Published by the Free State of Saxony
INTO THE FUTURE!
A magazine of remarkable ideas
and valuable networks
FINGER ON THE PULSE
Leipzig and Dresden are part of a national Digital
Hub Initiative. What's it all about?
21 READY FOR TAKEOFF
Saxony is a great place to invest, research, and
establish businesses. But what's the best way forward?
WE DIG IT!
Digitization and Industry 4.0 – a journey to three
very special places
A CLOSER LOOK
Saxon products slide under the microscope.
Can you guess what they are?
NEARING THE SPEED
Communications technology is getting faster
and faster. How does it work? An interview with
telecommunications expert Frank Fitzek.
IN DEFENSE OF TAKING
How can companies help keep employees of
all ages happy? An interview with industrial and
organizational psychologist Jürgen Wegge.
TO THE RESCUE
Twelve bright ideas for a better future – all from Saxony.
AN END IN SIGHT FOR
Molecular biologist Frank Buchholz is conducting research
into gene scissors. Who might benefit? An interview.
Researchers, designers, inventors, and business
founders tell us where they go for ideas.
What places in Saxony are founts of inspiration?
Saxony is helping to lead the way in e-mobility.
Where will the journey take us?
It happens to the best of us: We're struck
by a wonderful thought, might even ponder
it for a while, but in the end, it never sees
the light of day. The ideas gathered together
in this magazine are just the opposite:
they're thoughts that took root, grew,
flourished, and finally soared. They're
ideas that became innovations. And what
they all share is that their stories begin in
Saxony. The state has remarkable innovative
power, and in this magazine, we invite
you to meet people from Saxony – from
scientists and designers to inventors and
business founders – who have had a lot of
really good ideas. On the following pages,
you'll find out more about what's going on
in university faculties and company
R&D departments, the fascinating results
laboratories are delving into, and the
intriguing ideas business incubators are
cultivating. We're particularly interested in
how these brilliant minds are working
together here in Saxony. What networks are
in place to support and promote new ideas?
Where are businesses and developers
collaborating? What research groups have
come together? Because it's not just a
matter of having good ideas, it's about
ensuring the right environment for those
ideas to thrive. We hope that when you
read through these pages, you'll feel
inspired. And if it's the great outdoors that
fires up your imagination, at the back of
the magazine, you'll find some great tips
for places to go in Saxony that do just that.
INNOVATIVE SAXONY Published by the Free State of Saxony Publisher The Free State of Saxony, Ralph Schreiber, Government Spokesperson (legally responsible for content), Archivstr. 1, 01095 Dresden,
www.sk.sachsen.de Publishing House SZ Scala GmbH Project Manager Angela Kesselring Content Manager Julia Decker Art Director Marina Widmann Picture Editor Eva Fischer Final Editors Julei M.
Habisreutinger, Christine Uschold-Schlör, Gerlinde Wronski Managing Editor Ann-Kathrin Ntokalou Project Coordination Ketchum Pleon GmbH, Käthe-Kollwitz-Ufer 79, 01309 Dresden Printed By Kessler
Druck + Medien GmbH, 86399 Bobingen Repro Compumedia GmbH English Translation Samson & Fritaud Text, Berlin, Germany. Compensation and refunding rights do not apply if publication failure is
the result of force majeure or a strike. This magazine and all parts and articles in it are protected by international copyright. Prior permission must be obtained in writing from the publishers for any use that is
not explicitly permissible under the copyright law. Unauthorized use, in particular with regard to duplications and processing, is subject to prosecution if no other provisions of the copyright law are applicable.
Cover: Martin Meiners; Contents illustration p. 2: Anton Hallmann/Sepia; Photos and illustrations p. 3: Lêmrich, Leander Aßmann, Stephan Floss, André Mühling
Within these pages, we'll shed light on the possibilities of digitization (p. 6), showcase some inspiring places (p. 28), and explain
how Leipzig and Dresden have become hubs for research and business (p. 4). We'll also take a look at the future of transportation
(p. 16) and peer through the microscope (p. 22) at Saxon inventions. Those interested in starting a business in Saxony will find
a handy step-by-step guide (p. 21), plus tips from Prof. Jürgen Wegge on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance (p. 26).
INTO THE FUTURE
Leipzig and Dresden are part of Germany's nationwide
Digital Hub Initiative. Compelling partnerships and valuable
new synergies make it an exciting time to be in tech
FINGER ON THE PULSE
IN GOOD COMPANY: Saxony has
two representatives in Germany's
Digital Hub Initiative, which was
launched by the Federal Ministry for
Economic Affairs and Energy along with
Bitkom, Germany's digital association. The
new initiative is establishing economic hubs
throughout Germany where start-ups, small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large companies,
and research institutes can conduct valuable networking
activities. Dresden and Leipzig were chosen as one of the
twelve hub locations; together, they make up the hub for
Smart Systems & Smart Infrastructure. Dresden, where many
companies and research institutions work in the field of
microelectronics, is pursuing a smart systems strategy aimed
at "enabling the Internet of Things (IoT)." A new center of
excellence is being set up at the TU Dresden campus,
where the disciplines of hardware, software, and
connectivity will fuse together to develop crucial IoT
technologies. The Leipzig Smart Infrastructure Hub
focuses on energy, e-health, and smart cities. The
latter considers e-mobility, logistics, smart
building technology, and digital urban
infrastructure. The plan is to expand an
existing business center in Leipzig's
Baumwollspinnerei (a former
cotton spinning mill) and to
create an inter-university
center of excellence in the
field of energy.
Attracting venture capitalists to Saxony
What's special about Saxony's start-up scene?
It's very diverse. We have a lot of start-ups in
microelectronics, but also from other fields such as
materials science and the life sciences. Many startups
are university spin-offs.
Start-ups in Germany have a difficult time finding venture
capitalists. What's the situation like in Dresden?
For historical reasons, the states of the former GDR have very few
rich heirs and large company headquarters. That gap is filled by
state funding. In 2013, we launched the HighTech Venture Days in
Dresden, where new company founders can meet investors. And
that's working remarkably well – we've been able to attract start-ups
from all over Europe and venture capitalists from around the world.
It's a benefit to Saxon firms as well.
Within the Digital Hub Initiative, Dresden is the "Smart
Systems Hub," charged with "enabling IoT." Where do
you hope this will lead?
Dresden is a leader in basic technologies for industry. New company
founders often find it difficult to take the full measure of large
companies with complex hierarchies and production chains. One
task of the hub is to enable collaboration to take place more easily.
Bettina Voßberg is the chairwoman of the HighTech Startbahn
Netzwerk, which offers support to tech start-ups. This year, the
HighTech Venture Days are on October 18 and 19, 2017.
hightech-startbahn.de and hightech-venture-days.com
Internet of Things =
hardware + software + connectivity
"The Internet of Things" is a phrase we seem to hear often these days. But not many people actually
understand what it means. Put briefly, it's the inter-networking of devices and other items embedded
with chips that are able to engage in an exchange of data. Cars will be able to drive into town without a
driver, factory robots will be able to produce things by themselves, and refrigerators will automatically
order new milk when the bottle is empty. The high-tech cluster in Dresden, with its network of chip
manufacturers, software developers, telecommunications companies, and research institutes offers the
ideal environment for the development of key technologies for the Internet of Things.
By: Serge Debrebant; Illustration: Carolin Eitel
FIVE START-UPS FROM
THE SAXON HUB
This Leipzig-based energy trading
company markets electricity
from decentralized production
and consumption systems.
Rhebo, headquartered in Leipzig,
seamlessly monitors data
communication and protects industry
4.0 from hacker attacks, among
other things. www.rhebo.com
A Dresden-based platform for
energy management in the Internet
of Things – for example, monitoring
and optimizing overall energy
This company from Dresden offers
an HMI suite for the development
of mobile apps that can be used
to monitor machines and facilities.
