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Competence Center eStandards Launched

Can the digital transformation and industry 4.0 significantly enable sustainable business models and the circular economy?

On 12 September we celebrated the kick-off of the “Mittelstand-4.0 Kompetenzzentrum eStandards”, a competence centre that brings digitalisation and standardisation to German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is part of the digitalisation strategy of the German industry called “Mittelstand Digital” which was put forward by the German Federal Ministry for Economic and Energy Affairs (BMWi). With the CSCP as part of the consortium, the Competence Centre will specifically look into how digitalisation can be used to enable more sustainable business models and production processes. The CSCP will conduct pilot projects, develop hands-on tools and provide comprehensive training formats to SMEs on creating future-proof companies through digitalisation.

“With the Competence Centre for eStandards, we are opening the first thematic competence centre. Standards and norms are essential for successful digitalisation because they define a common language. Networked production, IT security, uniform user experience right through to data exchange require clear rules and proven, universally valid solutions across industries”, says Dirk Wiese, MP and Parliamentary State Secretary in the BMWi.

The Competence Centre will engage directly with the industry and implement 40 pilot projects with businesses from various sectors. A key topic will be the circular economy. “Digitalisation and standardisation hold huge potential to scale-up the circular economy. They will enable cooperation along the value chain and open opportunities for business model innovation. The gathering, processing and communication of information and data along the supply chain is critical to enabling circular business models,” says Thomas Wagner of the CSCP. The CSCP looks forward to leveraging the potentials of digitalization and enabling sustainable, competitive and future-proof industries.

A key feature of the Competence Centre will be its three “Experience Factories.” In Cologne, Hagen and Leipzig visitors will be able to experience the digital transformation in an interactive way. The co-working space at the CSCP offices in Wuppertal will provide an inspiring setting for innovation-focused workshops that will be hosted over the next three years.

The Competence Centre eStandards is hosted by a consortium of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH, the HAGENagentur Ges. für Wirtschaftsförderung, Stadtentwicklung, Tourismus mbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) Sankt Augustin, the Fraunhofer Centre for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW under the leadership of GS1 Germany.

For further information, please contact Thomas Wagner.