Research Group CiP | ETA
Research project

MDZ | Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Darmstadt

The MDZ supports small and medium-sized enterprises in Hessen with practice-oriented offers for digitization. Tailored to the needs of manufacturing SMEs, it offers various event formats as well as demand-oriented support.

Coordinator: Nicholas Frick M. Sc. (CiP)
Project manager (ETA) Stefan Seyfried M. Sc.
Duration: 01.09.2021 – 31.08.2024
Funded by Federal Ministery of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Website: digitalzentrum-darmstadt.de

Initial situation

The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Darmstadt has been the successor to the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Darmstadt (Mit 4.0) since September 2021. This has been supported by the BMWK since 2016 as part of the “Mittelstand 4.0” funding announcement, and since then it has acted as a regional and topic-related point of contact for SMEs and has established itself as a central point of contact and knowledge carrier for issues relating to digitization. The existing nationwide network of a total of 26 SME Digital Centers is an important instrument for achieving the goals set out in the BMWK's Digital Strategy 2025 and SME Strategy.

Objectives

Innovative digitization in business and society is to be promoted and actively supported. In addition, SMEs are to be more valued, strengthened and relieved. The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum builds on the experience, established structures and offerings of Mit 4.0 and expands them to include new key topics and methodological offerings.

The overarching goal is to enable SMEs and make them fit for the future with the help of new digital applications and technologies, i.e., to position them sustainably and thus ensure their competitiveness in the long term as well. The digital transformation is viewed from various perspectives. The center's thematic focus areas and offerings are intended to address these perspectives and support SMEs on the basis of their company-specific level of digital maturity.

The goals in summary are:

  • Reach a large number of SMEs with appropriate offerings.
  • To network SMEs that have been reached
  • Provide professional public relations with good-practice examples in the region
  • To continuously include new, current and relevant topics in the service portfolio
  • Enable sustainable continued operation of the center

Procedure

The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Darmstadt accompanies SMEs in their digitization efforts in four steps, depending on their individual level of qualification. This ensures that suitable offerings are available for different knowledge levels and needs in each case:

  • Inform Roadshows showcase digital applications and provide space for exchanging experiences, information events provide topic-related insights, and tours of the CiP and ETA learning factories demonstrate the added value of digital technologies in a real production environment.
  • Qualification Workshops impart digitization knowledge in various key topics and identify starting points for the further development of business models and processes.
  • Implementation Individual expert discussions address specific issues, and digitization projects accompany the implementation of digitization projects in selected companies.
  • Networking Events provide a platform for exchanging experiences with other companies in the region.

Acknowledgements

This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. We thank for the opportunity to work on this project.

Funding source

Consortium partners

Project sponsor