This company from Leipzig has
developed a device that allows for
continuous, non-invasive brain tissue
Permanent structures to help start-ups thrive
Mr. Weber, Leipzig is
thought of as a young,
hip city. Does this image
help attract start-ups?
Yes, it's one of the advantages
Leipzig has as a business location. We're
doing a lot to help start-ups too, like
providing incubators, co-working spaces,
and events. It also helps that we're not far
from Berlin. The start-up scene is growing
so rapidly, it sometimes surprises even me.
What is the scene like?
The most exciting new firms are those
positioning themselves at important
interfaces. Rhebo, for example, develops
smart security solutions for data transfer
between machines. These solutions are
being tested in critical infrastructures in
municipal utilities company Stadtwerke
Leipzig and in some of Porsche's industrial
facilities. Leipzig is performing well when
it comes to cross-sector solutions.
Within the Digital Hub Initiative,
Leipzig is the "Smart Infrastructure
Hub." What are you planning to
do in this role?
We aim to support new start-ups and
establish lasting structures to help them
thrive, such as an inter-university center of
excellence in the field of energy. That will
take time, but we have plenty of stamina.
Eric Weber is the managing director and
co-founder of SpinLab – the HHL
Accelerator, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of
Management's start-up incubator. He's also
the coordinator of the Smart Infrastructure
Hub in Leipzig. www.spinlab.co
These German cities host the country's
Digital Hubs, which bring together start-ups,
SMEs, and large companies.
IN THE KNOW
INTO THE FUTURE
In the Lernfabrik, Nicole
Jäpel, a member of
Prof. Dirk Reichelt's team
at the university, explains
the benefits of Industry
4.0 to production
managers and CEOs.
Here, she's checking
the robot cell's tool
We Dig It!
How can companies be persuaded to embrace the
benefits of digitization and Industry 4.0? Is it possible to
make the spirit of innovation tangible? Dresden offers
some very concrete answers to these and other questions.
A journey to three very special places
By Peter Wagner Photos Lêmrich
FRIEDRICH-LIST-PLATZ 1. Dirk
Reichelt is exuberant. The professor of
information management is waiting for us
right outside the ninth floor elevator in
the central building of the Dresden
University of Applied Sciences. A tall man
in a wine-red shirt, Reichelt greets us, his
eyes excited and eager; he's proud of what
he's about to show us. He walks a few
steps down a wide corridor and opens a
door to an air-conditioned room housing
a small production line. This is the
Lernfabrik – or "learning factory." A press
molds black plastic into the shape of a cell
phone case and adds a chip. A camera
photographs it to check for cracks. Then,
a robot picks up the case and trundles
over to a shaper, which takes its turn at
processing the workpiece. And so it
continues. This is just one example of the
production processes that take place here.
The charm is in the details – which is
precisely what Reichelt wants to show us.
He takes us over to the press and picks up
one of the cases. He turns it in his hands,
inspecting it closely. "The chip makes the
case unique and unmistakable," Reichelt
says. "When the robot reads the chip, it
immediately registers what product it's
dealing with. It communicates, so to
speak, with the case." Next, Reichelt
points up in the air and explains that the
camera photographing the case is sending
MAKING IT WORK Nicole Jäpel and her colleague Robert Ringel at the Lernfabrik.
visual information to the cloud. A
program checks the image, searches for
cracks, and reports back on any flaws.
Reichelt leads us further along the
production line to the shaper. He kneels
down and points out a small digital
display close to the floor. It shows how
much air pressure the shaper needs to do
its job and how much energy it's using.
Production processes like these are part of
the Internet of Things: Workpieces inform
robots of their identity, programs in the
cloud check live images for flaws, and
sensors record how much energy is being
used. Thanks to all this knowledge,
Reichelt says, companies can make their
production processes more efficient, with
far fewer faults. With his contagious
enthusiasm, the professor talks us through
the remaining modules. In Germany,
there are very few places where businesses
can learn, in such a comprehensible way,
what Industry 4.0 is all about and what its
benefits are. "We aim to calm people's
INTO THE FUTURE
fears and counter their reservations,"
says Reichelt. "We're showing the basic
technology behind the Internet of Things,
and can give anyone who's interested
insight into how it works." At the very least,
production managers can gather ideas for
their own work, and ideally, they leave with
inspiration for a brand-new product.
The Lernfabrik aims
to counter people's
Anyone interested can book a tour of the
Lernfabrik and embark on a veritable
voyage of discovery. When the Federal
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
named the twelve hubs in its Digital Hub
Initiative this spring, Dresden and Leipzig
were among them (see p. 4). There are so
many institutions in Dresden active within
the Internet of Things that the city was
named the "Smart Systems Hub." The
people behind the initiative immediately
got to work developing trails visitors can
follow to explore all the digital knowledge
amassed in Dresden. One of the places
involved is, of course, Dirk Reichelt's pride
and joy here on the ninth floor – a place
where visitors learn how the Internet of
Things can improve their own production
processes. Another is the office of Uwe
Aßmann, Chair of Software Technology
at TU Dresden's Faculty of Computer
Science: the next stop on our tour.
NÖTHNITZER STR. 46. Just a twentyminute
walk from Prof. Reichelt's
Lernfabrik is a bright and beautifullydesigned
new building. It has floor-length
windows complete with green blinds that
bear a pattern reminiscent of an old punch
card. This building houses TU Dresden's
Faculty of Computer Science. On the
second floor, with its grass-green walls,
doctoral students Christian Piechnick
and Georg Püschel are setting up their
sensational new invention. They wheel a
mighty robotic arm as tall as a man down
the corridor to their office. Piechnick pulls
on a sweatsuit jacket with circuit boards
sewn into it and a pair of gloves equipped
with wires and chips. Then he moves his
right arm – and the robotic arm imitates
him with precision. "The software traces
the exact movements my arm makes and
passes them on to the robot," Piechnick
says. This might just look like good fun,
but it's actually at the heart of a small
revolution called "demonstration-based
teaching." When the two young computer
scientists and their team presented WEIR
(Wearables for Interacting with Robotic
Co-Workers) at the HANNOVER MESSE
trade fair, visitors were amazed. "Usually,
programming an industrial robot takes
many weeks and costs tens of thousands
of euros," says Piechnick. The jacket and
gloves with integrated sensors significantly
shorten this process to just a few minutes:
All you have to do is put on the clothing,
move your body, and send data to the
robot. In this way, people will soon be able
to slip into "robot gear" and show the
machines how to do their work. They can
Under the guidance of Prof. Uwe Aßmann, Georg Püschel and Christian Piechnick have spent the last two years
developing a new way to program robots. Here, the two researchers show how demonstration-based teaching works.
They're in the process of perfecting the system along with Maria Piechnick, Jan Falkenberg, and Sebastian Werner.
e used, for instance, in a cleanroom
at Infineon's chip-making center in
Saxony or at a Bosch factory. But like the
Lernfabrik, what makes this invention
such a sensation is that WEIR is not the
isolated brainchild of a single genius – it's
a collaborative project with practical
applications. Dirk Reichelt, for example,
works closely with a Fraunhofer Institute.
At his Lernfabrik, big local firms like
Infineon and VW are working on concrete
cases, while Dresden-based company
ZIGPOS delivers sensor networks and
positioning systems, Leipzig firm ccc
software installs the industrial software
for measuring energy use, and database
specialists from Robotron in Dresden
take care of the cloud solutions. And that's
just the beginning of a long list of
collaborative efforts. The Smart Systems
Hub in Dresden provides the setting for a
new kind of "maker" center within which
developers can turn the region's vast store
of knowledge into innovations. Christian
Piechnick at TU Dresden has experienced
the effects the hub can have first hand. The
meetings that took place as part of the
initiative really helped him get the idea of
demonstration-based teaching off the
ground. Even Deutsche Telekom CEO
Tim Höttges used a 5G project initiated by
Prof. Frank Fitzek (see p. 11) to make a
presentation. There's an online video of
Höttges moving a robot in the same way
Piechnick had just demonstrated to us.
