Executive Department for
Press, Communication and Marketing
Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2a Gebäude AVZ (Gebäudeteil AR-NA) 57068 Siegen
Phone:    +49 (0)271/740-4915 Fax.:    +49 (0)271/740-4911 E-Mail:  firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in their Digitization Efforts
Over the past two years, the Siegen 4.0 Competence Center for SMEs has visited more than 460 small and medium-sized enterprises. The demand for the offers is high.
The “Mittelstand 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum” at the University of Siegen has been in existence for two years now. During this time, the team has implemented about ten projects with small and medium-sized companies. They dealt with very different topics in the field of digitization. "From augmented reality to IT security and retrofit - we benefit from the fact that we have a broad base in the field of digitization and can therefore answer many inquiries from companies," says Dr. Martin Stein, branch manager of the competence center.
In a project together with the company G-TEC from Siegen, for example, the aim was to transfer models of construction projects into virtual reality. "This allows us to check in virtual reality before the construction of a building, whether all the pipes really do run where they are supposed to," says Dr. André-Marcel Schmidt, head of the G-TEC Academy. The company with more than 100 employees equips so-called functional buildings, i.e. schools, but also fire stations, rescue stations and control centers.
With KIRCHHOFF Automotive, the experts of the competence center have developed an app that supports the employees in setting up the machines. "We had the idea that there could also be a digital solution, but didn't know exactly what it would look like," explains Björn Wollny from KIRCHHOFF Automotive. The automotive supplier has more than 300 employees at its Attendorn plant. The idea of developing an app for a Smartwatch was born together with the team from the competence center. "We decided on a watch because it is easy to wear on the body, the machine operator has both hands free, the watch can also be operated with gloves and there is no inhibition threshold to wear a watch," says Alexander Boden from the Competence Center.
In the past two years, the competence center has also qualified more than 80 employees of small and medium-sized enterprises as digital scouts. These are pioneers who want to initiate digitization in their companies. Several workshops have already taken place in Siegen and the Märkischer Kreis. They have been so successful that courses are currently also taking place in four other regions in North Rhine-Westphalia. "The aim is to take away the companies' fear of digitization," explains Marc Gerbracht, who supervises the series at the Competence Center.
The workshop series lasts half a year. Once a month the participants meet with experts from the competence center and talk about digitization topics. The contents will be determined together at the first meeting so that the participants can really talk about what they are interested in. Further Digital Scouts series are planned for the future, e.g. another one in Siegen and a new round in Oberhausen.
Further information about the Competence Center can also be found on the website and the YouTube channel.
The „Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Siegen“ belongs to Mittelstand Digital (www.mittelstand-digital.de). With Mittelstand Digital, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) supports digitization in small and medium-sized enterprises and provides information about possible opportunities and challenges. Regional competence centers help the small retailer as well as the larger production company with expert knowledge, demonstration centers, networks for the exchange of experience and practical examples. The BMWi enables the free use of all offers from Mittelstand-Digital.
The team of the competence center: Dr. Alexander Boden, Dr. Martin Stein (branch manager), Florian Jasche, Marc Gerbracht, Nico Vitt, Sonja Riedel, Frank Gohla, Daniel Stock, Jonas Koch and Michael Schiller
Press and public relations work
Middle class 4.0 Competence Center Siegen
Phone: 0271 / 740 - 3289