manching, and THONHAUSER GmbH in Austria to achieve this new development. So now an automated and certified cleaning option will help keep a centuries- old quality standard in place for continued drinking indulgence.
Ondal Medical Systems is a medium-sized producer of medical equipment based in Hünfeld, northeast of Frankfurt. The company manufacturers pendant systems for large hospital suppliers. These systems are designed to carry a variety of medical devices. The customers often demand customizable solutions for their products to differentiate themselves from the competition. As the number of product variants grows, meeting expected delivery times becomes an ever-greater challenge. The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Management – Innovation – Technology recently supported the company by developing a modular product and production concept for a new product portfolio. The company pins its hopes on hitting its growth targets with the new group of products.
It is rare for traditional approaches such as annual target setting, incentive systems, or even personal pressure to fuel key success factors amongst employees like trust, loyalty, intrinsic motivation, or team spirit. Instead it takes transformational leadership skills, as practiced by highly successful companies such as small or medium-sized global leaders. The Institute for Management Innovation, a Steinbeis Transfer Center, has confirmed and validated such practices as part of an empirical study involving over 14,300 respondents.
Occupational health management (OHM) depends a lot on the individual organization and its attitude toward corporate responsibility. It requires a long-term investment that could help keep employees fit for work over the long run, even as the legal retirement age keeps creeping upward. To be implemented properly, companies have to carefully consider the entire OHM process and systematically make all the necessary resources (time, finances, personnel) available for the long term. The Baden Württemberg Ministry for Work and Social Order, Families, Women, and Senior Citizens is running a pilot project called Planning, Setup, and Implementation of Occupational Health Management in SMEs in the County of Reutlingen. The project reflects the current situation in the working world and how willing companies are to implement occupational health management. The Reutlingen regional health alliance is working with the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Operational Health Management in on this pilot project.
Industry 4.0, the German government’s high-tech strategy, is in place. Now practical concepts and applications are needed to bring the strategy to life. And Jade University of Applied Sciences (Wilhelmshaven) and Steinbeis answered the call at the end of 2015. Global industrial enterprises, Steinbeis, and regional firms took a closer look at Production 4.0, presenting the latest innovations and developments. The event was organized by the German Welding Society (DVS), a student group at Jade University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the team from the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Applied Production and Joining Technology. Students, scientists, and representatives of private-sector firms were invited to participate as part of the Jade Career Day. Rahmen des Jade Karrieretags an der Jade Hochschule.