- Friday, 05.03.21, 14:00 - 15:30 Uhr
- STARTPLATZ, Im Mediapark 5, 50670 Köln
- Lukas Gräf
Autor: Arne Gonschor
On June 30th, a subgroup of the second #STARTUPNATION TO MITTELSTAND batch has been formed with a strong focus on operational challenges within manufacturing companies. Together with our Partners the Israel Economic and Trade Mission in Berlin, the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Startup Nation Central and Founders Foundation initiated five specific webinars in which we brought German manufacturers and Israeli industry 4.0 startups together in order to identify potential collaborations in the field of predictive maintenance and artificial intelligence.
With a successful second #SNTM batch almost completed and multiple matches initiated between German SMEs and Israeli startups, we extended the batch with five additional webinars to focus more strongly on manufacturing innovation and digitalisation challenges.
With Augury, KitovAI, CoreTigo, Castor, 3dsignals, Qsee, VocalZoom and RazorLabs we had some of the best and most experienced Israeli Industry 4.0 startups on board.
On the German side of the program, we continued with Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products Gmbh, Covestro, and Yncoris from the initial batch and welcomed Maxion Wheels and Phoenix Contact & Co. KG as new participants.
The structure of the series of webinars was similar to the first one, but with few adjustments: On top of general information about the Israeli ecosystem, the companies participated in guided 1-on-1 meetings within the webinars and heard about case studies of prior collaborations of companies within similar industries. As one of #SNTM’s goals is to minor the cultural gap between Germans and Israelis, this additional batch strongly promoted collaboration, communication and interaction within each of the webinars.
In order to bring everyone on the same page, Dr. Lorenz Gräf, Founder of STARTPLATZ, Yariv Lotan, Head of Sector Development at START-UP NATION CENTRAL, Ofira Engelberg from the Israeli Economic and Trade Mission welcomed the participants to the program and outlined the goal of the additional webinar series and clarified what the participants can expect.
Dr.-Ing. Felix Optehostert from the Industry 4.0 Maturity Center in Aachen continued presenting general challenges of Industry 4.0 within German Mittelstand companies and gave some examples on how they support companies in the process of transformation by aligning people, machines and processes with the help of technology.
Afterwards, the participants were divided into smaller working groups to discuss how to assess the readiness of a company in order to implement Industry 4.0 challenges.
These groups consisted of one Mittelstand representative, one or more startup representatives and members of the partners involved. The results of these discussions were shared with the whole group as a next step. The participants introduced their companies and startups to the audience before the session was concluded.
Amos Halfon from KitovAI presenting their innovative technology.
“We purposely reached out to each of these segments of Evonik in order to be a distribution channel for Castor” said Omer Blaier, Co-Founder and CEO of Castor when he presented their collaboration with the German company Evonik. He further explained different challenges and takeaways from their collaboration, leveraging helpful insights for the German side of the program about what is essential for a future cooperation with israeli startups. Besides Castor also PreCognize, another Israeli startup elaborated on their experiences from a collaboration with Samson AG. The session was rounded off in heterogeneous groups with interactive discussions about what drives the synergies and success between German Mittelstand and Israeli i4.0 startups.
In the following weeks we continued with the interactive groups. The German companies presented their challenges to the startups and gave them use cases with the potential for a collaboration. After valuable feedback from the startups, we initialized matches between the German companies and the Israeli startups in separate virtual rooms, where they further discussed technical challenges in detail, leading to defining next steps and follow-ups.
In the next week the Israeli startups presented further case studies of their technologies in cooperation with other international companies of similar sizes and gave first approaches on how the challenges of the German companies could be solved.
The final webinar was about tips on how to conduct successful pilot projects by Yariv Lotan and his colleagues from START-UP NATION CENTRAL. Christoph Sommer, Head of Business Unit Israel and Turkey at NRW Invest presented different programs and opportunities for governmental support in NRW, showing the Israeli startups potential ways to a successful expansion or collaboration with NRW Mittelstand companies.
Since the webinars are all completed now, the companies and startups used the summer time to further work together on the presented challenges by the German companies, hopefully leading to interesting and innovative results, which will be presented later this year.
At this point, we would like to thank all our partners once more for their great support making this program possible. Our appreciation goes out to: the Israel Economic and Trade Mission in Berlin, the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce – AHK Israel, Startup Nation Central, Founders Foundation gGmbH, NRW Invest and FIR an der RWTH Aachen.