Welcome of the Executive Board
Welcome of the Executive Board
An eventful 2021 lies behind us. In the second year of the pandemic, we were again able to further develop important innovation projects with our customers. The focus was on solutions for a sustainable and climate-neutral future, with a view to sustainability, digitalisation and regional and social transformation. With numerous examples to choose from, you can read a selection of the success stories of our customers and project activities that we would like to share with you in this report. Let these stories inspire you!
As you may have noticed, in 2021 we realigned our corporate identity with fresh new colours under the umbrella brand ‘Steinbeis Europa Zentrum’ and restructured our portfolio with a fresh range of topics. With the newly designed website and our monthly newsletter, we offer you insights into current activities, exciting technologies, projects, funding schemes and success stories.
For us, it is a priority to accompany each of our customers and partners for the long term and to enable you to progress in your sustainable and innovative development. Our slogan ‘Enabling Innovators to Grow’ is an expression of our strong commitment to respond to your innovation needs and offer personalised support on an international level.
With the new premises our Stuttgart colleagues moved into in December 2021 in the west of the city, we are even better equipped and ready to welcome you and assist you with our expertise.
We would like to sincerely thank all our partners for the good cooperation, the joint development and implementation of new ideas as well as the interesting projects and topics that we were able to design and implement successfully together with you. Let's continue to work together to strengthen and advance European cooperation. We look forward to your ideas.
Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg; Head of Steinbeis EU FOR YOU und Steinbeis IDEA EUROPE
Dr. Jonathan Loeffler
CEO Steinbeis 2i GmbH
02 Figures 2021
2021 AT A GLANCE
2021 AT A GLANCE
European Innovations for a sustainable society and responsible industrial transformations
We continued to be committed to this mission statement in 2021 and implemented it through the following services for our clients:
Our turnover in 2021 is made up of three sources: the largest part - 71% of project funds - comes from funding measures of the European Commission, 18% results from services we provide on behalf of clients, 11% of the funding came from the federal and state ministries.
03 Client Journey
Success story Baden-Württemberg
Success story Baden-Württemberg
Since 2010, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has been highly committed to supporting Prof. Carlo Burkhardt, who now heads the Institute for Precious and Technology Metals at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. What began with EU research projects has led to the establishment of a Europe-wide value chain for a circular economy of permanent magnets based on rare earths; an area that is of great importance for our industry and everyday life - from consumer electronics to medical technology, mobility, sensor technology and renewable energies. The example of this Client Journey shows how effective and successful years of mentoring can be with the help of EU networks such as the Enterprise Europe Network, as well as with access to EU funding and to the European institutions.
1. How the journey began
The journey began for the professor from Pforzheim many years earlier with a mentoring program of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum in 2010. The trainings and workshops on EU application and project management combined with his great passion for research on the recycling of rare earth magnets led to the application of the first research project in 2013 and subsequent follow-up projects based on it with the strong support and involvement of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum.
2. Project successes
In 2014, the REProMag research project was awarded over 5.7 million euros in the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The focus was on establishing sustainable recycling processes and the efficient production of permanent magnets from recovered rare earths.
In 2019, Carlo Burkhardt and Steinbeis Europa Zentrum were again able to convince the reviewers of the European Commission and won further crucial co-funding from Horizon 2020 for the next stage. The SUSMAGPRO project makes it possible to bring the mature technologies and processes to industrial scale with further European partners.
SUSMAGPRO is funded under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 636881.
In parallel to SUSMAGPRO, the third successful project REEsilience will intensify the work on a resilient supply chain for rare earth-based magnetic materials as of Summer 2022. Recycling alone will not be able to meet the large and increasing demand for rare earth magnets in Europe and still needs some time to overcome the final technological, but above all economic and political hurdles, especially as long as primary raw materials and their processing are cheaper than secondary ones. 12 million euros of EU funding will go to the project consortium. Almost 2.5 million euros will go to Pforzheim University, and another 550,000 euros to the newly founded university start-up HyProMag GmbH.
3. Market development in Baden-Württemberg and Europe
With the results from the projects and the good cooperation in Europe, the start-up HyProMag GmbH could be founded in 2021, which stands for the establishment of a production facility for recycled rare earths in Europe as a secondary, high-quality material for the production of magnets for high-tech applications of motors, generators and sensors from all relevant industries.
