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North German mid-sized business sector goes digital

Government promotes cross-state competence centre "Mittelstand 4.0"

A cross-state compentence centre to boost digitalization in the north German mid-sized sector is being backed by the Federal Ministry for Economy Affairs and Energy. The choice of tenders by a consortium, co-ordinated by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, has just been announced. The second phase of the application will focus on the amount and use of requested financial means.

Internet of Things and 3D printing

A spokesman for the platform, Andreas Pfannenberg, said: “Our concept for the north is based on the preliminary work by the Hamburg dialogue platform Industry 4.0.” Pfannenberg is also a member of the plenary meeting of the Chmaber of Commerce and the Hamburg Federation of Industry (IVH) and the Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry (ZVEI). He added: “We managed to obtain broad-based support for our project with 21 associated partners from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania which we document in our tender.” Over the next years, the platform will help mid-sized companies with all issues related to digitalisation, the Internet of things, 3D printing, Industry 4.0 and accompany them to new business models.

Scientific base

Adrian Ulrich, who heads the Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation and Environment unit, views the competence centre as the consistent continuation of present and hitherto activities. He noted: “Both the Hamburg dialogue platform Industry 4.0 and also the eBusiness-Lotse Hamburg have already laid a valuable foundation for a successful information and demonstration centre Mittelstand 4.0 in Hamburg.”

Last autumn, the Hamburg World Economy Institute (HWWI) conducted a Chamber of Commerce study on the potential and challenges posed by Industry 4.0. Ulrich added: “We will build on this basis in order to develop a north German competence network for digital change quickly.

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