Digital Hub Industry: Unlocking the potential of digitalisation together

06.07.2022 Changing the culture – the living form of innovation: this is the motto of the Bremen Digital Hub Industry (DHI), which was ceremoniously opened on 5 July 2022.

The Digital Hub Industry is designed to unlock the potential of digitalisation.
© Photo: Lenze
The Digital Hub Industry is designed to unlock the potential of digitalisation.

The idea and experimentation space with an industrial focus was created in close cooperation between the Bremen Senate, the University of Bremen, Lenze SE (Hamelin, Germany) and encoway GmbH, a subsidiary of the automation specialist. In the technology park in the immediate vicinity of the university, a unique innovation ecosystem has been created after only one and a half years of construction, which is designed for the use of digital technologies and above all for transfer and collaboration. The hub, which is funded by the state of Bremen, is primarily intended to enable medium-sized industrial companies to undergo the urgently needed digital transformation and to be a test area for innovations as well as new business models.

Enormous potential of digitalisation

Small and medium-sized industrial enterprises (SMEs) in particular are facing huge challenges in the face of an increasingly volatile environment. They have to manage their day-to-day business successfully and at the same time develop innovations that will secure their business success in the future. Digitalisation offers enormous potential for this. The question, however, is how companies are to implement the digital transformation quickly and in a value-creating way on their own, without sufficient (digital) know-how, with very limited resources. The answer is: not AT ALL. "In our technologically and organisationally complex world, we can only be successful in the future through collaboration. For us in Germany and Europe in particular, success is increasingly a question of intelligent collaboration," says Lenze CEO Christian Wendler, summarising the motivation behind the project. He continues in his opening speech: "Our mission at Lenze is to competently accompany SMEs, our medium-sized customers in particular, in their digital transformation and to offer them an ecosystem for this valuable exchange. The Digital Hub Industry offers excellent conditions and an extraordinarily creative environment for this."

The basic idea of the DHI is to create a place for exchange between companies and research fields of the university and colleges. On the one hand, companies like Lenze provide their industrial know-how and contribute their digital challenges and current problems as concrete objects of investigation for research projects. On the other hand, the companies benefit from the research results and can transform them into new digital products, services or business models.

Significance for the State of Bremen

In her welcoming address, Kristina Vogt, Senator for Economics, Labour and Europe, emphasised the importance of the Digital Hub Industry for the state of Bremen: "Medium-sized companies and start-ups in particular are supported and strengthened on their path to digitalisation through needs-oriented and practical offers. The Digital Hub Industry thus sustainably increases the attractiveness of our location, it creates new jobs and secures existing ones."

At the heart of the hub in the new Neos building, with its approx. 16,000 m² of office, laboratory and event space, is an Open Innovation Lab with coworking and maker spaces, diverse laboratory areas and a large event space. Here, established industrial companies can cooperate specifically with each other, with scientists from the university or with start-ups and "digital" talents. In times of a shortage of skilled workers, the Digital Hub Industry offers another advantage, because its immediate proximity to the University of Bremen creates easy access to skilled workers, talents and innovators.