The 2015 Steinbeis Day

The Steinbeis Arena on Industry 4.0 – discussion forum – Steinbeis workshops – exhibition

The 2015 Steinbeis Day was marked by two new changes, both of which received an extremely warm reception from the guests. This year around 500 people turned up on the traditional “Steinbeis Friday,” i.e., the last in September and for the first time Steinbeis Day took place at the Steinbeis House for Management and Technology (SHMT) in the suburb of Plieningen in Stuttgart. The program was also completely overhauled to lay emphasis on interaction, networking, and forging new contacts – which the new location is virtually made for.

The focal topic for the day, which revolved around an interactive Steinbeis discussion forum with modern multimedia, was a thought-provoking question: Is Industry 4.0 Making the Grade in Industry? In the inner circle, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gisela Lanza (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), the lecturer Dr. Heiner Lasi (the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute, Steinbeis Foundation), Dirk Slama (Bosch Software Innovations), and Roman Zitzelsberger (IG Metall Baden-Wurttemberg) expressed their sometimes contentious opinions on Industry 4.0 in a debate moderated by Marcel Wagner. Their views were then commented on, sometimes also critically, by further forum members in an outer ring, which was moderated by Tina Kraus. This ring was comprised of Claudia Glaser (Glaser GmbH), Johannes Matheis (Jomatik GmbH), Johann Peter Pfeifer (Baden-Wurttemberg Trade Association of Electrical and Information Technology), and Klaus Dietrich Wachlin (vicar, moderator, publicist). For people who could not attend in person, there are excerpts in German and English in the Steinbeis media library. After the arena, the SHMT opened its doors to all guests. There were workshops to provide an opportunity to go into topics in more detail with the speakers, plus lunchtime snacks and relaxed conversation with others.

The day started with the bestowal of the Seifriz Award. The Seifriz Award is a transfer prize of German skilled trades that has been awarded for 25 years to honor successful collaboration between skilled trades and science. It is awarded once a year by the Baden-Wurttemberg Skilled Crafts Conference and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts in collaboration with the business publication handwerk magazin (tradesman magazine), the Signal Iduna Insurance and Finance Group, the Association for Technology Transfer in Trades, the Ministry for Finance and Economics in Baden-Wurttemberg, and Steinbeis. By tradition, the award is bestowed annually at the Steinbeis Day.

During the open part of the day, more members of the Steinbeis Network joined workshops in the afternoon, which offered insights into totally different topics with experts and many others looking at the Steinbeis Company Competence Checkc, international Steinbeis activities, issues related to bookkeeping and accountancy, and current strategies related smart manufacturing (Industry 4.0).

To demonstrate that there is also an artistic side to science, the annual event has included an exhibition of Steinbeis art for several years now. To coincide with the Steinbeis Day at the SHMT, Steinbeis also welcomed art lovers to an exhibition at the House of Commerce. This year’s exhibition is by Katja Wolter, a native of Greifswald who is not only the director of the Institute for Resource Development, a Steinbeis Research Center, but who is also a painter and is fascinated by co-habitation in society and the influence of life experiences and how they shape people. Wolter mixes the colors of the sands of the Baltic Sea to add accents of home to her pieces. Her exhibition can be viewed at Steinbeis headquarters until the summer of 2016.


Extracts of the forum discussion and photos taken on the day are available at www.steinbeis- and in the Steinbeis media library. The next Steinbeis Day will take place on Friday September 30, 2016 at the Steinbeis House for Management and Technology (SHMT) in the suburb of Plieningen in Stuttgart.

Anja Reinhardt
Steinbeis Foundation (Stuttgart)

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