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No deserted factories

Advisory board „Digitale Wertschöpfung” of the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport and the Chemnitz “Competence Center Mittelstand 4.0” demand better Know-How in “Industry 4

The advisory board „Digitale Wertschöpfung” of the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport (SMWA) recently came together in the new “Competence Center Mittelstand 4.0” at the Chemnitz University of Technology. Topic: the digitalization of mid-sized companies in Saxony. The monitoring report “Wirtschaft DIGITAL 2016: Sachsen”, presented by the SMWA in October 2016, showed significant need for action: According to the report still about one third of Saxony’s companies do not believe that a digitalization is necessary.

Members of the advisory board together with representatives of the Chemnitz “Competence Center” discussed on how to link the activities of the in November 2016 opened Center even closer to other digitalization initiatives in the Free State of Saxony. Corresponding proposals were developed. For example: the connection of small and medium-sized companies with the entrepreneurial scene in Saxony.

Stefan Brangs, State Secretary and representative of the Saxon State Government for Digital Affairs, is convinced: ”If Saxony’s companies want to further participate in the competition, they have no other choice but to follow up on the subject of digitalization.” The “Competence Center Mittelstand 4.0” is a competent point of contact for small and medium sized companies in Saxony with regard to the issue “Digitalization”. They can show entrepreneurs in tangible terms various possibilities. “Supporting offers are important for those companies. I am glad about the discussion of the advisory board on the linking of various offers in Saxony and the presentation of useful proposals”, stated Bangs.

Prof. Egon Müller, Head of Chair of the Department of Factory Planning and Factory Management at the Chemnitz University and spokesperson of the Chemnitz Competence Center consortium on the recent advisory board meeting: “Digitalization involves disruptive changes that have to be dealt with by all companies.” Industry 4.0 does not mean to push forward the automatization of manual processes. “A deserted factory is by no means what we are looking for”, Müller assures. In fact, the technological and economical potential lies in the intelligent connection of humans and technology in the complete organizational structure and process organization within and in between various companies. The employees have to be sensitized and acquire certain competences. “We as a Competence Center can be helpful in this process”, said Müller.

Furthermore, the “Competence Center Mittelstand 4.0” and the advisory board “Digitale Wertschöpfung” called on small and medium-sized companies in Saxony to participate in the competition “Betrieb 4.0 machen”. The quarterly chosen winners receive an intensive and free consultation of the Competence Center with regards to concrete implementation projects or technology trials. Information and the contact of the Competence Center are online available.


The advisory board “Digitale Wertschöpfung” was formed in 2015 and consults the Saxon State Government on the development of the digitalization strategy “Sachsen Digital”. The board is composed of 19 members, representing relevant actors of economy, science, society and administration. The meetings of the advisory board are led by the State Secretary and representative of the Saxon State Government for Digital Affairs Stefan Brangs. The kick-off event for the “Competence Center Mittelstand 4.0” in Chemnitz took place in November 2016, at the Chemnitz University. Representatives of the funding authority BMWi and the project sponsor German Aerospace Center as well as representatives of the regional politics and leading economic enterprises of the region attended the event. The Center is a part of the funding initiative “Mittelstand 4.0 – Digitale Produktions- und Arbeitsprozesse” by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

In order to strengthen the competitive and innovative position substantially, the Competence Center supports small and medium-sized companies in Saxony and its surroundings in the exploitation of technological and economical potentials of digitalization, networking and application of Industrie 4.0. This relates to the processes and systems within the company (vertical integration) as well as along the value-added chain (horizontal integration).

The Center is led by a local consortium, including the Chemnitz University of Technology, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU), ICM, TUCed/CATI as well as the IHK Chemnitz.

Further information are available from Romy Kertzsch and Madlen Schwarzenberger, phone +49 371 531-19935, e-mail

Matthias Fejes

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