4. Shaping the framework conditions for innovation
With regard to the stabilisation of European supply chains, it became clear that the EU framework conditions for the new innovative processes must be adapted in order to establish the circular economy in this area in Europe and to ensure a more secure supply for Europe. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum therefore organised talks with Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission with the support of the Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg. They discussed hurdles and needs together and gave impulses for necessary measures.
04 Success Stories for a sustainable future
Cities of the future
Cities of the future
Positive energy balances in cities
So far, more than 100 cities have received funding from the European Commission to test new forms of cooperation and become innovation centres in their own right. This way, they act as role models for sustainable urban development.
In this respect, it is not enough to simply renovate individual buildings. A new approach includes the creation of a network between entire building complexes, so-called Positive Energy Districts (PEDs). PEDs are CO2-neutral city districts, which produce more energy than they use. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is a partner in the EU-funded Smart Cities project ATELIER, in which PEDs are being created in the cities of Amsterdam and Bilbao. Over 30 partners from 11 countries are working together on innovative and replicable solutions. These involve a more efficient energy use, local energy generation, e.g., through geothermal or photovoltaic plants, a flexible system of energy use and storage, e-mobility concepts and a smart integration into the surrounding energy infrastructure.
Smart Cities Marketplace
The Smart Cities Marketplace offers solutions for the use of renewable energy in cities, sustainable mobility concepts, digital applications and the participation of citizens. Over 1,000 members from cities and industries, 345 of which are partner cities, are contributing to the market transformation by developing and replicating successful measures at scale. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is responsible for the platform's communication activities on behalf of the European Commission and is thus well connected with urban innovation actors. In 2021, an interactive brochure and numerous podcasts were implemented to support dissemination of this exciting initiative.
Robust and powerfull fuel cell systems for new vehicles
The optimization of fuel cell technology, with a focus on the peripheral components of the fuel cell, the so-called "Balance of Plant" components, was the subject of the EU project INN-BALANCE. For this purpose, new concepts were developed, e.g., for the supply of hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell, for thermal management and function monitoring of the entire fuel cell system. After completion of a first prototype, the functionality and compatibility of the components at system level were successfully tested in a fuel cell test bench. The new developments were installed in a vehicle platform to evaluate the performance of the overall system.
Lightweight components for electric vehicles
In the LEVIS project, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is partnering with twelve industry and research organizations from six countries in the development of cost-efficient lightweight components for electric vehicles using eco-design and circular approaches. As electric cars are powered by heavy batteries, car manufacturers must look for new lightweight technologies to compensate for this extra weight in other vehicle components.
Recyclable and biologically-produced resins and recycled carbon fibres are used to manufacture the target components. In addition, component life will be maximised, and all structural components will be designed to allow for easy and effective disassembly and reuse of components.
Biobased circular economy
Biobased circular economy
Extracting phosphorus from sewage sludge - the first and only technology in Europe
Under the leadership of the University of Stuttgart and partnership of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, a thermochemical process for the sustainable production of high-quality P4 for the chemical industry using sewage sludge on a large scale, is being developed as part of the EU project FlashPhos. This is made possible by an economically and ecologically viable and climate-friendly circular process which will be demonstrated in a pilot plant with up to 250 kg/h sewage sludge throughput. The first pilot plant is to be built in Europe by 2025. Together with an international consortium, production on an industrial scale is to begin in 2028.
Recycling nutrients from agriculture - innovative fertilisers
In 2020, the company Agro Energie Hohenlohe GmbH built a plant for the extraction of storable and transportable nutrient products from farm manure. In the process, the residues from energy recovery (residues from fermentation) are converted into a soil conditioner, phosphorus and nitrogen fertiliser. These innovative fertilisers can now be used in a targeted and efficient manner in agriculture or transported at low cost to areas with a prevailing nutrient deficiency. In November 2020, Agro Energie Hohenlohe received the Bioeconomy Innovation Award Baden-Württemberg 2020 for its AgriPlus project.
The project was financed by the European Union and Ministry of Rural Areas and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg within the framework of the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' (EIP AGRI).
Digitalisation for SMEs
Digitalisation for SMEs
Energy from magnetic fields - optimizing power grids with IoT
Under the EU project DigiFed, 80 SMEs have benefited from individual grants, known as cascading funding, to develop innovative digital solutions in different application areas. The TWIN application experiments offer grants of 100,000 euros for co-created projects involving two SMEs.
