The Ravensburg district WiR is an association that promotes innovation and the interests of industry. For over a decade, it has been providing small and medium-sized enterprises with independent support on business development. Its declared aim in the medium term is to safeguard employment and, if possible, create new jobs. The spectrum of topics it provides support on ranges from purely technical to organizational or business management issues. The enterprise, WiR GmbH, is wholly owned by the district of Ravensburg and is supported financially not only by the municipality, but also by the savings bank Kreissparkasse Ravensburg. The WiR delivers its services within the scope of a Steinbeis cooperation agreement. This offers companies in the local district an opportunity to tap into the Steinbeis Network quickly and without red tape. All Steinbeis experts are available to provide their services.
The WiR acts as a catalyst and facilitator on behalf of the Steinbeis Network, providing a first port of call on issues and questions related to local business. Working alongside the client company, it analyzes current problems. The close-knit network of the WiR and collaboration with the Steinbeis Network make it possible to identify specific courses of action and solutions. But economic development will only succeed in the future if it is not only based on stronger collaboration – at a regional and local level – but also matches directly the individual needs of companies. Companies face a whole plethora of complex issues. The WiR helps firms tackle and solve business issues systematically, particularly through access to advice, research and development, evaluations, expert reports, and location marketing.
Drawing on individualized advice and exchanging views with experts unleashes the potential for customers to develop their own innovative solutions and push forward with ideas, thus boosting company knowhow. WiR consults on a variety of topics covering the full spectrum of technology and management: ICT, microsystem engineering, microelectronics, production technology, automation, life sciences and new materials, but also more general topics like organizational issues, investments, quality, financing and diversification. The aim of advice given within the scope of research and development services is to translate know-how from fundamental research, applied research or development findings directly into marketable products and services, and thus, ultimately, to create a competitive advantage for client companies.
Aside from boosting existing potential, WiR develops and analyzes future business potential. For example, business concepts are checked to see if they are viable, or business plans are checked to see if they can be implemented. Experts work through projects in detail, focusing closely on future potential to give concrete support with decision-making and provide suggestions on ways to move live or planned projects forward. This allows clients to better understand opportunities and minimize risk.
The WiR also helps promote the district of Ravensburg as a business location beyond the region through a variety of marketing instruments. For instance, it works with three other economic development bodies to attract skilled workers to companies in the Bodensee and Oberschwaben region with the slogan “A career in the South”. It also organizes regular student outings to give graduates at general or technical universities first-hand insights into companies in the region. There is also a marketing campaign portraying Allgäu and Oberschwaben as “The Number 1 Region” to showcase market and technology leaders from the area. Rounding off the service and consulting portfolio of the WiR is a Women & Careers Center, which was launched in Ravensburg in 2006. The center is just one of 10 in the state of Baden-Württemberg run under the auspices of the WiR. The aim of the center is to provide personal advice, stage events and promote initiatives and joint projects that foster equal opportunities for women in professional careers. As well as advising women, the center also supports firms on topics such as career guidance, employee development, juggling career priorities with families, career planning, becoming self-employed and much more.