Award for a member of staff who is practically an institution in himself: Prof. Dipl.-Ing., Prof. h. c. (YZU) Gerhard Walliser, director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Automotive Engineering in Esslingen, was bestowed a special award on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
The honor is awarded to “Steinbeisers” for outstandingly successful projects, their unique personality, their fundamental approach, or the respect they gain as a role model. Prof. Dr. Michael Auer, Board Chairman of the Steinbeis Network, presented the award to Gerhard Walliser in the presence of a variety of guests who had gathered to mark his big birthday.
Since starting at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences in the early 1970s, Walliser worked for Steinbeis as an engineering consultant for many years. In 1995, he founded the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Automotive Engineering in Esslingen, which he has headed up ever since. The center offers its clients consulting services, studies, and expert reports, as well as support with applied R&D. It also provides a comprehensive selection of staff training courses on the topics of vehicle drive chains, vehicle bodies, and vehicle mechatronics.
The Steinbeis series of trade shows called Products Seek Producers (PsP) has now achieved four successes in matching new product concepts to manufacturers. PSP is now starting a triple round of events. Steinbeis is once again opening its doors to its innovation shows in the coming months, this time in Reutlingen, Ulm, and Karlsruhe.
Each trade show is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and registration details,
go to www.produkte-suchen-produzenten.de.
If anyone needed proof that research can be entertaining and made easy for anyone to understand, the young scientists at the 12th Science Slam in Stuttgart in June certainly provided it. They also proved that there is continuing fascination with scientific topics – not one of the 370 seats at the Hospitalhof in Stuttgart stood empty. Steinbeis joined the event for the first time as partner to the Stuttgart Hütte Academic Foundation.
At a science slam, complex scientific relationships are explained in simple terms for everyone to understand and these are presented in the most creative and entertaining ways possible – all in no more than 10 minutes. Five slammers took part in the event at the Hospitalhof in Stuttgart, presenting their projects to an excited audience.
Dr. Burkhard von Stackelberg and Dave Tjiok gave a talk on The muck that can save the world, explaining how vegetable carbon can turn infertile soil into fertile farmland. The slammer Hagen Eckert approached the evening from a sporting angle. In his slam on the Science Olympics, Eckert unveiled the mysteries of university rankings and explained how statistical methods and special procedures are used to identify the elite universities of this world. Lukas Kürten went for a Spinning Spin through stores and chose a highly entertaining way to show how products that claim to have quantum physics properties are promising buyers much more than they are capable of delivering in scientific terms.
The delighted winner of the event was Helene Hoffmann. In her Ice-Ice Baby slam, Hoffmann completely brushed aside many of the clichés about environmental researchers, at the same time delivering a number of perfectly timed punch lines that not only kept the entire audience entertained, but also won everyone over in an instant. Aside from leaving a lasting impression of her own good self, the researcher shared a great deal of scientific know-how with the audience on how to ascertain the age of glaciers. So there was no doubting the winner in the audience’s mind and Hoffmann was awarded the hotly contended Science Slam Cup by the trustees of the Stuttgart Hütte Academic Foundation.
The Science Slam marked the beginning of the new collaboration between Steinbeis and the Stuttgart Hütte Academic Foundation. The alliance stems from an initiative started by Reinhard Stahl, deputy chairman of the board of trustees at the academic foundation. The partnership allows current and former members of the foundation to gain access to the Steinbeis Network and thus become involved in current issues relating to applied scientific practice and knowledge transfer.
At the beginning of June, German president Joachim Gauck joined the German federal environmental foundation DBU at Berlin Environmental Week in the gardens of Bellevue Palace in Berlin. The event goes back to an initiative started by the former German president Johannes Rau, and this was the fifth time it has taken place at the president’s residence. The event included presentations of significant and innovative contributions to the environment and nature conversation. Representing the Steinbeis Network, the Sinsheim-based Steinbeis Innovation Center for Logistics and Sustainability (SLN) also organized a booth at the event.
A panel of judges appointed by the German president selected the best and most innovative projects from over 600 applications. “We were absolutely delighted to be invited to Berlin to present our energy efficiency in logistics project, which was backed by the DBU,” says Jens-Jochen Roth, director of the Steinbeis Innovation Center in Sinsheim. The Steinbeis team presented the project on both days of the event, showing visitors how solution-based innovations were developed for the transportation and logistics industry, including examples of creative ideas thought up by apprentices – such as the GreenCube idea, which was also translated into practical application. There were roughly 12,000 visitors at the event, who came to find out more about nature conversation and environmental protection innovation in business.
The Steinbeis working group on Human Factors in the Product Development Process got off to a successful start with around 60 people meeting up at the end of last year to look at the issue of Industry 4.0 at SMEs. The question they asked: Are you in good shape enough for the future? A key challenge faced by SMEs is how to push ahead with digitalization in ways that work in the long term – in harmony with the technology used by SMEs, their actual room to maneuver, and the people involved. The conference proceedings have now been published.
The Steinbeis working group on Human Factors in the Product Development Process stems from an initiative launched by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Haas, director of the Institute for Transfer Technologies and Integrated Systems SITIS, a Steinbeis Transfer Center, in collaboration with Oliver Brehm, director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Innovation und Organization. The forum is open to all centers belonging to the Steinbeis Network and experts involved in the field, who are keen to promote dialogue between science and academia on the one hand, and business on the other. The working group consciously works at an interdisciplinary level and is targeted at SMEs that would like to take on the challenges of digital transformation.
The conference documentation was published by Steinbeis-Edition and includes more than 100 pages of actual solutions and guidelines pertinent to connected factories (Industry 4.0) at SMEs. The plan is to continue the event this year in Stuttgart on November 24, 2016.
The conference proceedings are free and can obtained through Steinbeis-Edition or via
download by going to www.stzio.de.
PD Dr. phil. habil. Maja Jeretin-Kopf
Steinbeis Transfer Center Institute for Transfer Technologies and Integrated Systems SITIS (Karlsruhe)
The starting gun has been fired for Transferplattform BW, following confirmation in August from the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Economics Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut that a funding grant worth just under two million euros will be going to the universities of Aalen, Esslingen, and Reutlingen, as well as Steinbeis. The Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Economy, Employment, and Housing is providing funding for a joint transfer platform for Industry 4.0 (connected or smart manufacturing). Its aim is to help SMEs make better use of the opportunities opened up by digital networks and smart manufacturing.
“Baden-Württemberg fulfills all the right prerequisites for the advent of Industry 4.0. It will be particularly important for small and mediumsized enterprises to receive support with the increasing complexity of production and logistics systems – support based on actual business practice,” explains Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut. In keeping with this, the Ministry for the Economy is backing a joint know-how sharing platform for Industry 4.0 at three universities in collaboration with Steinbeis.
The funding reflects the intention of the state of Baden-Württemberg to address the challenges posed by innovation policy in the field of Industry 4.0. Providing a joint transfer platform puts practical solutions at the fingertips of SMEs in the state. The universities will work together with Steinbeis to coordinate transfer activities and dovetail two separate instruments. One entails setting up Industry 4.0 labs to function as demonstration centers across all locations. The other involves managing how know-how is shared, based on the same principles. The universities and companies will focus on actual demand and will work together to write product specifications. This will be translated into hands-on solutions through research and development projects in the Industry 4.0 labs at the universities, as well as staff training and courses. The transfer platform is a pilot project, so the aim is also to gather experience that can be handed on to other universities.