With this funding, the Spanish start-up ENERGIOT has developed a battery-free IoT device that draws its energy from the magnetic field of power lines. In cooperation with a French software company, ENERGIOT is developing a low-cost wireless solution for the massive deployment of IoT to reduce maintenance and optimise the operation of power grids. The goal is to increase grid capacity by up to 30% and save up to 20% of maintenance costs. The future market is estimated at 7.9 billion euros.
Smart Anything Everywhere and Digital Hubs - for SMEs from non-high-tech sectors
Through its project activities, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum aims to inspire SMEs to integrate breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, clouds, and High Performance Computing (HPC). In cooperation with a growing network of Digital Innovation Hubs, it supports new partnerships so that SMEs can benefit from the know-how of European research institutions on the one hand, and enter cooperations with midcaps and large companies on the other.
With the projects DigiFed, Smart4Europe and Smart4Europe2, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is involved in the Smart Anything Everywhere Initiative. SMEs from non-high-tech sectors also gain access to the relevant technologies and are supported in business initiation and marketing.
Focusing on supporting smart solutions in the area of Artificial Intelligence in the manufacturing industry, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is also generating impact for Europe through the AI REGIO project. Here, SMEs are connected through application experiments with thirteen regional Digital Innovation Hubs, which are also working on consolidating and improving their offers for SMEs.
Personalised and generalised integrated biomaterial risk assessment
Standardising the evaluation of biomaterials has been the main objective of the EU research project PANBioRA, administratively coordinated by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum. The project results make it possible to predict the patient-specific response to a given biomaterial. For the benefit of the patient, the clinician can assess the risks and select the best biomaterial and thus significantly mitigate and reduce possible post-implantation complications.
The instruments developed within the project have promising market opportunities, shown for example by the success of the spin-off Spartha Medical, which was founded as a result of PANBioRA’s predecessor project IMMODGEL. Thanks to PANBioRA, Spartha Medical received enormous momentum for growth. Among other initiatives, it applied for the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Programme and was awarded the EU grant of 2.4 million EUR at the end of 2021.
European-Chinese cooperation in the field of health
To expand cooperation between the EU and China, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has drafted a roadmap and strategies for future cooperation in the field of health. Over the course of the three-year support measure project, SENET (Sino-European Networking Hub), innovation priorities in the health sector were identified via user surveys, research and interviews with important funding institutions in Europe and China mapped. In addition, training and awareness-raising activities, as well as virtual hackathons on research and innovation funding, were conducted to launch Sino-European collaborations. A final Strategy and Action Plan with recommendations for action was drafted for the European Commission.
Learn more about our project activities:
Have a look on our technology fields:
05 Services and References
Sharpening Innovation management
Sharpening Innovation management
We can analyse your innovation potential and develop an innovation strategy specifically tailored to your needs. You will receive recommendations for action with regard to strategic partnerships, open innovation or growth financing. We actively support change management processes and always see opportunities in challenging times; opportunities for new products, processes and business models.
1.94 million euros for new motor winding technology
SciMo - Elektrische Hochleistungsantriebe GmbH from Karlsruhe received extensive consulting from Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, which analysed the innovation potential and identified suitable financing mechanisms for them. The consultation led to a successful EU application. SciMo received 1.94 million euros of EU funding in the EIC Accelerator programme for its project "eMONIC - The Next Generation of Automotive Electric Motor". The start-up has developed a new motor winding technology that makes it possible to increase the power density of electric traction motors up to 10 kW/kg, saving around 75% of motor weight and thus also 75% of resources such as copper, steel and rare earths. In the eMONIC project, the necessary automation of the production of this winding for series production is to be developed.
Your Path to EU-funding
Your Path to EU-funding
370 clients were advised on innovation financing. These included 205 companies (of which 178 were SMEs), 141 universities and research institutions (of which 91 were universities of applied sciences and cooperative universities) and 11 cluster initiatives.
73 project applications were submitted to the European Commission with our help. Our success rate is currently 30%, twice the statistical average.
More than 140 million euros of EU funding budget for international consortia were acquired through our involvement in applications for the coming years. These funds go to international and Baden-Württemberg companies, research institutions and other organisations.
Around 4.6 million euros in EU funding will go to SMEs from Baden-Württemberg. Around 5 million euros in EU funding will go to universities in Baden-Württemberg.
With our support, project funds from the European Commission totalling 10.4 million euros flowed to Baden-Württemberg in 2021.
