Rhetoric and communication in the lecture hall and in the office

“Rhetoric and communication in the lecture hall and in the office” – the focus of the Rhetorics Congress from 24-25 September 2008 at the Haus der Geschichte in Stuttgart. Sponsored and hosted by the Steinbeis Transfer Center Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Ludwigsburg, the event will help participants rethink the problems facing rhetoric in tertiary education.

Rhetoric and communication are found wherever, whenever people come into contact with one another. They are what bring different aims to light. In a university setting, these rhetoric and communicative processes work to meet educational goals. Companies, too, leverage these processes to achieve specific ends. Both types of organizations, then, are facing enormous pressure to perform. This Transfer Congress will address what can be compared in these scenarios, but will also highlight the religious foundation which gave rise to both. Given the efforts devoted to globalization, it makes good sense to embrace intercultural dialogue and reflect on backgrounds which still speak to us today.

The panel of speakers includes historian Dr. Jürgen Smettan (Association of German Psychologists) and His Imperial Highness Dr. Asfa Wossen Asserate. Congress partners are the Institute for Cognitive Management in Stuttgart, the Association of German Psychologists and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Held every year since 2000 at universities of cooperative education throughout Baden-Württemberg, this event is the latest incarnation of an ongoing educational program to raise awareness in and for communication and rhetoric. University and college-level professors will find this congress highly insightful, as will those who work full-time or in a more voluntary capacity at institutions of higher education in Baden-Württemberg. Representatives from partner companies as well as business, centers of learning and interested industrial and organizational psychologists are also welcome to attend.


Prof. Marieluise Salman
Steinbeis Transfer Center Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Steinbeis project now a UNESCO Decade project

Die UNESCO hat das Steinbeis-Projekt „Drei Frauen – Kultur und Nachhaltigkeit“ (siehe auch Transfer 4/2007) zum Dekade-Projekt ernannt. Ulrich Holzbaur, Leiter des Aalener Steinbeis-Transferzentrums Angewandtes Management, entwickelt ein erlebnisorientiertes Projekt über die drei berühmten Töchter Giengens – Margarete Steiff, Lina Hähnle und Maria von Linden – unter dem Arbeitstitel „Nachhaltige Weibs-Bilder“.

Die UNESCO hat für die Jahre 2005 bis 2014 die Weltdekade „Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung“ ausgerufen. Ziel ist es, die Prinzipien nachhaltiger Entwicklung in den nationalen Bildungssystemen zu verankern. Mit der Auswahl nationaler Dekade-Projekte sollen Akteure dezentral vor Ort unterstützt werden. Neben 50 weiteren Projekten zeichnete die UNESCO im Februar auf der Bildungsmesse didacta das Kulturamt der Stadt Giengen, die Kulturstiftung Giengen und das Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Angewandtes Management aus. Zwei Jahre haben die drei Partner nun den Titel „Offizielles Projekt der Weltdekade“ inne. Die UNESCO hob hervor, dass die drei Giengener Frauen Vorbilder für individuelle und gemeinwohlorientierte Lebensgestaltung sind. Für Ulrich Holzbaur und die Giengener Kulturamtsleiterin Uta Singer gilt es nun, diesen Schwerpunkt in dem Konzept für Giengen umzusetzen und zu einer tragenden Säule im Kulturentwicklungsplan der Stadt zu machen. 


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur
Steinbeis Transfer Center Applied Management

Cross Media Publishing 2007 Market Study

The recently published Cross Media Publishing 2007 Market Study – co-authored by Steinbeis University Berlin, the Fraunhofer IAO Stuttgart, University of St. Gallen and e-pro solutions – pinpoints success factors in cross media publishing and how it’s developing. Shedding light on the German and Swiss markets, the study analyzes nearly 150 company profiles and investigates both printed and electronic communication devices and processes.

International distribution, publications in local languages, a growing number of supporting publication channels, booming assortments of products – these continue to be the central driving forces behind cross media publishing and the use of product information management (PIM) solutions in companies. To cope with the rising complexity in international product marketing, companies will need to do two things: keep the flood of information in check and optimize their marketing processes over the long term – and in sync with external service providers. For cross media communications to be consistent and swift, product information, copy and translations need to be able to be used multiple times and through multiple channels in a highly automated fashion. Strategic potential for success lies in effectively planning, implementing, and managing the cross media publication process while keeping an eye on cost, quality and time – which also steer success.

