the southern German region of Nordschwarzwald, or the North Black Forest, offers many appealing places for high-skilled technology companies to work from. It is also nestled in charming countryside with plenty to do and a high standard of living. Industry in the area revolves primarily around engineering and tooling as well as the tier one/tier two supply of a variety of automotive companies. There are also a number of materials technology specialists in the region, plus companies involved in process technology, jewelry, creative services and relaxation/activity vacations, all stemming from the area’s unique blend between nature and innovation.
Nordschwarzwald is home to a large number of hidden champions, examples of which include Arburg (injection molding machines, from Loßburg), Fischerwerke (connection solutions, from Waldachtal and Horb), Härter (stamping technology, from Königsbach-Stein), Schmalz (high-efficiency vacuum technology, from Glatten) and Witzenmann (flexible metallic elements, from Pforzheim).
The bread-and-butter business of companies in the area ranges from the construction of forward- and backward- integrated machine systems to the production of system-based assembly units ready for integration into complex solutions. There is a wealth of experience in the region coupled with a detailed understanding of a variety of specialist fields, the hallmark (for customers) of made-to-measure solutions and genuine innovations. An important partner in all of this is Steinbeis and its network of experts.
The MLU Steinbeis Transfer Center is a specialist in marketing, logistics and company planning and is based at Pforzheim University. It has been collaborating with companies for 18 years, most of them based in the Nordschwarzwald region. The experts at the MLU support companies in a variety of industries, providing a shining example of knowledge sharing between universities and business. The MLU’s specialists comprise nine professors and seven co-workers in the schools of design, engineering and business planning. All share a commitment to knowledge transfer, and many of their projects involve the delivery of consultation services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Apart from its work in marketing, logistics and business planning, the MLU offers solutions in the fields of IT, media, business process improvement (BPI), environmental and resource management, and the development of communication concepts for use in Web applications. The center has also developed an instrument called the DKA (dialog-based communication analysis) to quickly and efficiently identify system weaknesses. As well as looking at the people who work within companies, DKA methods actively involve these people in entrepreneurship. This instrument thus acts as an incubator of ideas, providing implementable recommendations which also play a major role in motivating people.
I hope you enjoy reading this latest edition of TRANSFER!
Prof. Uwe Dittmann
Prof. Uwe Dittmann is the director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center of Marketing, Logistics and Business Planning at Pforzheim University. The center is one of more than 20 Steinbeis Enterprises in the Nordschwarzwald region.