Return of funds in the last 6 years: over 50 million euros (2016-2021)
93 representatives of universities of applied sciences from Baden-Württemberg and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University were informed in the context of web seminars on Horizon Europe: on the topics: Smart Cities and Urban Change, Health, European Innovation Council and Sustainable and Resilient Process Industries.
Over 100 clients were advised on internationalisation and market access including 65 SMEs, 25 universities and research institutions and 3 cluster initiatives .
21 cooperation agreements were successfully concluded with research and innovation partners from abroad within the framework of the Enterprise Europe Network.
African entrepreneurs explore the European market
The Bees Soft-landing programme of the ENRICH in Africa project enabled ten African start-ups to explore the European entrepreneurial ecosystem from September to December 2021. The awardees from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Madagascar took part in a trip to France, run by project partner Bond'innov. An intense boot camp provided training on fundraising, intercultural management and the European ecosystem. This was followed by visits to BPI France, Paris&Co, the Paris Economic Development and Innovation Agency and Station F, the world's largest start-up campus. Each winner received an assessment of their international potential and an individual roadmap for further development.
ENRICH in Africa is coordinated by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum and strengthens the European-African innovation community.
Enterprise Europe Network
The partnership in the Enterprise Europe Network, the world's largest network for technology transfer, will enter a new round in 2022. In the EU's 2021 call for proposals, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, together with the Baden-Württemberg consortium led by Handwerk International Baden-Württemberg, participated successfully and was once again awarded the contract.
The annual conference in autumn 2021 in Stuttgart was also crowned with success. As a success story from Baden-Württemberg, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum featured Industrial Solar GmbH from Freiburg on the podium. The SME received funding of 60,000 euros for its 'SolarSteam-CL' idea via Steinbeis Europa Zentrum funding support to access the EU’s INNOWWIDE funding measure. With this funding amount, the SME is preparing a profitability calculation for the implementation of solar steam projects in Chile as part of a heat contracting model in cooperation with local stakeholders.
Regional & social Transformation
Regional & social Transformation
Strategies for regional development
In the Finance4SocialChange project, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum developed the first 'Social Impact Investment Strategy for the Danube region'. This improved access for social enterprises to innovative financing instruments in the Danube region and built a supportive business environment. In addition, the project published 130 hours of educational material in the educational programme 'Accelerating Investment Readiness - #AirMOOC' , and organised the pitching and business plan competition '#AirCompetition' and related training programmes to empower social enterprises.
Strategy for the Alpine region
A new approach to social innovation that meets the economic and social challenges of the Alpine regions has been developed by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum with other partners in the Interreg project ‘ASIS’ (Alpine Social Innovation Strategy). To support real change, an innovative platform, trainings, strategies and a simulation model for public actors, were launched. The results and recommendations for action were documented in a white paper.
Initiating social innovations
Social innovations in the three thematic areas of ‘living conditions in rural areas’, ‘AAL - Ambient Assisted Living’ and ‘sustainable production’, were at the centre of the project 'Technological innovations to meet social challenges - Social Innovation Challenge Baden-Württemberg', which was carried out in cooperation with the Centre for Social Investment and Innovation at the University of Heidelberg on behalf of the Ministry of Economics, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg.
Steinbeis Europa Zentrum identified needs and potentials in the field of social innovation in Baden-Württemberg and brought together idea providers at different event formats such as challenge events and co-creation workshops.
Heterogeneity, design thinking and cooperative processes are key factors for social innovation and are the basis for ensuring that the different perspectives and competences can flow into the development of solutions. Therefore, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum ensured good interdisciplinary cooperation between actors from the private sector and socially oriented organisations, as well as universities and colleges. This co-creation-inspired approach made it possible to reach the development of innovations beyond the boundaries of individual organisations or companies and thus apply the concept of ‘Open Social Innovation’. As a result, a guide for facilitating heterogeneous teams was developed. It presents a selection of innovation management tools specifically to support the development of social innovations. In the thematic field of ‘Ambient Assisted Living’ (AAL), a solution for a nationwide digital care provision was elaborated and the further steps for implementation were identified. Among others, the company FLiXWORKER GmbH and the association Caritasverband der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart e.V. participated.
Shaping innovation policy
Shaping innovation policy
The Commissioner for Europe, Dr Petra Püchner, acts here as a link and a bridge to reflect the needs of the business community in Brussels at an early stage and to inform and help shape policy measures. She also takes up topics from Brussels to raise awareness in Baden-Württemberg politics and business regarding upcoming developments.
Vanguard Initiative appoints hydrogen as pilot project
In 2021, the Commissioner for Europe and her team continued to work on setting the future course of the Vanguard Initiative with more than 35 regions in Europe. Among other things, a proposal was developed to give SMEs better access to the innovative technologies and applications from the initiative's pilot projects. The implementation will take place in 2022.
Through the Commissioner for Europe, Baden-Württemberg, raised the topic of hydrogen as the next important issue at informal and formal meetings of the regions. It became clear that this is an important future topic for many regions. At the Annual Political Meeting of the Vanguard Initiative in November 2021, the topic of hydrogen was chosen as the next pilot project. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum also prepared the ground for cooperation with the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA) and the Made in Europe Partnership.
Optimising funding instruments in 8 EU regions
With the Interreg project UpGradeSME, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has contributed to the promotion of the internationalisation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Europe through a broad dialogue between political and economic key actors. Different internationalisation instruments from various regions in Europe were analysed and optimised. Project partners from eight European regions participated: among them Baden-Württemberg, DE, Province of Friesland, NL, Norte Region, PT, Fomento San Sebastián, ES, as well as regions from Hungary and Romania.
The interregional exchange resulted in the elaboration of eight regional action plans with proposals for the improvement and implementation of the respective policy instruments. The Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism of Baden-Württemberg, Dr Petra Püchner, and project leaders from Steinbeis Europa Zentrum played a key role in the action plan for Baden-Württemberg.
Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum
As the lead partner for communication and partner in the Clean Energy for EU Islands secretariat, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum hosted their forum virtually on 20-21 May 2021. The secretariat was established by the European Commission and the EU Parliament to facilitate the transition to clean energy on European islands.
Matchmaking (ACT), exhibition (EXPLORE), visit of demo sites (EXPLORE), working sessions (ACT), plenary sessions (SHAPE & EXPLORE) and project presentations (ACT), were on the agenda.
Business Congress BW meets UK
The congress took place within the framework of the Economic Partnership Initiative as a digital event via the event platform veertly on 24 November 2021. The audience was able to ask questions and talk to experts in seven specialist forums on various topics, including 'Customs and EU-UK trade in goods' and 'Employee secondment and business travel to the UK'.
Open Innovation Congress
The Open Innovation Congress focused on the slogan ‘Together - target-oriented - future-oriented’. Once again it provided creative impulses for an open innovation culture The almost 1,600 received registrations and over 800 people at the event, showed that the topic attracts great interest among companies in the country. Experts provided information in workshops– among other things, on the development of digital business models with open innovation, on open innovation & artificial intelligence as well as on the topics of innovation drivers, creative AI and blockchain technology for open innovation.
4. @MINT Network Meeting
The 4th @MINT Network Meeting, an event organised by the Ministry of Economics, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg, was conducted as a digital event via GoToWebinar by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum on 14 July 2021. The focus was on digital transformation and its importance for everyday (professional) life.
More highlights in 2021
- Virtual kick-off of PlegeDigital@BW | 11 February, 2021 | 366 individual views of the live stream
- Smart Cities Marketplace Forum | 09-10 June, 2021 | 482 participants
- French-German Partnering Event for Artificial Intelligence in Industry 4.0 | 18 June, 2021 & 07 October, 2021 | 100 participants
Three virtual trainings for a total of 20 participants from Baden-Württemberg were conducted in 2021. In the last four years, a total of 22 trainings for 100 participants were organised. In 2021, the trainings were completely rebuilt and adapted to be delivered online .
12 trainings for a total of 322 participants on funding applications, innovation management, internationalisation and social innovation, were conducted in the Danube region.
Second chance for Re-Start
Second-chance entrepreneurship was the topic of the EU project DanubeChance2.0. In cooperation with TEAM U Restart gGmbH, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum developed a training concept that accompanies people in or after an entrepreneurial crisis through providing a protected space.
11 trainings with 160 participants on the topic of Re-Start took place in Baden-Württemberg in 2020 and 2021.
At a glance
At a glance
12 projects are funded by INTERREG programmes. 8 projects received regional funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg. 2 projects received national funding.
In addition to content-related tasks and research support, we take on a variety of tasks and play different roles in our projects.
Learn from clients and their successs stories how they manage technological trends, for example hydrogen mobility, renewable energy, sustainable solutions or artificial intelligence.
Do you have an idea for a research or innovation project?
Contact us or do the idea check on innocheck-bw.
or look for funding programmes in our topics: