The Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) has every reason to celebrate. 20 years ago, the regional state parliament of Baden-Württemberg appointed the Minister of Economics' first Commissioner for Europe. At the same time, the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum was set up in Stuttgart under the responsibility of the new commissioner. The SEZ, which now employs more than 30 people and has a second office in Karlsruhe, helps companies with EU funding programs and provides support with cross-border technology transfer.
In 1990, the incumbent Minister of Economics for Baden-Württemberg, Hermann Schaufler, appointed Hans J. Tümmers as his first Commissioner for Europe. His role: to boost competitiveness by making it easier for small and medium-sized companies to gain research and technology funding through the European Union. In 1995 Tümmers was succeeded as Commissioner for Europe by Peter S. Nieß who in 2002 handed the task on to Norbert Höptner, who is still in the role today.
As the front-line operation of the Commissioner for Europe, the Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum distributes the latest information on EU funding programs. As well as sup- porting small and medium-sized enterprises, it helps universities, research institutions and the public sector submit applications and implement EU projects. It also develops future strategies and sets up targeted cross- border partnerships. The SEZ ensure that small and medium- sized enterprises also benefit from European funding. In 2009, the SEZ helped more than 9.8 million euros of European funding find its way into Baden-Württemberg. Since its first EU project in 1993, several hundred project partnerships have ensued with companies. Today it is involved in 24 EU projects, affecting 222 partner companies in 33 countries.
To mark their 20th anniversary, the SEZ and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics invited guests to a convention in Stuttgart on “Strategies for Innovation and Competitiveness in Europe”. The aim of the convention was to provide everyone involved in innovation with new ideas, especially by linking up two aspects of innovation: “the transfer of knowledge from research into business practice”, and “the transfer of innovations throughout the regions of Europe”.
“Europe must do more to support innovation!” demanded Ernst Pfister, the Minister of Economics, in his opening address. “I’m pursuing an ambitious goal with this convention: I want us, in Baden-Württemberg, to keep treading the path of success, and nothing less – a path into the future that will safeguard the prosperity of this region, and employment for its people.“
Professor Olaf Kos was director of the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Education Management and a lecturer at Steinbeis University Berlin. He worked with great commitment, both at his center and on SHB bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Olaf Kos passed away in May after a serious illness.
Olaf Kos studied mathematics, physics and educational science at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where he also gained his PhD and became a university professor. After time abroad at Pennsylvania State University and Florida State University, Kos became head of the chair for pedagogy and IT at the Institute for Business Pedagogy and Adult Education at Humboldt University. In 2005, Kos was a visiting professor for pedagogy at the University of Ulm, after which he became a freelance lecturer at the Institute for Business Pedagogy and Adult Education at Humboldt University and a divisional head at the Institute for Communication and Mediation. In 2007, Olaf Kos founded the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Education Management, where his research concerned educational reform theories, e-learning, strategic communication, the marketing of education, and mediation in schools and families. At Steinbeis University Berlin, he lectured on public management, public governance, and applied educational and social management. Over the course of his career, Olaf Kos authored a number of academic publications.
The Sudeten German Association and the German federal state of Bavaria have awarded Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Günter Köhler the 2010 Sudeten German Culture Prize for Science. Köhler, who is head of production and jointing specialist Steinbeis Produktions- und Fügetechnik GmbH, was awarded the prize at the 61st Sudeten German Congress in Augsburg in May.
Gunter Kohler was born in the Czech town of Kadanˇ and studied and gained his doctorate in Jena and Magdeburg in Germany. In 1986 he was appointed professor at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. In parallel to his studies, Kohler set up an optics technology faculty at the school in partnership with the optical systems company Carl Zeiss. After German reunification, Kohler reorganized his chair into the independent, non-profit Institute for Joining Technology and Materials Testing (now the Gunter Kohler Institute). Shortly afterwards, he founded the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Production and Jointing Technology.
Kohler sits on a number of committees, a reflection of his commitment to a broad spectrum of topics. He is member of the Board Council of the German Welding Society (DVS) and Chairman of the Weimar/Apolda counseling foundation (Stiftung Lebenshilfe). An art lover, Kohler has even found time to organize over 40 art exhibitions at his institute, and is publisher of a series of books on “Art and Technology” for Steinbeis Edition. Everything Gunter Kohler does revolves around his goal of building bridges in the now-unified Europe between his hometown Kadanˇ and the German state of Thuringia. Presenting the award, Otto Hortler and Ehrfried Starke commented, “If you want to move forwards, you can’t keep both feet on the ground all the time. This is the maxim of a visionary – bringing things together that seem like total opposites. Our country needs outstanding scientists like Gunter Kohler, with his powers of integration, to bring seeming opposites together.”