For Piechnick, it was a eureka moment:
"You always need a place and a setting in
which you can get into conversation with
other people. Otherwise you'll never make
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE Georg Püschel (left) and Christian Piechnick in the
foyer of the Faculty of Computer Science in Dresden's Nöthnitzer Strasse.
WETTINER PLATZ 7. With Piechnick's
words still ringing in our ears, we visit
Dresden's Kraftwerk Mitte. Frank Neuber
of DREWAG, Dresden's public utility
company, removes the heavy lock on the
door to Hall 9. He pushes it open, and we
enter a world where past and future meet.
The hall – 3,000 square meters in size – is
four stories high, with old brick walls. The
air is cool in this abandoned control
center, once full of humming transformers.
In recent years, DREWAG has breathed
new life into the old industrial site, which
occupies 40,000 square meters of the city
center. Until 1994, it was a smoking, coalfired
power station. Now, it's home to
cultural institutions like the Staatsoperette
Dresden and theater junge generation.
holds lessons here, and there's also an
energy museum, a nightclub, and cafés.
It's a creative interdisciplinary space, and
Ronald Scholz just loves it. Scholz is the
co-founder of software guidance firm
Sherpa.Dresden. He and Nico Herzberg,
head of vocational training at SAP
Dresden, follow Frank Neuber through a
still-vacant building. The paint is peeling
off the walls in the stairwell, but that
doesn't stand in the way of Scholz's vision.
He sees 3D printers installed in here along
with rapid-prototyping workshops where
companies can develop new products. He
imagines a testing ground for virtual
reality and design sprints where
developers push the limits of what is
possible. "I was riding by on the train and
saw a poster advertising available space,"
Scholz recalls. Scholz, who has founded
several of his own businesses and floated
a software firm on the stock market, now
helps start-ups grow. He sees Hall 9 as a
place where companies can really get to
grips with digital transformation. "In this
space, artisans from the Ore Mountains
who make traditional wooden Christmas
ornaments will meet IT specialists from
SAP," says Scholz. He wants to pass on the
knowledge of the start-up industry to
INTO THE FUTURE
up an innovation and training center in
Hall 9 once it's been renovated. "We want
to think about what the future of work
looks like and to share those thoughts
with others," says Herzberg. The large
software corporation wants to be open to
the public. Hall 9 will become a kind of
places where they
digitization in a
POINTING OUT THE BENEFITS OF DIGITIZATION Ronald Scholz of business
incubator Sherpa.Dresden (left) and Nico Herzberg, head of vocational training
at SAP Dresden, want businesses to experience what Industry 4.0 can do for them.
those who need it most. "We need lowthreshold
offerings. Here, entrepreneurs
should be able to see what digitization
can do for them. It should be a tangible
experience." But digitization, according to
Scholz, has an Achilles heel: Everyone is
hearing about this radical transformation,
but the message often isn't coming all
the way across. "A lot of people need to
experience something first-hand before
they're motivated to tackle the topic for
themselves." Nico Herzberg nods in
agreement. He was one of the first people
to share Scholz's vision. SAP plans to set
shop window, and a meeting place for
Saxon businesses. Herzberg and Scholz
follow Neuber up to the fourth floor,
which is illuminated by a long skylight.
In three years, this will be a conference
room, a place where ideas come to
life. Herzberg and Scholz put their
heads together and start discussing the
upcoming renovations. They are not alone
in their undertaking: Other partners have
joined the project, including a bank and a
health insurance company. There's an
urgent need for projects like this one:
"There are so many companies in this state
with over 100 employees. They have to
start addressing the topic of digitization,"
Scholz declares. It's a topic he's passionate
about. "Those companies need a place
where they can present themselves to
potential employees with the right skill
sets. They need a place where they can
develop further." It's another sentence we
can take to heart. •
For more information on the Smart Systems
Hub in Dresden and the visitor "trails," check
SAXONY'S HIGH-TECH ECOSYSTEM
Dresden is Europe's largest producer of semiconductors. The
foundation for this impressive achievement was laid in the 1990s,
when chip producers like AMD and Infineon moved into the Saxon
capital. Soon, the city became a hub of knowledge for semiconductors
and other high-tech solutions, and today, Dresden has no parallel in
Europe. Here, X-Fab and Infineon produce processors that are
driving the global digital revolution into the future. Saxony is home
to a grand total of 2,300 high-tech firms. Together, they employ
60,000 people and generate an annual turnover of €14 billion. And
that's not including the nine universities and range of research
institutes encompassing nine Fraunhofer Institutes, three Leibniz
Institutes, two Max Planck Institutes, and one Helmholtz Institute.
This high-tech ecosystem continues to thrive. GLOBALFOUNDRIES,
which employs the largest number of people in the state, intends to
invest €1.7 billion in its Saxon plant over the coming years. Infineon
is planning to spend another €100 million. This summer, Bosch, the
world's largest auto parts supplier, announced that it intends to
build a new semiconductor factory costing €1 billion. It's the largest
single investment in the company's history.
What does the future of communication look like?
Prof. Frank Fitzek wants to know just how fast data can go.
His research is right on track
Nearing the Speed of Light
Interview Serge Debrebant
Photo: Stephan Floss
Prof. Fitzek, at TU Dresden's 5G Lab,
you're working on the next generation
of mobile communications. Can you
tell us more about what that means?
5G will make entirely new things possible,
namely the Internet of Things. It won't just
be ten billion people who are connected,
but 500 billion machines as well. Moving
from 1G to 2G to 3G to 4G (that's LTE) was a
process of evolution. 5G, on the other hand,
represents a revolution.
You're looking at remote-controlled
surgical robots and self-driving
cars. When will these things become
part of our everyday lives?
The technology is already working very well
in tests. But the special thing about medical
robots is not that they can be controlled
remotely – that technology is already
available today. Many doctors are wary about
using robots, as they don't allow for the
haptic feedback that is such an integral part
of conventional surgery. That's precisely
what 5G will make possible, because the new
network will transfer data in real time. So
alongside the senses of sight and hearing
will be the sense of touch. That's why we
speak of the "Tactile Internet."
You said that the 5G network can
transfer data in real time. How is that possible?
You need an extremely quick reaction time – the technical term
for it is "latency." These days, when data is transferred by LTE, it
takes at least 30 milliseconds. With 5G, we want to get that delay
down to just one millisecond. That will take us remarkably close
to the speed of light.
What are some other characteristics of 5G?
It can transport a thousand times more data; it can link hundreds
more devices; it's a thousand times more stable. But the extremely
quick reaction time is the decisive aspect. That's what will allow
us to control machines and systems in an entirely new way.
Prof. Frank Fitzek holds a teaching
professorship at the TU Dresden's
Institute for Communication
Technology. He is the coordinator of
5G Lab Germany, where 500 scientists
are researching and developing
key technologies for fifth generation
mobile networks (5G). Fitzek is also
the academic spokesperson for the
Smart Systems Hub, an innovation
center that works on enabling
the Internet of Things (see p. 5 for
Someone could cause a lot of damage
by gaining control over a self-driving
car. How secure would such a
Extremely secure. That has to do with
how the 5G network is set up. These days,
data – which is encrypted so it can't be read
by criminals – is sent in packages and
transmitted via central nodes. In the future,
there will be thousands of even smaller
nodes, making it much more difficult to
predict what the precise transmission route
will be. And data will no longer be sent in
packages, but as mathematical formulae to
be put together at the destination. Data
thieves would have to get their hands on all
those formulae in order to decode the data.
That's basically impossible.
What role is the 5G Lab playing in
defining the new mobile standard?
We have a head start of several years over
other facilities and are constantly expanding.
The particular advantage of our approach
is that we have researchers, companies, and
organizations sit down together right from
the start. We regularly exchange information
and ideas with companies such as BMW,
Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom. That
enables us to quickly recognize the problems
that arise in everyday use – and our
innovations are already improving networks today.
Automatic seed drills, industrial robots, self-driving
cars – are technological advances making us
Skilled workers will remain important in the future. But the
nature of labor is changing. Humans and machines will work
closer and closer together. Imagine that you had to sort a box of
screws. You'd show the robot how it was done, and then it would
finish the job for you. Robots are good for performing routine
tasks, but human beings will remain the source of innovation
and ideas. •
INTO THE FUTURE
Making mineral deposits
Metals and industrial minerals are
often hidden in hard-to-reach places.
Dr. Richard Gloaguen, head of the
Exploration Division at Helmholtz-
Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf, is using
drones to look for these important
resources. With the help of hyperspectral
cameras that can identify minerals
from a distance, he's exploring possible
repositories around the world – including
in Greenland, Finland, and South
By Kathrin Hollmer Illustration Leander Aßmann
Artificial ears, green shipping, and Viagra
for plants: sustainable ideas from Saxony
that are making the world a better place
Scientists at the OncoRay Center set up
by TU Dresden's Medical Faculty are
working to optimize proton therapy for
the treatment of cancer. Proton therapy
is a new, high-precision radiation therapy
that effectively destroys diseased cells
while protecting healthy tissue. In order
to improve the therapy, physicist Theresa
Werner is currently working on a
real-time detector system to assess the
range of the proton beam in the patient's
In Germany alone, around 100 million
old cell phones are lying around ignored in
drawers. Leipzig-based company binee is
now making it more appealing for people to
dig out their old electronic equipment and
take it to be recycled. Devices can be handed
in at fourteen different locations in Leipzig
for rewards such as ice cream vouchers
or €50 off a new bike. The organization is
planning to set up more handover points
and is developing a concept for the
responsible disposal of pharmaceutical
Making family planning
The OvulaRing developed by
VivoSensMedical in Leipzig is perfect for
women planning for a child or women
who wish to prevent pregnancy without
the use of additional hormones. The ring,
which precisely identifies the fertile days
in a woman's cycle, is produced exclusively
in Saxony. The plastic comes from Leuna,
and the rings are made in Radeberg; the
ceramic for the sensors comes from Meißen,
and the sensors and readers are assembled
in Leipzig. www.vivosensmedical.com
Stephanie Oppitz of Dresden has
solved two major problems associated
with sanitary products. Her company
WindelManufaktur makes washable and
reusable diapers, sanitary napkins, panty
liners, nursing pads, wipes, tissues, and
cosmetic pads from cloth. The products –
which come in fresh, appealing designs –
are free of skin-irritating chemical additives
and are all made by hand from organic
cotton, hemp, bamboo, and Merino
wool. She plans to launch a new line of
sustainable feminine hygiene products in
the fall. www.windelmanufaktur.com
Making animal testing
a thing of the past
Animal testing plays an important role in medical research. But
its usefulness has its limits. Studies have shown that findings
from animal testing cannot always be transferred to humans.
Microphysiological systems like the ones being developed
at Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden could, in the short term, lead to
a significant reduction in testing on animals. "Replica" human
organs will allow pharmaceutical products to be tested in a more
effective way. www.iws.fraunhofer.de
The terminology used in medical reports
can be confusing for patients. To help
clear things up, the team from Was hab'
ich? ("what do I have?") in Dresden works
with doctors and medical students to
translate bewildering diagnoses into more
straightforward language – anonymously,
and free of charge. They also train
medical practitioners in more patientfriendly
INTO THE FUTURE
Making greener shipping choices
In Germany, around three billion packages are sent by mail each year. Start-up company
TiMMi Transport from Leipzig aims to make shipping more environmentally friendly.
The company has set up a network of private drivers who take along one another's
packages and other deliveries on routes they were already planning to cover. Bicycle
couriers take care of the rest. The service is currently only operating in Leipzig, but from
September, more German cities are planning to come on board.
Each day, approximately three people
die in Germany alone because of a lack
of transplant organs. Dr. Ina Prade
of materials research institute FILK in
Freiberg has developed a 3D printing
process to create the framework structures
of organs and tissues – such as ears –
which are then colonized with living cells.
The 3D printer required for the job was
developed by Saxon company GeSIM.
Making soil more fertile
Novihum Technologies manufactures
and markets high-tech humus. The
Dresden-based company, in collaboration
with TU Dresden, developed a humus
granulate extracted from lignite
that restores depleted soil, making it
fertile once again. Land becomes
more productive, and soil is protected
from erosion, even in arid regions.
Chemnitz start-up PI ROPE, founded
by Ingo Berbig and his research team at
TU Chemnitz, has developed super-light
spokes from high-strength polyester.
The high-tech fibers are extremely robust,
yet much lighter than conventional
spokes made from steel. That makes
them particularly interesting for serious
cyclists and wheelchair athletes. This fall,
PI ROPE intends to bring its spokes to
market through a crowdfunding campaign.
Accelerating too hard or switching gears
too late uses up unnecessary amounts
of fuel. The telematics system developed
by ekoio smart telematics from Leipzig
analyzes vehicle data from manufacturers
and brands across the board and offers
advice on more efficient driving practices.
Their tips can help vehicle fleets save up to
fifteen percent on fuel. To date, the system
is available for logistics and delivery
services and car rental firms. ekoio is also
currently working on developing a driver
assistance system for private customers in
cooperation with the VW Future Mobility
Incubator at the Gläserne Manufaktur in
Prof. Frank Buchholz's research is on the cutting edge of genome surgery.
Could a cure for cancer and other diseases be on the horizon?
An End in Sight for Genetic Diseases
Interview Kathrin Hollmer
Photo: Stephan Floss
"Dresden researchers cure
HIV." Last year, your
HIV research at TU Dresden
made headlines. How did
you achieve that important
That headline was sensationalist.
It's important to exercise caution,
so we don't raise any hopes
unrealistically. What I can say is
that in collaboration with Prof.
Hauber at the HPI in Hamburg,
we've developed a new and very
promising approach to HIV
treatment that's worked well in
animal trials and in the lab.
While we were no longer able to detect the virus in the animals'
bodies after treatment, we cannot yet say whether the same will
happen in a human body.
How were you able to basically reverse the HIV infection?
HIV is a retrovirus; it incorporates its own DNA into the host
genome. That means that once infected, a patient will carry the
virus for the rest of his or her life. That's why there's been no
chance for a cure until now; we can only use drugs to stop the
virus from spreading throughout the body. For some time, we've
been taking a new approach; we aim to use genome surgery to
treat genetic conditions.
What does that mean?
Put simply, we've developed an enzyme that searches for specific
sequences of the virus in human cells and "cuts" the virus
genome out of the human genome like a tiny pair of "gene
scissors." In 2007, we were the first research group in the world
to achieve that. At the moment, we're preparing for clinical
studies on human subjects. While obtaining sufficient funds is
proving to be a challenge, we're fairly confident of success in the
long run. At the same time, we're working very hard to develop
new applications for the process. There are many other potential
applications besides HIV.
What other diseases might you be able to cure
using these "gene scissors"?
Theoretically, all genetic diseases for which there is currently no
Prof. Frank Buchholz is
on course to cure HIV. He
has led a research group
at the Max Planck Institute
of Molecular Cell Biology
and Genetics since 2002,
and since 2010, has held
a professorship at TU
Dresden's university clinic,
where he heads his own
laboratory in BIOTEC,
the Biotechnology Center
cure could be treated with
genome surgery. Examples are
cystic fibrosis and hemophilia.
Genetic mutations are also the
underlying cause of cancer. These
mutations change cell behavior,
meaning that cells start doing
things they shouldn't do. If
we could deactivate or even
repair these mutations using
gene scissors, then that would
lead to entirely new treatment
approaches. Hopefully, many
other viruses that trigger diseases
such as leukemia could then be
removed, curing the respective
disease. If these procedures work
on humans, it will revolutionize
medicine. First of all, however,
all of the new technologies and
approaches have to prove their
worth. That's why we conduct
You regularly receive offers
from various universities
and research institutes. What
made you decide to stay
When I came to Dresden, the
new Max Planck Institute of
Molecular Cell Biology and
Genetics was just opening. A huge network that included
medical researchers was springing up, and some of the
smartest minds from all over the world were coming here to do
research. The research environment is still very international
today, and thanks to close ties to the university hospital and
institutions like the Max Planck, Fraunhofer, or the German
Cancer Consortium in Dresden, interesting collaborative
opportunities are available. The State of Saxony is also very
committed to encouraging research, for example when it
comes to financing the acquisition of devices. At the moment,
the state government is supporting the implementation of our
clinical HIV study. •
INTO THE FUTURE
Transporter series has
been in production
since 1950. In 2022, the
I.D. Buzz will supersede
the venerable van.
From ultra-light cars and rapid charging systems
to a brand new electric van: Saxony is helping shape
the future of e-mobility
By David Mayer
Photo: Martin Meiners
ON THE ROAD
A VISIT TO THE OPERA, a boat ride on the Elbe, a night in
a stylish hotel: For just a slight extra charge, customers picking
up their dream car from Dresden's "Gläserne Manufaktur" (The
Transparent Factory) can enjoy a number of decadent luxuries
before heading to the fantastic world of light and sound that
doubles as Volkswagen's production center. Accompanied by
music and flashing lights, a door opens as if by magic. Behind
it, the car awaits.
It was the perfect staging for a luxury sedan like the VW
Phaeton, produced here for fourteen years. But these days, the
milk-glass door opens up to reveal something new. Since spring
2017, the spectacular show celebrates a compact car: the e-Golf.
This change at VW is making not just one, but two bold,
symbolic statements: E-cars are stealing the show from
conventional luxury vehicles; and anyone wishing to experience
the future of e-mobility in Germany should come to Saxony.
Here, carmakers, electricity experts, transportation
researchers, and start-ups are making good progress on
shaping the transportation of tomorrow. "We're establishing a
solid e-mobility network," says Prof. Matthias Klingner,
director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and
Infrastructure Systems. He is intimately acquainted with the
Saxon e-mobility scene.
BMW is another carmaker hard at work in Saxony. Since
2013, the Bavarian company has been producing its globally
successful electric vehicles at its factory in Leipzig. These are
the i3, a fully-electric compact car that is particularly energy
efficient thanks to its ultra-light body made from carbon-fiberreinforced
plastic, and since 2014, the i8, a futuristic plug-in
hybrid sports car with a maximum output of 362 HP. "Starting
in 2018, we'll also begin making the i8 roadster," says Hans-
Peter Kemser, director of the BMW Group's Leipzig plant.
There are various reasons why BMW chose Leipzig as its
e-vehicle production site back in 2010, one of which being that
local authorities allowed them to set up four wind turbines to
provide their own energy. Together, the turbines produce 26
GWh of electricity – that's around two thirds of the energy
needed to manufacture the "Project i" vehicles. "Because we're
making electric drive vehicles here, it's incumbent on us to get
our own energy in a way that is efficient and saves resources,"
Leipzig also has many advantages as a location when it
comes to the production process itself. BMW was able to build
their new assembly halls right next to the existing manufacturing
facilities for the BMW 1 and BMW 2, 860 of which roll off the
line each day. That means electric vehicles can be placed on the
INTO THE FUTURE
ON THE ROAD
same line as gasoline-powered cars for final checks and finetuning
such as brake adjustment. The production site is setting
standards. Designed by star architect Zaha Hadid, the factory is
laid out like a hand, with the production lines running along the
fingers. Trucks can deliver specific parts right to where they're
needed, making the process more efficient and energy saving.
And the production site is helping save resources too: Like other
carmakers, BMW is working with the Center for Textile
Lightweight Engineering in Chemnitz, which recycles carbonfiber
waste into useful fabrics.
Volkswagen is also starting a major e-mobility offensive
in Saxony. While the e-Golf is already rolling off the line in
Dresden, the plant in Zwickau plans to deliver the first
representatives of an entirely new generation of vehicles
starting in 2020. "We've developed our own platform for future
e-vehicles," says Kai Siedlatzek, finance and controlling
manager at Volkswagen in Saxony. Using a modular
electrification toolkit (MEB), VW will gradually develop and
launch a range of fully-electric vehicles with batteries built into
the underbody. They'll function just like a chocolate bar: the
more pieces in the bar, the further the vehicle's reach. The first
vehicle in the series, to be launched in 2020, will be the I.D.
Neo, a compact car with a reach of up to 600 km. Next will
come an SUV coupé; and the I.D. Buzz, an emission-free
successor to the VW Transporter, will hit showrooms in 2022.
For many, the concept of e-mobility is still fairly abstract.
They're worried about problems such as the battery conking out
in the middle of the highway. For e-mobility to prosper, it's not
just a matter of making sure the technology really works –
It isn't surprising that
German carmakers are
heading for Saxony to drive
There's a history of strong
technological progress here.
there's important PR work to be done too. At the Gläserne
Manufaktur in the heart of Dresden, Volkswagen is working to
give people a better understanding. "Here, visitors get an upclose
experience of what e-mobility is," says Lars Dittert, the
site's director. "They can watch the new e-models being made,
take the e-Golf for a spin on a complimentary test drive, and
find out more about how vehicles are charged." Case in point:
There are four public charging stations right outside the
premises of the Gläserne Manufaktur, where e-vehicles can
reach an 80-percent charge in just 30 to 45 minutes. At
conventional stations, it's usually a process of several hours. The
service is available free of charge for a whole year to drivers of
any e-vehicle, no matter the make.
Of course, it doesn't matter how quickly a battery charges
if it also uses up that charge in record time. A few miles down
the road in Kamenz, experts are hard at work developing the
car battery of the future. Here, Daimler subsidiary Accumotive
engineers highly complex drive batteries for hybrid and electric
"It's incumbent on us to get our
own energy in a way that is efficient
and saves resources."
Hans-Peter Kemser, director of the BMW Group's Leipzig plant
cars. And the market is growing – in mid-2018, Accumotive
will open its second plant, one of the biggest automobile battery
factories in the world. "Local battery manufacture is a key
factor in the success of our e-mobility offensive," says Daimler's
production manager Markus Schäfer. "It will have a decisive
impact on our ability to respond flexibly and efficiently to the
demand for electric vehicles."
It's no surprise that German carmakers are heading to
Saxony to propel their involvement in the growing e-mobility
sector. The state has a history of strong technological progress.
Steam-powered vehicles were being produced in Saxony
as early as 1839, and gasoline-powered vehicles have a long
tradition here too. In the early 20th century, the car
manufacturer Horch set up shop in Zwickau, while Chemnitz
was home to Wanderer, another manufacturer. The two later
joined forces with other manufacturers to become Audi. In any
case, the Saxons seem to have innovation and invention in their
blood: the coffee filter, brassiere, and toothpaste all originated
here. So for the e-mobility boom to be taking place in Saxony is
just another sign that the state has always been home to
The surge in electrical activity in Saxony, however, isn't just
thanks to large automobile manufacturers. Mennekes, for
example, a leading manufacturer of industrial plugs and
connectors headquartered in the Sauerland, began production on
its Amtron system in the Ore Mountain town of Aue in 2016. A
convenient, space-saving device, Amtron is a charging box that
owners of electric vehicles can mount right on the wall of their
home. The most powerful model can give an electric car a reach of
120 km in just one hour. "Because many of the workers in this
region had already been assembling power distributors for many
years, they possessed the knowledge and skills required
for making the wallbox," says general manager Christopher
READY FOR ACTION Charging electric vehicles was once a long and cumbersome process. Now, four public charging stations outside
Dresden's Gläserne Manufaktur are speeding that process up to 45 minutes or less. Drivers can use the stations free of charge for a year.
Photos: Martin Meiners, BMW AG
NOW THAT'S EFFICIENT Production of the i8 in BMW's Leipzig plant uses 50 percent less energy and 70 percent less water than
classic auto manufacturing processes.
INTO THE FUTURE
ON THE ROAD
Mennekes, explaining why his company chose the Saxon location.
In addition to charging systems, Saxony is also producing
light-weight construction materials like carbon-fiberreinforced
plastic and tools for building electric motors. And
it's not just drivers who are benefitting – cyclists are, too. In the
small Saxon town of Glashütte, the birthplace of the German
watchmaking industry and home to several luxury watch
companies, new enterprise Binova is selling powertrains that
can be retrofitted to almost any type of bicycle. "Many of our
customers want to keep their old bike, but really like the idea of
having a motor to help them get around," says Katja Söhner-
Bilo, managing director of Binova. For a basic rate of between
€1,850 and €2,000, her team turns normal bikes into e-bikes.
They even take on special cases like recumbent bicycles and
freight bicycles. Amazon bike couriers are now using bikes
equipped with these powertrains to deliver parcels in Berlin
and Munich. The idea for the retrofittable motors came in 2009
from the R&D department at electric motor manufacturer
Selectrona, based in the neighboring town of Dippoldiswalde.
Binova has been acquiring its motors from the company since
its establishment in 2012.
Prof. Matthias Klingner tries to explain the great Saxon
spirit of invention: "Research institutes and companies often
come together and pool their strengths to realize concrete
projects," he says. Klingner is director of the Fraunhofer Institute
for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems in Dresden. The
Institute worked with industry partners to develop a rapid
POWERING UP Binova powertrains turn beloved old pushbikes into e-bikes.
Amazon bicycle couriers in Berlin and Munich are already riding the souped-up bikes.
charging system for the e-buses used in public transportation.
The buses charge for just five minutes at their terminus, and the
problem of battery reach is solved. The researchers are currently
working on a similar solution for self-driving cars. But shaping
the future of e-mobility doesn't just mean developing new
powertrains and other technologies, it requires the establishment
of a comprehensive network of charging stations. In order to
achieve this, the Gläserne Manufaktur has launched a start-up
incubator for new businesses that have their own vision for the
transportation of tomorrow. Six start-ups moved into rent-free
"Many people want to keep
their old bike, but really like
the idea of having a motor to
help them get around."
Katja Söhner-Bilo, managing director of Binova
offices this summer. If their work looks promising after three
months, they'll be given three more months in which to get their
idea ready for market. They'll have access to the necessary
infrastructure, guidance from experts, contacts to important
networks, and authorization to use the software
interfaces of VW vehicles. "That way, the startups
can test out their ideas on real cars," says
Kai Siedlatzek, finance and controlling manager
at Volkswagen in Saxony.
Two such innovators are Sebastian
Schramm and Tarik Mian, the founders
of start-up LoyalGo, who came to Dresden
from Dortmund. The incubator's jury was
impressed by their concept for a charging
station system operated by retailers. "It would
be great if we could get our idea off the
ground in Dresden," says Schramm. The
charging stations are designed to provide
a win-win situation: they'll fill the gaps in
the currently still rather sparse charging
infrastructure, while screens built into
the stations will enable retailers to advertise
If LoyalGo charging stations do become
part of the Dresden cityscape in the next
few years, it's also possible you'll see a VW
Sedric parked alongside. This futuristic van
doesn't just do without a combustion engine, it also has no
driver. In a few years, this self-driving taxi will embark on a test
phase, taking passengers around city streets. But long before
that happens, visitors can already admire the Sedric in Dresden.
E-mobility is coming, and Saxony is a great place to watch the
future roll in. •
Ready for Takeoff
Saxony offers excellent conditions for new ventures.
Here, business founders and investors alike can find the assistance
they need to launch them on the road to success
MAKING THE FIRST CONTACT
Online, at trade fairs, over the phone
THE INITIAL IDEA
Discussions, development, giving presentations
A PERSONALIZED PACKAGE
Tailored information on sectors, locations,
and funding programs
LETTING IDEAS GROW
Information, advice, support –
making use of start-up networks
THE PERFECT SPOT
Finding just the right location – help in
preparing for and accompaniment on viewings
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Finding funding opportunities
and financial partners
WHERE IDEAS FLOURISH
Business incubators and co-working spaces –
more than just a place to work
STEP BY STEP
THE RIGHT PARTNERS
Stronger together – building connections to
suppliers, authorities, networks, and banks
THE RIGHT PARTNERS
Stronger together – building connections to R&D
partners, networks, and authorities
DECIDING ON A LOCATION
Illustrationen: Leander Aßmann
THIS ISN'T THE END – IT'S A NEW BEGINNING
Further development of technologies
Finding skilled workers
Tapping into new markets
LEARNING TO WALK
More space for growth – finding commercial
Further development of technologies
Conquering markets – becoming more international
is it really?
Saxon laboratories are full of microscopes, allowing
researchers to study all manner of fascinating objects
in the pursuit of science. Can you guess what these five
items from Saxony are when viewed in extreme close-up?
By Kathrin Hollmer Photos André Mühling
OR A MOON
might this be?
A BIRD'S NEST?
What kind of
OR A HEATER
do you see?
OR JUST A
do we have here?
With kind support from the Deutsches Museum in Munich
And the answer is...
Here's what was under the microscope
on the preceding pages
Red gold: Saxon saffron
"You won't get saffron to grow here!" Or at
least that's what Boris Kunert was told
back in 2012 when he had the idea of
cultivating the world's most precious spice
in the heart of Saxony. Saffron is usually
grown in Kashmir, Iran, and Spain, but
until sometime in the 16th century, it
could also be found on Saxon fields. For
several years now, Kunert has confounded
the naysayers by successfully growing
saffron in Stolpen, a town that lies east
of Dresden. His delicate red threads
sometimes cost more per gram than gold.
Collector's item: Porcelain
figurine from Meissen
The Meissen porcelain manufactory
has been producing naturalistic animal
figurines for centuries. In honor of
Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony
(1670 – 1733), who established a menagerie
of life-size Meissen porcelain animals
at Dresden's Japanese Palace, the
manufactory has planned a series of
six figurines of pets, with one figurine to
be issued each year. The series launches in
2017 with a pensive pussy cat.
Fabric filters: Keeping
pools clean without chlorine
Biologist Jens Mählmann of the Saxon
Textile Research Institute in Chemnitz
develops textiles that can help keep air and
water clean. His islands of spun-bonded
nonwoven fabric (image) remove nutrients
from water and provide shade, both of
which impede the growth of algae. The
helpful bacteria and bacteriophages
the textiles contain make life tough
for undesired bacteria, allowing natural
swimming pools to stay clean and
hygienic without any added chlorine.
Gnubbel helps people get a grip
People with mobility constraints often have difficulty securing
their walking aids – especially in tricky situations like getting
out of a car or slippery tub. Gnubbel, an innovative universal
grip developed by Weißwasser-based company mr. flint, can be
attached to a variety of surfaces, from the horizontal and vertical
edges of tables and car doors to the cylindrical rods on wheelchairs
and walkers. The technology provides additional security when
getting up from a seated position. www.mr-flint.de
Innovative new fabric from bruno banani
Chemnitz fashion company bruno banani is moving towards a
resource-efficient future with its Body Milk collection, a series of
underwear products made from milk fiber. The innovative fabric
contains proteins that make it robust, breathable, antiallergenic, and
antibacterial. But the really novel thing about this new underwear is
that it nourishes the wearer's skin like a body lotion. The underwear
goes on sale in December 2017. www.brunobanani.com
INTO THE FUTURE
Prof. Jürgen Wegge is an expert in industrial and organizational
psychology. In his view, making time for relaxation and recuperation
is essential to a positive work environment
In Defense of Taking
Interview Julia Rothhaas
A BETTER WORKING LIFE
Prof. Wegge, we're all familiar with
the term "work-life balance," but
what do people really mean when
they say it?
It's about the relationship between our
working life and our private life, but that
term is already outdated. It suggests that
there's some kind of opposition between
"work" and "life." But work is a massive
part of our lives, and usually quite a good
part. There's nothing else that us humans
spend eight hours a day doing – certainly
not eating or having sex. Many of us don't
even sleep for eight hours a night. Instead,
experts are starting to use the term "life
domain balance," a more holistic concept
that looks at maintaining and improving
quality of life in work as well as taking into
account job-external issues such as
personal relationships, family, and health.
What can companies do to help
maintain a healthy balance?
First of all, employers must consider the
different phases in their employees' lives
and careers. That's not just about offering
various working hour models such as
part time or home office for new parents
and people taking care of sick or elderly
relatives. It's also about considering things
like continuing education, the acquisition
of new managerial responsibilities,
extended stays abroad, or the transitional
phase before retirement. Also, companies
should consider the respective ages of
their employees. For example, although all
employees respond positively to good
feedback, young employees tend to need
more praise than their older colleagues.
Older staff members, on the other hand,
need more independence and scope
for action so they can maintain their
performance levels. All these things
should not only be offered to managers,
but preferably the entire staff – although a
trip to China may not be as relevant for an
assembly line worker as it is for someone
in upper management.
What about initiatives such as "no
e-mails on the weekend" – do they
do any good?
Not every model works for everyone,
however well-meant it may be. It depends
on the individual. I, for example, feel
strongly about not being easily accessible
on my two-week vacation. But I might
have a colleague who wouldn't be able to
cope if he or she couldn't get a hold of me.
Prof. Jürgen Wegge has been a
professor of industrial and organizational
psychology at TU Dresden since 2007.
He is also chairman of the Center for
Demography and Diversity (CDD). For
more information, visit:
It's important to work these things out
together: An employee should be able to
speak to his or her supervisor about what
he or she needs to feel content. Employees
must be granted this right to have their
say – you can't force people to do what
you think is best for them. And being
allowed to have your say can have a
positive effect on health. Research has
shown that shift work, for instance, places
less of a burden on health when workers
are able to participate in putting together
the schedule. It is, however, very important
that this is not an empty gesture and that
employees can genuinely participate in the
Are there any companies in Saxony
setting a good example when
it comes to life domain balance?
It's usually larger companies that are able
to offer their employees a broad spectrum
of opportunities. Infineon, for instance, is
a trailblazer when it comes to diversity.
They've long since realized that it's not
just a matter of setting up a company
kindergarten or introducing part-time
working models, but of encouraging
employee diversity. We don't just want to
persuade people to come to Saxony; we
want them to stay here. A culture of
welcome and acceptance in the company
and its location is crucial for ensuring that
newcomers feel at ease – in both their new
job and in their new town.
at the problems small companies with
mixed-age teams have, and how they're
attempting to resolve those problems.
When it comes to a balance between
working life and private life, the
Germans actually have it pretty
good. Do we complain too much?
Yes and no. Again, it depends on the
individual. Whether or not we feel content
depends to a large degree on personal
disposition. Some people will always find
something to gripe about. Other people
are simply cheerful the moment they
get up in the morning – they're more
satisfied with their lives and their jobs. But
general mood in the office and scope for
independent action also have an impact on
how satisfied we feel and thus on our life
domain balance. Sometimes, people even
go so far as to consider changing jobs just
because a colleague is dissatisfied with
them. Unfortunately, in many companies,
there's still a great deal of room for
improvement when it comes to how work is
structured and social interaction on the job.
Photo: Stephan Floss
PROF. JÜRGEN WEGGE has been studying topics such as work, health, motivation,
and company diversity for many years.
How are things at the state level?
Can state governments influence
There's a close link between demographic
change and the topic of life domain
balance, and for that reason alone state
governments need to get involved.
Saxony was the first German state to do so,
quickly introducing its "Förderrichtlinie
Demografie" (demography funding
guideline) program. The program
supports projects initiated by local
government and research institutions
aimed at tackling population ageing and
decline. One such project might be a
study into how we can encourage young
women to stay in the area, as that's the
population group that tends to move
away from the countryside to bigger
cities. Another might consider the
shortage of medical practitioners in rural
areas. At the Center for Demography
and Diversity, which I chair along with
a colleague who works in medicine,
we're currently engaged in a study on
behalf of the State of Saxony that looks
Do you have any tips for achieving
the "right" balance?
Often, employees don't know how to
sensibly use the freedoms they're given –
there can be such a thing as too much
independence. Some people exploit the
freedoms they're given to simply take time
off; other people drive themselves too
hard: when given home office privileges,
they end up working 70 or 80 hours a
week, since the boss isn't there to send
them home. That's why it's important to
train employees in self-management.
And we shouldn't underestimate the
importance of relaxation and recuperation
during the work day. Companies should
have well-designed break rooms for their
employees and establish a "take-a-break"
culture – with the boss setting a good
example. We recently published an initial
meta-analysis on the topic. It shows that
someone who takes a relatively large
number of short, paid breaks over the
course of the day may work around ten
percent less but actually performs ten
percent better and is much less stressed.
That means that breaks benefit employees
and employers alike – and therefore also
their customers. •
INTO THE FUTURE
are both the route
to work and the
path to new ideas.
WAY TO GO!
Great ideas don't just come waltzing in through the
office door. We asked researchers, business founders,
and inventors where they go for inspiration
By Yorca Schmidt-Junker Photos Stephan Floss
INTO THE FUTURE 29
"Every morning, I climb into my
canoe and paddle nearly all the way
to the studio."
Jonathan Geffen is the co-founder of design studio etage8,
which specializes, among other things, in barrier-free
furniture such as the MORMOR series. In 2016, etage8 was
awarded the Saxon State Design Prize, and in 2017, they
received both the German Design Award and the Red Dot
JONATHAN GEFFEN – LEIPZIG'S WATERWAYS "For me, a big part of
Leipzig's charm is its dense network of small waterways. Some 300 km of river
routes both large and small crisscross the city, giving it an almost maritime feel.
It means that in the morning, I can get into my canoe not far from my front door
and paddle over to our studio complex, housed in the Tapetenwerk, Leipzig's
historic wallpaper factory. As I paddle, I take in the view of the city's multifaceted
architecture with its late 19th century buildings and ultra-modern residential
buildings. It inspires me to take a new perspective when I'm in the studio as well.
I also love to explore the marshes by boat – sometimes followed by watching a
beautiful sunset over Cospudener lake."
CARINA RÖLLIG – SAXON SWITZERLAND "The best way for me to
switch off, clear my head, and make space for new ideas is hiking in the Elbe
Sandstone Mountains. I was born in Saxon Switzerland, so when I climb the
Gohrisch or Papststein table hills, it isn't just a wonderful physical challenge,
I also feel like I'm coming home. I prefer to hike off the beaten tourist track
and like the climb up through the Falkenschlucht gorge to the top of
Gohrisch where you clamber upwards on narrow wooden ladders. It's a
place where the journey itself is the reward. And once you get to the top,
you're treated to a fantastic view over this unique landscape."
WILHELM SCHMID – ALBERTINUM
DRESDEN "When I'm looking for inspiration,
I like to go to the Albertinum with its worldfamous
New Masters Gallery. Even just walking
across the vast, beautifully-lit lobby inspires
a feeling of deep connection with this place
whose treasures delight me anew no matter how
many times I come here. The collection ranges
from the Romantic period, with paintings by
Caspar David Friedrich and Carl Gustav Carus,
to Impressionism and Expressionism, and on
to contemporary pieces by Gerhard Richter,
Georg Baselitz, and Luc Tuymans. Every visit to
the gallery leaves me with lasting, enlivening
Wilhelm Schmid is the managing director of Glashüttebased
watch manufactory A. Lange & Söhne.
The company was the subject of a case study by the
Harvard Business School, which highly commended
its business strategy and uncompromising quality.
Carina Röllig is co-founder and managing director of Webdata Solutions in Leipzig. She
and the other founders, Dr. Hanna Köpcke and Sabine Maßmann, developed blackbee,
an established market analysis software with a unique matching algorithm that analyzes
online product data from all over the world. webdata-solutions.com
Photo: Stephan Floss/VG Bild-Kunst
UDO HEBISCH – THARANDT FOREST
"It's become something of a ritual for me –
twice a year I hike through the Tharandt
Forest, which begins right on my doorstep.
My favorite place to head for when I'm
there is TU Dresden's Forest Park, a secluded
and tranquil spot where I can recharge my
batteries. Watching the changing of the seasons
and the magnificent play of colors in nature is
especially inspirational for me. My personal
"The maze is where
I introduced my
daughters to the world
favorite is the maze in the eastern part of the
Forest Park. When my daughters were still
small, that's where I introduced them to the
fascinating and valuable world of mathematics.
Now that they're grown, they still love to
accompany me to this place that has a magical
quality for all of us."
Prof. Udo Hebisch is the director of the Institute
of Discrete Mathematics & Algebra at the TU
Bergakademie Freiberg – University of Resources.
He runs a math café and a virtual museum for
mathematics and art – a Saxon first! tu-freiberg.de
CHRISTIAN FENNER – ELBE CYCLE ROUTE, DRESDEN "When I
cycle to work in the mornings, I'm awed again and again by my surroundings.
With the grande dame of Dresden's bridges – the remarkable blue-tinged
Loschwitz Bridge – before me, I cycle alongside the lush Elbe grasslands and past
the riverside palaces, the Frauenkirche church, and the Semper Opera House.
The beauty of that panorama is almost surreal and often gives me a real rush of
creativity. The Elbe Cycle Route might be the most beautiful and impressive bike
trail in Germany. If I have a little more time, I head for the vineyards on the
Elbhang hillsides. From there, you have the best views over the city and river."
Christian Fenner is a co-founder of Nutritious Solutions, which produces nucao, a healthy
chocolate bar made from hempseeds and raw cacao. The product is sold in organic stores,
and the company has the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
INTO THE FUTURE
Photos: Stephan Floss, Andrea Flak, Leipzig Tourismus, iStock / TommL
BREAKS TO GO*
People who take regular breaks are generally more relaxed and perform better at work (see interview from p. 26). A little time out clears our
minds and makes space for new ideas. On the following pages, you'll find five fantastic ideas for particularly inspiring breaks in Saxony.
Die Pause zum
Die Pause zum
Gohrisch is one of the table hills in Saxon Switzerland's
Elbe Sandstone Mountains. At the foot of this jaggedtopped
rock lies a health resort of the same name.
The nearly 300-km-long network of waterways
large and small that crisscrosses Leipzig gives it a
Must-Sees Beautiful buildings from the late 19th
century; the industrial architecture on the Karl Heine
Canal; the gnarly natural landscape of the marshes; the
Leipzig Wasserfest celebration that takes place every
Must-Sees The climb up the Falkenschlucht gorge over
stone steps, ladders,
and metal bridges; the weathervane on the northwestern side of the plateau.
tips Schwedenhöhle cave on the left side of the way up to the eastern lookout; the
Mundloch, a former soapstone mine at the foot of the rock that is now a sanctuary for bats.
Food Papststein, a wonderfully situated hilltop inn, Papststein 1, Gohrisch,
Tel. +49 (0)350 216-0956, www.berggast.de, and Pfaffenstein, Fels Pfaffenstein 1,
Pfaffendorf, Tel. +49 (0)350 215-9410
tips Canoe rental from the 1920s boathouse by
the Wildpark www.bootsverleih-am-wildpark.com;
sunset on Cospuden lake; stand-up paddleboarding
at Stadthafen Leipzig (incl. paddleboard rental).
Food The Stelzenhaus Restaurant is housed in
a remarkable monument to industrial modernity in the
district of Plagwitz,Weißenfelser Str. 65h, Leipzig, Tel.
+49 (0)341 492-4445 www.stelzenhaus-restaurant.de
Die Pause zum
The Albertinum with its New Masters Gallery and Sculpture
Collection belongs to the Dresden State Art Collections
and is one of Germany's most important museums.
Must-Sees The Romanticism section with world-famous
paintings by Caspar David Friedrich such as "The Cross in the Mountains;" works by Rodin
and Wilhelm Lehmbruck's "Kneeling Woman" in the Sculpture Collection; works by Dresden
native Gerhard Richter.
tips Alongside the Käthe Kollwitz exhibition (October 19, 2017–January 1, 2018),
the Kupferstich-Kabinett is showing a selection of works on paper by Marlene Dumas.
Die Pause zum
Food Alte Meister, located in the side wing of the Zwinger,Theaterplatz 1a,
Dresden, Tel. +49 (0)351 481-0426 www.altemeister.net
Illustration: Marina Widmann
The Tharandt Forest lies close to Tharandt and
Wilsdruff in the geographical center of Saxony,
between Freiberg and Dresden. This mixed woodland
filled with spruces has numerous walking trails
and is one of Germany's most important geoparks.
Must-Sees TU Dresden's Tharandt Forest Park
in the northeastern corner of the forest with
approx. 3,200 different types of trees and bushes;
various themed excursions from the forest workshop
TIPS The Indian summer from mid-September with
its magnificent colors; the maze in the eastern section
of the Forest Park.
FOOD Zum Rabenauer Grund, Somsdorfer Str. 6,
Freital, Tel. +49 (0)351 644-4999
Die Pause zum
Elbe Cycle Route –
The Dresden section of the approx. 1,200-km-long Elbe Cycle
Route provides open views of a beautiful landscape reminiscent
of Italy: the Loschwitz Bridge, the Semper Opera House, the
Frauenkirche church, and the three Dresden riverside palaces.
The route leads past marshes and hillsides replete with vineyards.
Must-Sees The terraces of the Lingnerschloss, one of the three riverside palaces,
with its breath-taking views over Dresden; Schloss Pillnitz with its Wasserpalais and
18th century Chinoiserie elements.
tip A paddle steamer trip along the left bank of the Elbe (sections N and O).
Food Inns in and around Körnerplatz; in case of good weather Elbegarten Demnitz.
* CARDS TO CUT OUT AND KEEP: Looking at pictures of nature might reduce stress levels, but it's even
better to go out and enjoy the great outdoors for real. Time to explore some of Saxony's most beautiful spots!
READY FOR NEW PERSPECTIVES.
CURIOSITY AND THE URGE TO EXPERIMENT ARE PART OF THE SAXON DNA.
Dreams become ideas, which creative individuals share and spread. Examples include
THE SAXONZ, Germany’s national breakdance champions, with their inspirational
performances. Saxony also has a long history of inventions and is home to a highly
dynamic science scene. With a total of 14 universities and some 50 non-university
research institutes, the region is notable for world-changing innovation and a vibrant
start-up landscape. To discover the full range of perspectives and opportunities that
Saxony offers, visit: