Dear readers,

Baden-Württemberg is a powerful industrial state. It is synonymous with innovative, premium quality products and highly qualified workers. Products and services supplied by companies from Baden-Württemberg attract global demand. They are the cornerstones of our economic success and prosperity.

There are many reasons for the productivity and performance of Baden-Württemberg. On the one hand, south-west Germany is home to small and medium-sized enterprises which are competitive at an international level, as well as multinational companies. On the other, the state offers a diverse research infrastructure spanning scientifically-oriented universities and institutes of applied research and development. Last but not least, the proactive approach to technology transfer – as practiced by Steinbeis – provides industry with support in its innovative undertakings.

At first glance, the industrial strength of Baden-Württemberg lies in areas such as the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, environmental technology and chemicals. But niche markets such as biotechnology, fiber-based materials and aerospace continue to grow in importance. Often the secret of success lies in companies’ and sectors’ extraordinary ability to adapt: through a commitment to the future, without neglecting traditional roots and capabilities.

Aerospace in this region of Germany enjoys a long tradition. This stems from the building of the Zeppelin and individuals such as Hans Klemm and Eugen Sänger. The aerospace industry has built on this long-standing engineering tradition by developing hitech products, which have now trickled down into almost all areas of international aerospace work – including systems used in helicopters, commercial aircraft, guided missiles and radar engineering. One particular area of focus is space travel, in fields such as scientific satellites used for earth and climate observation, as well as telecommunications.

Providing a focal point for the aerospace industry in Baden-Württemberg is the LR BW forum. It represents the interests of a variety of parties, forming a bridge between industry, science and academia, and politics. Through the work of its members, including the Steinbeis Foundation, the LR BW forum supports this “high-flying” sector. As usual, this edition of TRANSFER offers readers a flying tour of all kinds of Steinbeis projects. I hope it provides interesting reading!

Dr.-Ing. Rolf-Jürgen Ahlers


Dr.-Ing. Rolf-Jürgen Ahlers is a member of the Steinbeis Board of Trustees, representing the Baden-Württemberg industry association LVI. He is chairman of the Baden-Württemberg aerospace forum LR BW and managing director of the Weinheim-based company ASG Luftfahrttechnik und Sensorik GmbH.

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