In many sectors of industry, emerging technology can be a door opener to major growth. Few dispute the need to research and carefully manage the possible impacts of technology well in advance. But adhering to this principle in everyday business is often fraught with difficulty. Most companies have little access to the right tools to detect emerging risks early and understand how they could shape society and the environment. The Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies Group (R-Tech) has developed an integrated system that combines risk management – especially in the field of new technology – with a set of R-Tech software tools aimed at managing quality, projects, clients, knowledge, innovations and intercultural issues.
In complex industrial systems, businesses cannot survive without some form of risk management system to steer the safe application of new technology and safeguard the sustainability of innovations and technology transfer. Integrated, end-to-end risk management systems ensure that all products, processes, the environment and society as a whole remain safe in the long term.
Innovations are a key prerequisite to success, but only if the underlying innovation process is safe and sustainable. The system developed to this aim by the R-Tech Group has been certified and protected under trademark law. Customers benefit from the system in a number of ways: savings by mitigating risk, faster innovations through targeted R&D, proper conduct in business undertakings, improved safety and enhanced competitiveness. The system can be used by large industrial entreprises and SMEs. The Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies Group drew on state-of-the-art methods and technology in combination with the very latest innovation management techniques to develop methods for detecting risks early and assessing them using modern technology. Thanks to this approach, it’s possible to match technology development, planning and management to new technological challenges.
Examples of the Steinbeis solution in use come from the insurance sector (project iNTeg-Risk) and the chemical industry (project MUST). Using the iNTeg-Risk system, professionals can assess risk in a clear manner in a way that is pertinent to business. As well as pinpointing potential risk early and assessing it, the system provides a clearer overview of processes at every stage of the product or technology life cycle. It proved its value during tragic events in 2011. The RTech Group has also become an established “knowledge trust agent” to the insurance sector, acting as a point of contact for reporting and summarizing risk-related information objectively and professionally.
The application used in the EU project MUST helps modern, active nanotechnology materials find application in corrosion protection. Aimed at the airplane industry, the materials facilitate a kind of self-healing process on damaged areas such as paint. The software application contains two modules, one designed to detect risks early, the other to model the behavior of nanoparticles in corrosion protection layers. Although the system is based on modern methods and highly complex meso-nano-scale modeling techniques (that describe the behavior of nanoparticles), SMEs can also use it in much less complex areas. Examples include looking at the optimum proportion of nanocontainers in corrosion protection layers, or the risk to staff using nanolacquers. In keeping with the holistic approach to projects taken by Steinbeis, as well as addressing R&D, consulting and continuous professional development, the solution contributes also to with standardization.
This innovative concept, and the integrated system that comes with it, hold tremendous potential for further development. It can be built upon as new trends emerge or specific requirements arise. Subsequent developments and investigations into other possible areas of use or new applications will be carried out jointly with customers, business partners and other stakeholders. These include insurance companies, administrative bodies, international organizations, the EU and EU agencies. As part of a new EU project called PROMISLingua, the R-Tech Group is looking at issues of particular relevance to SMEs, such as languages, usability and the pre-selection of content for specific SME application areas. Outside Europe, the company is currently most active in China, particularly with its Safe China project.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Aleksandar Jovanovic
Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies GmbH (Stuttgart)