The Cross Media Publishing 2007 Market Study shows that 98 per cent of participating companies have an international presence, 68 per cent offer over 500 products and, taken together, everyone within their product range communicates in an average of five languages. Respondents also said that saving money is a secondary concern in cross media publishing. 69 per cent of enterprising building suppliers, for example, said they believed that their higher-quality cross media publications would also have a greater chance of success with their customers.

This analysis of the market was conducted under the auspices of the Mobile Multimedia Multi-Supplier Distribution Information Systems (German abbreviation: M3V) research project with considerable backing from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology. M3V aims to determine real-world situations where multimedia communication tools could be used for mobile distribution support.


Andrea Müller
Steinbeis University Berlin

“Young Founders” winning team heads to Silicon Valley

Hailing from the Hansenberg boarding school in Hesse, Germany, four young men won last year’s “Young Founders” competition (also in Transfer 3/2007), an initiative launched by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and organized and managed by the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Business Development in Pforzheim. Fabian Maier, Garry Spanz, Leonard Wein and Jonas Hausruckinger scored points with the “Luminatio” product idea – a smart, energy efficient streetlamp system – enough, in fact, to beat out the competition in the final round. Steinbeis came through with a well-earned reward: a trip to Silicon Valley, where rags to hi-tech start-up riches stories unfold in style.

To experience a taste of things to come, the four fledgling entrepreneurs started with a visit to the Intel and Computer museums for an overview of how rapidly the industry is developing. And at Audi and VW, they got a glimpse of the day-to-day work at the company’s design studios in Santa Monica – a perfect demonstration of how and where professionals can give their creativity free reign. “Never stop thinking“ – so went the motto at Infineon, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors. The students goggled at the company’s portfolio – brimming with nearly 42,000 patents – and stopped by the head office for a thorough introduction to different approaches to work, career paths and, last but not least, essential skills for sought-after professions.

The opportunities and threats facing startups were the first issues to confront the Young Founders while at Jajah, a new Austrian venture with a branch office in Silicon Valley. Jajah provides VoIP telephony that lets you use your telephone without tying you to a computer. And finally, at Detecon Consulting, a fellow German wished the winners “Guten Tag”. Managing director Daniel Kellmereit emigrated to the United States years ago and shared his thoughts on the differences between working environments in Germany and America.

The visit “across the pond” wrapped up with an outing to Yosemite National Park, a visit to the Independent Institute (one of the many think tanks of American politics) and guided tours of sights off the beaten track in San Francisco.


Birgit Metzbaur
Steinbeis Transfer Center for Business Development Pforzheim University

Patents: no harbingers of marketing opportunities

At last year’s Ingenia Forum on “Real-World Ideas – Patents” in Heidenheim, Germany, Ulrich Schmitt and Peter Gerloff – both from the Steinbeis Transfer Center Mechatronics in Abtsgmünd – taught participants the sense of ideas that make sense.

Using real-life examples, both mechatronics professors demonstrated that external consultants can make it easier to keep survey on technology overall and what patents are already existing. Why? Patents are not harbingers of marketing opportunities. In one example, the inventor had already found a licensee and two prototypes had been manufactured before it was discovered that the patent simply could not be marketed. The external consultant who was called in revealed the folly of the investment, thus avoiding additional and costly development work which would certainly not have met the desired objectives.

When registering a patent, Gerloff urged, it’s an excellent idea to hire a patent attorney. Another example revealed how this proved to be the key in protecting a product which had already been manufactured. A competitor had wanted to showcase the new product at the same trade show at only half the price. It took a subsidiary claim mapped out by a patent attorney to clear his product away from the trade show immediately. What turned the tide? The patent claim. The solution set out in the first company’s claim also described the product’s design. Technicians, the speakers argued, would have considered the design so obvious that they would have never included it in the patent, thus leaving the company on shakier ground. This reflected the evening’s motto and sound general advice from the experts: “First care about the ‘musts’, then about the ‘shoulds’”. The Ingenia Forum convenes once every quarter and addresses topics specific to patents.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Schmitt
Steinbeis Transfer Center Mechatronics

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