Innovative Saxony


Into the future! A magazine of remarkable ideas and valuable networks



Published by the Free State of Saxony


A magazine of remarkable ideas

and valuable networks



Leipzig and Dresden are part of a national Digital

Hub Initiative. What's it all about?


Saxony is a great place to invest, research, and

establish businesses. But what's the best way forward?



Digitization and Industry 4.0 – a journey to three

very special places



Saxon products slide under the microscope.

Can you guess what they are?




Communications technology is getting faster

and faster. How does it work? An interview with

telecommunications expert Frank Fitzek.




How can companies help keep employees of

all ages happy? An interview with industrial and

organizational psychologist Jürgen Wegge.




Twelve bright ideas for a better future – all from Saxony.



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?

Dear readers,

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.

The editors


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, 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

21 22


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).





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



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. and


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





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.


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.










Karlsruhe Nürnberg




These German cities host the country's

Digital Hubs, which bring together start-ups,

SMEs, and large companies.




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

changing system.

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


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





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

reservations about

Industry 4.0

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

any progress."

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.

The Heinrich-Schütz-Konservatorium

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



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

Entrepreneurs need

places where they

can experience

digitization in a

tangible way


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



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

network be?

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

humans superfluous?

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. •







Making mineral deposits

more accessible

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



gentler and

more effective

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




Making recycling

more appealing

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.


Making diapers


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.


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.


Making more

sense of

medical reports

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

communication techniques.






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.

Making organs

from scratch

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.


Making bikes



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.


Making smart

driving choices

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


Molecular biologist

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

TU Dresden.

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

extensive studies.

You regularly receive offers

from various universities

and research institutes. What

made you decide to stay

in Dresden?

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. •





The Volkswagen

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


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,"

says Kemser.

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




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

e-mobility forward.

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

inventive genius.

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.




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

special offers.

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. •

Photo: Binova


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




Online, at trade fairs, over the phone


Discussions, development, giving presentations


Tailored information on sectors, locations,

and funding programs


Information, advice, support –

making use of start-up networks


Finding just the right location – help in

preparing for and accompaniment on viewings


Finding funding opportunities

and financial partners


Business incubators and co-working spaces –

more than just a place to work



Stronger together – building connections to

suppliers, authorities, networks, and banks


Stronger together – building connections to R&D

partners, networks, and authorities



Illustrationen: Leander Aßmann


Further development of technologies

Finding skilled workers

Tapping into new markets


More space for growth – finding commercial


Further development of technologies

Conquering markets – becoming more international







HEAD? What

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





ROCK? What

might this be?





What kind of


is this?




ROD? What

do you see?






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.



Everyday assistance:

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.


Skin-pampering undies:

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.



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

a Break

Interview Julia Rothhaas


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

planning process.

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

job satisfaction?

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. •



For designer

Jonathan Geffen,

Leipzig's waterways

are both the route

to work and the

path to new ideas.



Inspiration for



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


"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



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."


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."


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.

Photo: Stephan Floss/VG Bild-Kunst



"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

of mathematics."

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!


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.


Photos: Stephan Floss, Andrea Flak, Leipzig Tourismus, iStock / TommL


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 –

Saxon Switzerland

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.

Leipzig's Waterways

The nearly 300-km-long network of waterways

large and small that crisscrosses Leipzig gives it a

Venetian flair.

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,, and Pfaffenstein, Fels Pfaffenstein 1,

Pfaffendorf, Tel. +49 (0)350 215-9410

tips Canoe rental from the 1920s boathouse by

the Wildpark;

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

Die Pause zum


Albertinum –


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

Illustration: Marina Widmann

Tharandt Forest

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

WaldErlebnisWerkstatt SYLVATICON.

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!



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:

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