Hahn Schickard benefits from expert exchangeAction plan on key enabling technologies for SMEs

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On behalf of the European Commission, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, together with its Greek partner Q-Plan, established a Europe-wide platform of excellent service providers on six key enabling technologies (KETs) in 2014 and 2015. These include nanotechnology, nano- and microelectronics, photonics, industrial biotechnology, advanced materials and manufacturing.

The aim was to create an overview of the range of services and the intensity of cooperation among the leading European technology providers and ultimately to identify excellent technology providers and their infrastructures in the long term.

As a result, five technology centres were selected across Europe with which intensive cooperation began. The five technology centres were: the AeroSwedish ICT in Stockholm, Sweden, Johanneum Research in Weiz, Austria, LEITAT in Terrassa, Spain, the Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K. and from Baden-Württemberg: Hahn Schickard at the locations in Stuttgart and Villingen-Schwenningen. These institutions committed to an in-depth two-year exchange and mutual visits and established a continuous working group of 24 experts.

In 2015, the SEZ conducted a mapping of infrastructures with the Greek partner Q-Plan. The SEZ also designed, organised and moderated a study trip to Warwick (UK) and played a key role in preparing a study trip to Sweden.

Hahn-Schickard benefits from expert exchange

At all five locations in Europe, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum organized visits with the involved partners in order to establish the research priorities, business models and the strategies of the respective institution. This was followed by the definition of joint strategies for future cooperation with regard to key technologies. Medium-sized companies were also invited to the visits. The companies were asked to formulate their needs and provide feedback on the technology centres' offerings. In addition, they worked together on recommendations for the European Commission.

Hahn-Schickard has benefited from this exchange of experts and has positioned itself as an outstanding institution of the state of Baden-Württemberg in the field of key enabling technologies. The visits resulted in several sustainable contacts that have since led to joint proposals for European grants.

The SEZ discussed the results and recommendations with 60 participants at a final workshop in Brussels in 2015. The results were summarised in an action plan. DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs has published the list of 187 identified institutions on the internet.

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Heike Fischer
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Heike Fischer

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