Sachsen Magazin - Trending Topics (ENG)






A look at smart cars, smart

energy and the rest of the

(networked) world of things.

P. 10

Quantum computers are the new

supercomputers – they have the

potential to boost the AI trend.

P. 38

How a technology is

revolutionising the internet

and an entire industry.

P. 62

Virtual worlds are making

inroads into our daily lives and

offering unimagined insights.

P. 78



Terrestrial globe

Willem Jansz. Blaeu




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Illustration: © SKD, Photo: M. Lange

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Dear Readers,

Just think of all the things we label megatrends nowadays – globalisation, climate

change, urbanisation. In the same breath we almost always mention digitisation.

And rightly so. After all, the profound changes accompanying digitisation will

shape not only us, but also our children and our children’s children. And the

speed at which digitisation is becoming part of our lives is increasing. Whereas it

took 75 years for the telephone to reach 100 million users, Instagram managed

the same in a little over two years. The field of mobility is also changing fast:

according to forecasts, by 2020 some 250 million cars with an internet connection

will be on the roads worldwide. That means around one in five vehicles will

be networked.

Examples such as these provide an idea of how many different aspects

are subsumed under the term digital transformation. That is why we have

named this magazine ‘Trending Topics’ – and why we’re taking a look at the

12 most important digitisation trends of the coming years. Among them are,

of course, the Internet of Things, as well as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence

and virtual reality.

It became clear from the many conversations we had in recent months

that certainly not everything is going to plan everywhere and sometimes

people’s reservations even prevail over progress. Yet a certain basic optimism,

a curiosity about the things that will come our way, is tangible all

over. German star architect Ole Scheeren shows it, for instance, as he gives

us a view of the working world of the future in our centre spread. So does

IBM manager Martina Koederitz, who talks about the complex challenges

of digitisation for business. And, not least, the companies in Saxony that

we got to know in the course of this cooperation project and whose progress we

were able to follow for a while. The fact that people are working so intensely on

the digital future in Germany’s easternmost federal state led us to particularly

highlight certain personalities, companies and products at selected spots in the

magazine in an ‘Inspirationals’ series.

In this spirit, we hope you find great inspiration from the pages of this magazine.

The editorial team






P. 6

Digital (R)evolution

Trends & Facts


Internet of


P. 74

P. 9

What happens when

the fridge has ordered

the wrong milk?

One Question,

One Answer

P. 10

The Next Internet

A look at smart cars,

smart energy and the

rest of the (networked)

world of things.


Social Media


P. 13

Online First

Trends & Facts

– an overview

P. 14


in Sneakers

Start-up Staffbase is

shaking up employee


P. 18

Inspirational Leaders

Digitisation strategies

and visions for the

future: six pioneers in

the spotlight.

(P. 8)


Mobility &



P. 22

Computers Take

Over at the Wheel

Autonomous mobility

concepts are fundamentally

changing our idea

of transportation.

P. 24

Do machines actually

make fewer errors in

road traffic?

One Question,

One Answer




P. 26

Honey Traps

for Hackers


represent a threat to

companies and state

institutions alike.




P. 30

Long Live

the Community

From student

start-up to European

market leader.

P. 34



Smart business ideas

point the way to the

digital future.

P. 14





P. 38

A New

Quantum Leap

Will quantum computers

help artificial intelligence

make its breakthrough?

P. 39

»When I think

of artificial

intelligence …

Eight experts share

their concerns and

their hopes.

P. 41

»We could do

without it, but why

should we?«

Why we need not fear

artificial intelligence.

P. 42

Future in 100 Words

Four visionaries

look ahead to

the digital future.



Contents & Collaborators

P. 20



Creative Director

Anita Mrusek works

as a freelance creative

director in her studio

in Berlin’s Neukölln

district. Focussing on

corporate publishing

and editorial design,

she develops customer

magazines for publishing

houses and agencies,

also handling relaunches.

She has published

her own fashion magazines

and developed

and designed ‘Trending

Topics’ as Creative Director.





P. 47

Higher, Further, Faster

that’s the Key

Why an entrepreneur

from Chemnitz takes a

close look at the trends

of Silicon Valley.

P. 78


Industry 4.0


P. 53


as Conductors and


Industry 4.0 is a German

success story.

P. 57

Do robots make

better colleagues?

One Question,

One Answer

P. 58

New Future

for Analogue Products

Tradition and

digitisation can indeed

go hand in hand.




P. 62

Here to Stay

How Blockchain is

already plunging entire

industries into a state

of hysteria.





P. 66

City of the Future

Striving to get closer to

the ideal of a smart city.

Is there a magic formula?

P. 70

Inspirational Items

Eight innovative objects

that make life in our

world that little bit easier.


Big Data


P. 73

How much data

does a person need?

One Question,

One Answer

P. 74

A Man with a Mission

‘Astro Alex’ has an

unusual experiment with

him on board the ISS.





P. 78

Virtual Worlds


How a hidden champion

from Germany’s Ore Mountains

is setting standards

with 360-degree cameras.

P. 81




Thomas Meyer lives

and works in Berlin. He

works for international

magazines and clients,

and was photographer

for an award winning

F.A.Z. campaign. Since

2017 Meyer has been

working as a photographer

for the Bauhaus

Dessau Foundation and

teaches, amongst others,

at Ostkreuzschule

für Fotografie. His

works are regularly featured

in exhibitions.

ANJE JAGER / Illustrator

A native of the Netherlands, Anje Jager, who lives

in Berlin, worked for many years as a graphic artist

and designer before returning to her ‘first love’

– drawing and painting. In her illustrations she

effortlessly combines her love of portrait painting

with realism and artistic sensitivity. She works

for international clients including Harper’s Bazaar

and Monocle.



Gene Glover has been

working for major German

newspapers and

magazines for many

years. In the last 10

years, the native of New

York has made a name

for himself as a portrait

photographer and photojournalist.

His portfolio

embraces cover and lead stories, for instance for

Wired and The New York Times Magazine. In addition

to editorial work, Glover also concentrates on

projects in advertising and the corporate sector.

Kinvara Balfour / Director & Moderator

British director and moderator Lady Kinvara Balfour

primarily addresses the topics of design, technology

and trends. She created ‘The Visionaries’,

a series of mini-films recorded solely on an iPhone.

She has interviewed big names in the fashion

industry for a cooperation project with Apple and

advises tech start-ups on how to launch their

business. She was, moreover, executive producer

of a documentary on the late designer Alexander




Trends & Facts

Digital (R)evolution:

Digital innovations permeate (almost) all

areas of daily life. They are changing the way

we work and communicate. And more than

that: they are changing our whole lives.



per cent

of German internet users now use social networks

for their private communication, according to the German

Federal Statistical Office. Ten years ago social networks

were almost unheard of in Germany.

The telephone

needed 75 years to reach




Instagram needed just 2.2 years.

(Source: report ‘Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20’; OECD)

Two thirds

of Germans still enjoy playing board or

family games in their free time. Forty per cent

prefer to play video and computer games.

(Source: VuMA 2017; Arbeitsgemeinschaft Verbrauchs- und Medienanalyse)


The digital healthcare

market is set to grow to over




worldwide by 2020, estimates consultancy firm Roland Berger. That

corresponds to average annual growth of 21 per cent as of 2015.

45 per cent

of smartphone users from Germany already use

health apps, according to a survey by Bitkom Research.




wearables will be shipped in 2022,

forecast the analysts at International Data

Corporation. Smartwatches are to

generate the most sales, with an estimated

market share of 38.3 per cent.



Trends & Facts


70 per cent

of head teachers and teachers in Germany are

convinced that digital media will increase the

attractiveness of their school.

(Source: study ‘Monitor Digitale Bildung’; Bertelsmann Foundation)

However, on average only

1 in 20

schools nationwide regularly use digital media in the

classroom, according to a study by Bitkom Research.

Young Germans spend around

45 minutes

a day on the computer or

internet doing schoolwork.

(Source: ‘JIM-Studie 2017’; Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest)

The market for artificial intelligence

will be worth more than




by 2025, estimates the American

market research firm Constellation Research.




cryptocurrencies are listed on the platform in 2018.

Of these, over 1,000 generate a daily trading

volume of over 10,000 dollars each.



per cent

of German consumers can already

envisage buying a self-driving car,

says Bitkom Research.

Just under

three quarters

of Germans can imagine having a robot

assistant as a household help, according to the

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO.

It would be used to provide assistance primarily

for strenuous and repetitive tasks.

More than

3 out of 4

German citizens already do their

banking online, tech association Bitkom

discovered in a consumer survey.



of a total of 2,250 surveyed bank customers in nine

countries – including Germany – stated that they no longer

have any personal contact with their bank. At the same

time, likewise two thirds of consumers consider a long-term

relationship with their main bank to be important.

(Source: whitepaper ‘Today’s Financial Consumer: Open for Business’; CGI)



Internet of Things




of Things

short cut / Internet of Things (IoT) / Items become

‘smart’ thanks to the integration of microchips and are thus

able to communicate with other objects and computers via

the internet / Systems act and interact without human intervention

/ Challenge: IoT offers hackers a platform of attack /

25 billion IoT devices by the year 2020 / Economic benefits

estimated to be around 2 trillion dollars



Internet of Things



What if the

refrigerator has ordered

the wrong milk?



»In fact, this is a scenario that

might actually come about as a result

of the Internet of Things.

In practice, for reasons of data privacy

the question will arise as to whether

the webcam attached to the fridge should

not be taped over as with your own

laptop in order to do without such

a service. The alternative: walk to your

local supermarket!«

( Christian Montag, Heisenberg Professor for

Molecular Psychology at Ulm University, is busy researching

the biological foundations of the human personality. )



Internet of Things

The Next Internet

The new mobile communications

standard 5G, expected to launch

in 2020, will make mobile internet

faster and more reliable – and

enable entirely new applications.

A look at smart cars, smart

energy and the rest of the

(networked) world of things.


Boris Karkowski



Internet of Things

A full 7.6 billion people on Earth, meaning potentially

some 7.6 billion smartphones connected to

the internet. Yet at present there are only 2.5 billion

smartphones. That may sound a lot, but it’s peanuts

compared to what’s coming. After all, when

the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes reality, several

hundred billion devices will be networked with

one another. Not just the usual suspects like fridges

and cars, but all machines. When these devices are

networked and exchange information with one another

in real time, entirely new applications will

be possible in production, logistics, medicine, the

energy sector, agriculture and retailing. Remote

surgical operations, intelligent traffic routing, and

fully automated production including intelligent

logistics chains are just some of the ideas people are

currently working to realise. The character of the

internet is thus set to fundamentally change – from

the consumption of information to control based

on permanent data exchange.

One major advantage is decentralised decision-making.

For instance, self-driving cars won’t

have to be fitted with supercomputers and multiple

sensors, but will be able to read data from traffic

lights and cameras and other vehicles, or even process

direct instructions from central traffic guidance

systems – and send their own data back to

them. Yet even more than that is set to change: Professor

Frank Fitzek at Technische Universität (TU)

Dresden, one of the leading minds in the field of

5G, explains: “5G will not only enable communication

from machine to machine, but also real-time

communication between human and machine.

This will give rise to entirely new ways of cooperating.

Robots and people will no longer work alongside,

but with one another. For example, someone

will be able to put on an intelligent glove and teach

it to play the piano – then, in turn, the glove will

teach this to a layperson.”

Complex cooperation

A number of hurdles need to be overcome before

this and similar visions can be realised. The most

important precondition is a faster, more reliable

mobile internet. This should be a reality in Germany

as of 2020, mobile communications providers

claim. 5G will not only be 100 times faster than

the current LTE standard, but will also respond far

more rapidly. A latency of just one millisecond will

enable real-time transmission even over greater distances.

Humans require roughly 10 times that for

the connection from the eye to the brain. The network

must also be reliable, so that autonomous cars

and delivery drones don’t become disoriented. This

Fully networked

Not only humans, but

inanimate objects are also

increasingly often being

connected to one another.

This offers companies the

opportunity to establish new

business models and

generate more sales – for

example with networked

products and services. The

manufacturing industry is

set to profit the most, with

a huge number of devices

and machines with the

potential to be networked.

Experts forecast a similar

development in the utility

and logistics sectors.

requires not only a blanket radio connection, but

also decentralised systems that can quickly plug the

gap when a connection node fails. And finally, mobile

phone connections of the future must use only

a fraction of the electricity required today – otherwise

the permanent data streams between devices

would quickly drain batteries and overstrain the

energy grids.

joint Solutions across sectors

Numerous companies are working on realising 5G.

Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, for instance, has activated

its first antennas for operating 5G under reallife

conditions. An entire 5G cluster is currently

taking shape in the city centre. Equal effort is already

being devoted to the interplay of hardware,

software and communication interface with a view

to application. Patrick Grosa from Smart Systems

Hub in Dresden explains the complexity as follows:

“In the past it was generally only the manufacturers

of a new product that had to agree on a standard,

such as the format of a CD. Yet for the Internet

of Things, manufacturers from all kinds of different

industries have to coordinate with the providers

of the telecommunications infrastructure and the

software programmers, ideally at the global level.”

The hub therefore facilitates exchange and the

development of joint solutions across sectors and


Using energy flexibly

5G and the Internet of Things also have the potential

to overhaul our energy supply. The foundations

for this are currently being laid at the 5G

Energy Hub, a cooperation between TU Dresden

and RWTH Aachen University. The goal is decentralised,

flexible energy use. Instead of rigid energy

generation and consumption, in future a system of

generators and consumers – be they private households

or production companies – is to balance out

supply and demand using flexible storage facilities.

Joachim Seifert of TU Dresden explains: “In this

way we can more effectively smooth out the fluctuations

in renewable energies on a stormy day, for

example, because the over-supply can be temporarily

stored or converted and retrieved on another,

less windy day.” Professor Fitzek emphasises: “The

energy transition will not be possible without 5G.”

Yet Fitzek has great expectations of the “next internet”

in other areas, too. “People will be able to

focus fully on innovating, because machines will

take over the repetitive tasks.” ■



Social Media





short cut / Social Media / Digital technologies, websites,

wikis, apps or networks via which users can connect with one

another over the internet, create content and share it / Usergenerated

content and many-to-many communication / From

hashtags (#) to likes: the key characteristic is the interactivity

in Web 2.0 / These days, procuring information takes place

more through social media than classic media



Social Media


According to social media agency

Spredfast, more than

3 billion

people around the globe use, design or consume social

networks. The most important are: Facebook, QQ, YouTube,

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

In 2018 Google makes almost

34 per cent

of its global mobile advertising

revenue from smartphones and co.; at Facebook

the share is just under 25 per cent.

85 per cent

of under 35-year-olds use WhatsApp, Facebook and similar

platforms to arrange when and where to meet and coordinate

activities. These are the findings of a study by Postbank.

WhatsApp has

34 million

daily users, and the number is rising.

Those who don’t want to communicate via WhatsApp

find alternative services that boast secure data

encryption, for instance Telegram or Threema.

1 billion

people worldwide, according to the latest figures

by Tencent, China’s largest internet company, organise

their entire lives using its messenger app WeChat.

The Chinese government has full access to the data.

In the USA


reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds than cable

television in the country, according to Spredfast.


73 per cent

of Germans surveyed are against providers

storing their data, a study by the German Economic

Institute (IW) in Cologne concluded.

Today people across the globe are already networking

via social media faster than ever before. Events are

followed, commented on and evaluated at an incredible

speed. Often, it feels like this happens in less than

one minute

39 per cent

of Germans use the sharing economy:

They share accommodation, files, music, cars.

Experts at PwC expect an increase

in the market volume to over 24 billion euros.

Experts at the World Economic Forum forecast that by


80 per cent of the world’s population will have a digital

online profile. This will be down to the comprehensive

spread of new technologies that will enable internet access

even in the world’s remotest regions.

30 per cent

of retail purchases are inspired on

Facebook today. This was revealed by

the ‘Social Audience Guide 2018’.

According to a Bitkom study

one in five

German internet users get their news from Facebook & co. –

and intend to continue doing so in the future. Smartphones

are becoming ever more important in searches for news.



Social Media


Sabine Simon


Gene glover


in sneakers




The right idea at the right

time: since its foundation in

2014, Staffbase’s turnover has

increased almost fivefold.


Like a good laugh: managing

directors Frank Wolf, Lutz

Gerlach and Martin Böhringer

(left to right) stay relaxed even

for press photos.

The app by

start-up Staffbase

is revolutionising

staff communications.



Social Media




Social Media

We pick up our smartphones about 100 times a day,

to check e-mails, to chat, or to take a look at what

other people are doing on Instagram. Everything

takes place digitally, via social media channels, be it

Facebook or Twitter for example. In the professional

sphere too, we spend prolonged periods online, on

networks like LinkedIn or using web-based messenger

services like Slack. In just a short space of time,

digitisation has changed virtually everything – most

significantly how we communicate. This applies both

personally and in the world of work.

Basically, though, in-company communications

are still relatively unwieldy in many companies

– particularly in times of decentral teams who work

flexible hours from different locations. It’s true that

there are now social intranets, but less than half of all

employees with access to these use them on a daily

basis. And depending on the industry, employees

without a PC-based workspace or company e-mail

address can’t even reach them. In Germany, 70 per

cent of staff remains digitally invisible. So how do

you let them know that the parking lot can be used

again next week after the construction work, or that

the business performance is exceeding all expectations?

You could use a mass e-mail here, but that’s

neither emotional nor is it likely to fulfil one of the

most important criteria for ensuring that company

news will actually be read, namely relevance.

Mobile intranet via app / This was what inspired

business engineer Frank Wolf to set up a new

company. During his time at Deutsche Telekom’s

subsidiary T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, the

43-year-old gained a lot of experience in the area of

intranets. “I regularly dealt with companies that had

problems reaching all their employees. The need was

there, we simply had to act at the right moment, and

that moment came with the spread of smartphones.”

In 2014, he joined forces with business informatics

specialist Martin Böhringer and business manager

Lutz Gerlach to found Staffbase. The app from the

Chemnitz-based start-up relies on the principle that

a company’s intranet can become a kind of social media

channel. The idea is as simple as it is ingenious.

After all, individual smartphones are the communications

channel with the greatest reach by far. Staffbase’s

first customers included T-Systems, Siemens

and Viessmann, and even Adidas uses a personalised

employee app from the young software company.

The business model hinges on providing

‘Software as a Service’. The intranet and employee

software available on mobile devices constitute a kind

of modular system that each company can structure

individually for itself – in just a few clicks. As with a

content management system, content is prepared and





Anyone who needs

some peace and quiet for a

discussion can retire to one

of the smaller meeting rooms.


For anyone who works at

Staffbase, a day at the office

is time spent in a chic loft

space. There are stress-busting

snacks like fruit and chocolate.


Lots of windows, lots of

light, lots of communication:

Employees sit close to one

another. Concrete slabs on the

ceiling reduce noise levels.


Some things just have to

remain analog. The magnetic

noticeboard displays postcards,

flyers and words of wisdom.

managed via a browser application. Staffbase makes

its platform available to the customer and handles

all the technical support. Moreover, all the hosting

is inside Germany. The costs vary depending on the

number of employees, and are charged based on a

monthly fee. “We take care of updates and app store

management,” explains Martin Böhringer.

Employees then install the app, adapted to

their company’s look and feel, onto their smartphones

and complete a one-off registration process,

after which they log in with a password each time.

This ensures that internal company matters remain

internal. As with Facebook, it’s then possible to read,

comment and like news wherever you are – either

on a general company channel or on closed channels.

There are directories of employees and telephone

numbers, options for ng in and out, a pay-slip download

function and an option to view the canteen

menu. Documents, location planners for conference

rooms, training videos and photos can all be uploaded,

and push-notifications can provide staff with

news items in real time. Where a company already



Social Media

It’s a typical


“That’s something

we want

to preserve

as long as

we can,” says

Martin Böhringer,

taking a seat

on an acidyellow


“We sell

that feeling

along with

the app.”

has a social intranet, Staffbase is able to integrate the

app easily, and it’s also possible to incorporate other,

individual plug-ins.

New corporate culture / The app also fulfils

another important function: employer branding.

“These days, it’s more important than ever that

employees are able to identify with their jobs. This

is crucial for the integration of new employees and

for ensuring staff loyalty,” suggests Böhringer. He is

thinking primarily of young people like millennials

or Generation Z, and of their greater expectations as

regards employers and corporate culture. They expect

to enjoy a strict separation of work and personal life,

have a need for feedback and appreciation – and on

top they want to find a meaning in the greater scheme

of things. They ask, ‘Why do I actually do my job?’ “I

need to demonstrate this outwardly, particularly at a

management level. That requires a change of thinking,”

says Böhringer. With the right tool, you can get

all employees on-board, he says: from the manager to

the staff working in the field. At Staffbase, they can

do this in multiple languages. Content is supported

in more than 30 languages, while the user interface is

available in eight – including Chinese.

“Of course we also use our app ourselves,”

says Böhringer, as he quickly pings a message to his

colleagues. To do so, he uses the desktop version of

the Staffbase app. Sure, Böhringer could also have

just got up and spoken to his colleagues, as at Staffbase

nothing is far away – including the CEO who

can be easily reached by the individual teams made

up of software developers, customer service staff, or

marketing and sales specialists. There are flat hierarchies

in the young, international team, the average

age of which is just 30 years old. The atmosphere is

informal and flexible working hours are the norm.

5 6

The team works in a chic loft and anyone who wants

to can shift to the sofa with their laptop. “That’s

something we want to preserve as long as we can,”

says the 33-year-old. After all, it’s part of the product,

he says. “The big corporations want to take a leaf out

of our book, to feel more like a start-up, and we sell

that feeling along with the app.” Hence customer visits

are carried out in T-shirts and sneakers. Staffbase

is often the pioneer for a new, international communications

strategy, Böhringer explains, and indeed

almost for a style of management. “As CEO, I’m not

able to communicate strategically with a simple mass

e-mail. Things don’t work like that anymore.”

The software solution is taking off, and the

company now has some 250 customers in Germany

and around the world. The teams at the offices in

Chemnitz, Dresden and Cologne have little time to

spare, and Staffbase has doubled in size each year since

it was founded, Böhringer says. In order to cater to

the growing client base, the three directors want to expand

the team of around 90 Germany-based employees

by an additional 100 colleagues. While primarily

software developers were required when the company

was founded, now the focus is on reinforcements in

marketing, sales and customer service. This creates

jobs and strengthens the economic region around

Chemnitz, which has already been the cradle for a

number of other software start-ups, such as Prudsys,

Intenta or Baselabs. Dresden also harbours potential,

mainly thanks to its technical university and the 5G

Lab located there.

In the meantime, Staffbase’s strategy is becoming

more international: alongside the existing

office with eight employees in New York, another

is to be added in London. The approach is a global

one, Böhringer says. “We want to become the market

leader. Right now we have the best product for this –

although rivals aren’t resting on their laurels, either.”

The high level of interest from investors also proves

the extent to which the idea of ‘mobile first’ is taking

off in employee communications. In a third financing

round Staffbase recently managed to raise 8 million

euros for the further development of its employee

app. Global venture capitalists are now its

new primary investor alongside Capnamic Ventures

and Kizoo Technology Capital. It was a shrewd move

on the part of Staffbase – the new backer is very well

connected in Silicon Valley. ■

FACTS // Locations: Chemnitz, Dresden, Cologne, New

York / Year of foundation: 2014 / Employees: 90 /

Executive management: Martin Böhringer (CEO), Frank

Wolf (CMO), Lutz Gerlach (COO) / Mission: to revolutionise

company cultures by means of an employee app



Inspirational Leaders

Inspirational Leaders

Digitisation strategies and visions for the

future: six pioneers in the spotlight


Benjamin Kleemann-von Gersum

& Sabine Simon

Rainer Gläss has grand visions for retail

Software for retail companies: this has been Rainer

Gläss’s area of specialisation for decades. As the founder

of GK Software – established in 1990 as a two-man

company with his business partner Stephan Kronmüller in

Schöneck in Saxony’s Vogtland region – he has developed

the company into a global player in the area of retail software.

According to its 2017 financial report, GK Software’s

sales amount to a good 90.5 million euros. More than 150

business customers in more than 50 countries use the

software solutions from southwest Saxony, by means of

which all the information from cash tills is forwarded directly

to the accounts, procurement or IT departments.

“The technology is becoming a crucial factor for retail

companies,” says Gläss, who sees the trend towards mobile

devices as one of the most important drivers of innovation

in retail. “We find ourselves in a phase of transition

between the traditional world of stationary retail and omnichannel

processes. It’s in this mélange that all retailers

have to redefine their positions.” The company founder,

who is also a member of the federal government’s Digital

Summit, pinpoints his vision: “We’re ahead of the game!”

It is, first and foremost, a challenge to himself, but also to

his high-performing team. And it’s a challenge they can

tackle in comfort at the headquarters in Schöneck, since

the management has created an Innovation Centre with a

café, lounge areas, after-work skiing and a fitness centre.

Gläss’s ties to his home region are evident from his engagement

in various areas, including the implementation

of a digital school concept for the sports secondary

school in Klingenthal. The next big topic for the industry,

Gläss believes, is artificial intelligence: “Retailers are

seeking optimisations in light of ever greater complexity,

such as enormous quantities of data,” he explains. It was

therefore a logical step for GK Software to take over in

2017 the majority share in Prudsys AG, based in Chemnitz,

one of the leading providers of agile AI technologies for

omnichannel retail.

Katja Hillenbrand makes drinking water smart

Water, building technology and digitisation – these are central topics for

the future according to Katja Hillenbrand, Managing Director of Micas AG,

based in Oelsnitz in the Erzgebirge region. “From the inflowing water conduit

to a wide variety of applications in the building and ultimately the

waste water conduit, we use sophisticated sensors and a smart IoT package

to guide the water through the building,” says the Baden-Württemberg

native. Founded in the year 2000, Micas has grown continuously to become

an internationally active, medium-sized market leader in the area of customer-specific

OEM sensor solutions. Visions for the future? The entrepreneur

has plenty of them: for example predictive maintenance, intelligent

water provision, or central water management in the cloud. And it goes

without saying that Hillenbrand, who is herself a mother of two children, invests

in the future of her employees and their families: the company has

had its own kindergarten and childcare service for some years now.



Inspirational Leaders

Paul Brandenburg ensures access to

advance healthcare directives

Brigitte Voit brings research and enterprise together

Academia is also utilising the enormous potential of digitisation: “It’s the

driver of material science,” says chemist Brigitte Voit. The co-founder

of DRESDEN-concept, a model for successful cooperation between university-based

and non-university researchers, is the scientific director

of the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF) and professor

of organic chemistry of polymers at Technische Universität (TU) Dresden.

“High-tech materials for future technologies can be developed more

quickly and efficiently if we are able to intelligently evaluate huge quantities

of material data,” she explains. Data flows are thus becoming ever more

important even in areas of research which previously focussed primarily on

practice. At the same time, says Voit, the challenge lies in designing

materials more adaptively, that is, adapting them more individually to the

relevant application and user. Voit is working with colleagues and staff to

further develop Saxony’s position as a science hub.

How can I determine which medical

procedures I undergo when I’m unable

to make decisions? And how do doctors

get access to my advance healthcare

directive? Former emergency practitioner

Dr Paul Brandenburg from Leipzig

has come up with an answer to these

questions. His e-health start-up Dipat

logs online advance healthcare directives

that can be recalled in an emergency

via smartphone and are identifiable

from a sticker on the patient’s insurance

card. “Almost all non-digital advance

healthcare directives arrive at

the hospital far too late and are so

unspecific in their content that they

are useless,” explains Brandenburg.

Gerhard Fettweis strives for comprehensive

mobile network coverage

What use is the latest smartphone

when there’s no network coverage?

This is the question occupying

Professor Gerhard Fettweis. He came

to TU Dresden in 1994 from Silicon

Valley – where he had worked for IBM,

among others – and has occupied the

university’s Vodafone Chair ever since.

“We research methods of improving the

speed of the mobile communications

network and of achieving breakthroughs

in comprehensive coverage,”

he explains. At the 5G Lab, an interdisciplinary

team made up of 20 different

areas of research is working on

key technologies for the activation of

5G. The initiative is being supported by

companies like Bosch and Deutsche

Telekom. Fettweis is also CEO of the

recently founded Barkhausen

Institut, which deals with industrial


Gesche Weger is making digitisation sustainable

A summary of the vision of Packwise CEO Gesche Weger would probably

go something like this: “Digitisation creates sustainability.” The company,

which is based in Dresden, links up the process industry and offers an independent

online platform for the optimum re-use and recycling of industrial

packaging. The goal? To maximise the number of cycles that transport

packaging undergoes. In these times of global trade and goods flows that

are becoming ever faster and more complex, Weger and her team are

making an important contribution to saving resources: “In the company we

are creating intelligent and automated cycles in which empty containers

and barrels are organised based on the shortest transport routes. With the

help of digitisation, we are giving our customers from the chemistry,

pharma ceutical and food industries transparent and direct access to recyclable

industrial packaging.”



Mobility & Logistics

More than science fiction

How about flying across the

city to your next appointment

in an electric taxi? If start-up

Volocopter has its way, that

could become a reality.

The flying taxi can currently

only cover 27 kilometres,

but the team from Bruchsal

in Germany’s Baden region

is continuing to tinker with

its integration into local

transport systems. Daimler,

Intel and Internet entrepreneur

Lukasz Gadowski

have already invested.



Mobility & Logistics




& Logistics

short cut / Mobility & Logistics / Goal: coordinating

and realising individual transport and goods flows / One of the

most important growth industries of the future / Mobility apps

assemble the fastest, cleanest or cheapest route according to

preferences / Trends: autonomous driving spanning all modes

of transport, the search for environmentally friendly, affordable

and efficient engines



Mobility & Logistics


Take Over at

the Wheel

Autonomous mobility concepts

are fundamentally changing

our idea of transportation.


Klaus Lüber

It’s a crucial question that affects everybody, and it

is frequently put to Toralf Trautmann: when will we

see self-driving vehicles? Trautmann, who is professor

of automotive mechatronics at Dresden University

of Applied Sciences, likes to respond with a counter-question:

what exactly is meant by ‘self-driving’?

“Of course, people are quick to think of futuristic

vehicles without steering wheels, but the concept is

much more multifaceted,” says the expert. “We already

have autonomous vehicles today, albeit in various

different forms.”

Trautmann uses a test track for autonomous

vehicles, which his university has set up directly

next to its technical department for vehicle engineering.

Since 2017 the 50-by-70-metre circuit has

seen testing of various vehicles, including a BMW

i3 equipped with sensor and measuring technology.

Trautmann aims to find out how you can test

whether such vehicles might be authorised to use

public roads. “Autonomy means that you as a driver

hand over responsibility to the machine, but it’s not

an either/or situation, rather it’s a process that breaks

down into various degrees of autonomous control.”

Prone to faults

In order to pinpoint these different degrees, a system

of six levels has become established. Level zero

means the machine does not intervene in any way,

while at level five the vehicle is self-driven in any situation.

“Vehicles currently suitable for series production

have only partially autonomous systems of level

two, whereby the vehicle can take on individual tasks

for the driver,” says Trautmann. These include such

things as lane-keeping functions or traffic jam assistance,

for which the vehicle takes control without the

driver’s intervention when stuck in traffic. The expert

explains that greater autonomy is not yet possible

since the surround sensors are too prone to faults.

Robin Streiter, managing director of start-up

Naventik, takes a similar view. “We have already seen

some extremely impressive demonstrations of autonomous

driving, for example when trade show visitors

boarded a self-driving shuttle bus at the airport to

take them to the venue,” says Streiter. “But what is

often forgotten here is that an immense amount of

time and work goes into these. The industry is still a

long way off making the systems truly stable in the

face of any possible influences from the outside.” It’s

precisely this that Naventik is working on. The company,

a spin-off from Chemnitz University of Technology,

was founded in 2017 and has developed software

that enables vehicles to determine their position

in the traffic with greater accuracy. “We all think our

GPS systems can do this already, but that’s not true,”

explains Streiter. In reality, the signal is too distorted

for an autonomously acting system.

New rail technologies

Although the topic of autonomous driving is discussed

primarily in the context of automobiles, solutions

are also being sought for railways, shipping and

aviation. In Annaberg-Buchholz in Saxony, Chemnitz

University of Technology runs a research centre

that focusses on the potential of highly automated

driving for rail transport. Among other things, the

‘Smart Rail Connectivity Campus’ includes Europe’s




Mobility & Logistics




A far-reaching project:

experts at Dresden University

of Applied Sciences are

researching autonomous

driving for inner-city transport.

This makes use of sensor

systems for analysing the



Digital signal box: in Annaberg-

Buchholz, a research centre

operated by Chemnitz University

of Technology focusses on

the potential of highly automated

driving for rail transport.

Autonomy will

offer us

advantages in

terms of safety,

but this alone

won’t solve the

problem of

traffic congestion

in our


first digital signal box, installed in January 2018, and

a test route on which the use of surround sensors,

similar to those in the automotive sector, are being


“On rails, of course, the situation is different

to that on the road,” explains Sören Claus, who manages

the project as its technical director. “In closed

systems such as underground rail networks, highly

automated driving is already possible in normal operations,

and in the overland rail network we have

long since achieved a high level of automation.”

Never theless, he says, fully autonomous driving is

still as far off here as it is on the roads. “This is partly

due to the far greater safety requirements.” In spite of

this, Claus is convinced that it is worth investing in

autonomously acting systems on rails. “We could use

networks more efficiently, monitor them better, and

significantly reduce maintenance and energy costs.”

Solutions for

aviation and shipping

In the aviation industry too, autonomous driving systems

are providing momentum for the breakthrough

of new mobility concepts. Under the key concept of

urban aerial mobility (UAM), the Airbus corporation

is working on the development of self-piloting flying

taxis. German start-up Volocopter already presented

a mini-helicopter at CeBIT 2018 – with 18 rotors,

entirely redundant drive trains and intelligent autonomous

controls. Andreas Knie, mobility researcher at

the Berlin Social Science Center, is sceptical though:

“It all sounds very innovative initially, of course, but

first of all the number of vehicles that can use the

airspace is comparatively limited, and second of all

they require many times more transport energy than

land vehicles. It’s unlikely to become a means of mass


So what about shipping? Norwegian start-up

Massterly recently announced the operation of an

electrically powered container ship equipped with

autonomous control technology. The ship is to be

put into unmanned operation from 2020, overseen

from multiple control centres on the coast. Countries

like Finland, Australia and China are also investing in

the technology, while a research project on the topic

has already been carried out in the EU.

Autonomous mobility is, without question,

an exciting topic for the future, Andreas Knie believes.

Nonetheless, we should never lose sight of the

question of how it benefits us, he says. “Autonomy

will offer us advantages in certain specific areas, but

this alone won’t solve the problem of traffic congestion

in our cities, for example.” Toralf Trautmann

from Dresden University of Applied Sciences takes

a similar view: “Perhaps it’s not actually beneficial to

have every vehicle self-driving everywhere,” the researcher

says. Autonomous driving could be used in

situations that suit the control technology of the systems

and then human beings would be brought into

play where safety requirements are greatest. “ Imagine

you’re calling a robot taxi. The e-vehicle, which is

parked at a charging station, drives slowly, safely and

fully autonomously to your front door. Then you

get in and drive it yourself.” This way, almost as a

side-effect, you would have a solution to a continually

pressing problem, namely the development of

charging infrastructure for electromobility. Instead

of having to build more and more charging stations,

you could leave the charging process up to the autonomous

vehicle itself. ■



Mobility & Logistics



“Do machines actually

make fewer mistakes in

road traffic?”



»The safest systems combine

humans and machines. This goes for

the pilot in a plane, the train driver

in the digitally networked rail transport

system and for the time being will

also remain the case in highly-automated

driving. Driverless driving will stay

the exception and take place on specially

prepared sub-sections of the roads.«

( Professor Julian Nida-Rümelin, philosopher and

former state minister for culture, has taught at Ludwig-

Maximilians-Universität München since 2004. )







short cut / Cybersecurity, also known as IT security, or

more comprehensively: information security / Concept for the

protection of any kind of digital data, information systems, and

soft- and hardware / Essential for medium-sized companies

and start-ups, since these are increasingly becoming targets

of cyber-attacks / Particularly affected at the moment are

companies in the energy industry




Honey traps

for hackers





Cyber-attacks represent

a threat to companies and state

institutions alike. Data encryption

is having to be continually

improved to ensure companies

don’t lose the game of cat and

mouse they are forced to play

with hackers.


Guido Walter

The light goes out, the fridge is on strike, and the TV

displays nothing but a black screen. The ‘blackout’

scenario strikes fear into the hearts of Germans almost

more than any other. That fear may be exaggerated,

but it’s certainly true that critical infrastructure

like energy supplies are vulnerable to attack. Hence

the German Federal Office for Information Security

(BSI), for example, is warning of hacker attacks

on German energy suppliers. These companies, the

BSI says, are the target of a large-scale cyber-attack

campaign. In certain cases, the attackers have even

gained access to the companies’ office networks, although

they did not manage to penetrate production

or control networks. For Franziska Leitermann from

Dresden-based IT company Cloud & Heat, that’s no

reason to breathe easy. “The current example of the

large-scale hacker attacks on energy suppliers once

again reveals the dangers that large companies and

authorities are exposed to.”



Dangerous hacks: the more

digitised the economy,

the more intelligent the

hackers’ approach. Companies

are being attacked with far

greater frequency than just

a few years ago. Authorities are

also regularly targeted.

In fact, the figures are alarming. According to a

study by digital association Bitkom, in the years

2015 and 2016 companies in Germany suffered losses

amounting to 55 billion euros a year as a result

of cyber-attacks. One company in two, for example,

has at some point been affected by spying, sabotage

or data theft. The consequences can be far-reaching:

at 17 per cent of companies, sensitive data such as

e-mails and financial or customer data have been

stolen. At 11 per cent, it was patents or research and

development information. Authorities and companies

are being attacked with far greater frequency

than just a few years ago. “Often, companies notice

far too late that data has been drained out of their

system,” says Teresa Ritter, spokesperson for security

policy at Bitkom. “The number of unreported

cases is therefore considerable.” Companies are also

reluctant to report any losses because they are afraid

it will damage their image. “Any losses discovered




should nevertheless be reported to state authorities

immediately so that they can create an overview,” explains

Ritter. “This way, other companies will have

the opportunity to protect themselves.”

No such thing

as absolute security

An IT attack can take on survival-threatening dimensions

for companies. A hacker attack on A.P. Møller-

Mærsk, the world’s biggest container shipping company,

caused losses amounting to an estimated 300

million dollars in 2017, when attackers used blackmailing

software to partially paralyse the company.

Nivea manufacturer Beiersdorf has also been the

victim of an attack and estimates the loss in sales

from the hacker attack to be around 35 million euros.

“There’s no such thing as absolute security,” says

Oliver Nyderle, head of Digital Integrity Solutions

at T-Systems Multimedia Solutions. He believes information

security should be seen as an ongoing process.

“Security within the company has to be part of

the culture,” says Nyderle. And that applies not only

in companies, but also in political institutions with

a focus on citizens and particularly high demands in

terms of the confidentiality, availability and integrity

of the data they process. The ‘Bundes tag hack’

of 2015, whereby suspected Russian hackers stole

data amounting to 16 gigabytes, brought the federal

public prosecutor onto the scene. “Incidents like

the Bundestag hack have shown that the IT systems

of political institutions are a particularly appealing

target for attacks,” says Nyderle. The Saxon administrative

network is also finding itself the victim of



Preventative measures:

Alongside the encryption

of data, smart security systems

should also deter hackers.

‘HoneySens’ simulates typical

network services along with

potentially lucrative targets

of attack – and thus sets

‘honey traps’.


repeated spy attacks, as a result of which the authorities

decided to set a trap: ‘HoneySens’, a name

coined from the computer security term ‘honeypot’

and ‘sensors’, supplements the existing security architecture

of authority or company networks. “Using

sensors in the network, the software simulates weak

points that are attractive to attackers – the so-called

honeypots,” explains Karl-Otto Feger, Information

Security Officer for the Free State of Saxony. “When

there is a suspected attack on the network, these

hacker traps chart all data flows and forward them

to a central server for inspection and alerting.” The

honeypots thus gather valuable information for the

protection of the IT system from unauthorised external

penetration. “Thanks to HoneySens, attacks

are observed in real time, with the origin of the attack

identified and corresponding countermeasures

introduced immediately,” says Feder. Some companies

are already starting to introduce this solution.

The close cooperation with the state of Saxony in

terms of the application and further development of

HoneySens is currently unique in Germany.

Game of cat and mouse against

potential hackers

In times of increasing digitisation of industrial control

systems, defence measures must keep pace. In

an ever more connected production environment,

cybersecurity is becoming even more important,

but how do we protect the smart factory, the core of

which is the software that enables Industry 4.0 and

comprehensive data analysis in the first place? “It’s

important to protect the smart factory from invisible

cyber-attacks, both physically and on the software

side,” says Franziska Leitermann from Cloud &

Heat. “This may be physically by means of private

cloud solutions, but also through special protective

measures with public cloud offerings.”

One thing is clear: Data encryption is having

to be continually improved to ensure companies

don’t lose the game of cat and mouse they are forced

to play with hackers. That’s something that is unlikely

to change going forward. “There are interesting

developments in the area of artificial intelligence

(AI),” says Leitermann. AI firewalls could carry out

behavioural analysis on attackers, then learn and improve

independently. Highly specialised quantum

computers could also carry out encryptions that are

so complex that only another quantum computer

could decipher them. Nevertheless, the human factor

remains crucial: in future too, there will be a need

for well-educated and highly trained employees who

are able to grow along with the increasing demands

placed on technologies. ■








short cut / Electronic commerce, abbreviated to: e-commerce

/ Advertising, sale and purchase of goods and services

via the internet / Retailers pursue omnichannel strategy

with shops and marketplaces / Interaction with the customer

possible via mobile devices around the clock / Shift from stationary

retail to e-commerce / B2C e-commerce sales forecast

to be around 77 billion euros by 2020






Sabine Simon

Long Live the Community

From student start-up to

European market leader:

why the social commerce

company Spreadshirt got

so many things right.






A glimpse at the production

line: some of the shirts are

made in Krupka (Czech

Republic) before being sent

to customers.


Lunch with a view: Spreadshirt

staff can enjoy their lunch on

the roof terrace.


Years ago, railway cranes

were assembled here: the

head office in Leipzig’s

Plagwitz district.


You could describe what

happens at Spreadshirt as

social commerce:

The consumer becomes

a producer. And it’s an idea

that is very well received

by users and a good 80,000

active salespeople alike.

Today, you can do your shopping online: thanks to

smartphones, the chic pair of shoes or the new highend

camera is just a click away. Around the clock,

and easy to boot. So it’s hardly surprising that e-

commerce sales are going through the roof. Every

eighth euro spent in retail in Germany changes hands

via the internet. And while eBay or Amazon set the

standards, several smaller firms are also among the

top players. Take Spreadshirt, for example. Founded

in 2002, the Leipzig-based firm is one of the world’s

leading e-commerce platforms for on-demand printing.

One good reason: the product itself. After all,

everybody wears T-shirts. That said, the firm’s success

can also be attributed to the sales channel: “In

a world in which technology and e-commerce are

everything, it’s the concept that counts,” says Philip

Rooke, CEO of Spreadshirt, and means consumers’

altered buying behaviour.

Anyone who orders at Spreadshirt, expects

swift availability and individuality. On the platform

and in thousands of shops third-party sellers working

on a commission basis offer merchandising or

designs, mostly for T-shirts and accessories. Moreover,

customers can design products according to their

own wishes using individual designs or motifs from

the community. The rest is done by the online dealer:

from the printing through to shipping. You could

describe what happens at Spreadshirt as social commerce:

the consumer becomes a producer. And it’s

an idea that is very well received by users and a good

80,000 active sellers alike. In 2017, the company

delivered almost five million products to customers,

generating sales of around 107 million euros.


If you are looking for a comparison, Spreadshirt

founder Lukasz Gadowski could be considered

the Steve Jobs of the German start-up scene. The

40-year-old is a native of Poland and whatever he

puts his hand to somehow turns up roses: Lieferheld,

Mister Spex, Brands4Friends or StudiVZ. The tech

entrepreneur set up Spreadshirt while still a student

and earned his first million with it. For a study project

Gadowski was to provide strategic advice to a

textile printing firm in Kassel, which years earlier had

printed the special T-shirt he wore to commemorate

graduating from high school. Gadowski’s task

was not easy as printing individual items was hardly

profitable and was also very expensive for customers.

After he had improved various processes and advised

the firm to “do something with the internet”, Gadowski

hit upon the idea for his own business: an

online service for merchandising providers and customers

alike. Anyone would be able to turn to him

to have clothing or accessories printed with whatever

motifs they wanted. Initially, finding investors proved

difficult. Nevertheless, Gadowski set about creating

the first Spreadshirt website in the basement of HHL

Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He was

assisted by Matthias Spieß, an engineering graduate,

and in 2002 the two men registered Spreadshirt officially

as a company. Because they had absolutely no

capital, in the first few years they funded themselves

solely through the sales of T-shirts. Yet Spreadshirt

was soon growing by an average 15 per cent a month.

Soon the company expanded to the United States.

New employees were hired, and before long a larger

production facility was needed.

Fast forward ten years. Today, Spreadshirt is a

global player operating in 18 countries. The founders’

involvement is limited to them sitting on the supervisory

board. The merchandise is now not only








a constant

companion, and

stores morph

into walkthrough



It is all about



about shopping


produced in Leipzig, but also in Legnica (Poland),

Krupka in the Czech Republic, and Greensburg and

Las Vegas in the United States. Despite its global base

Spreadshirt has remained true to its roots. And they

are firmly in Saxony. Leipzig’s Plagwitz district with

its small cafes, the bakery on the corner, and a vibrant

art and fringe scene remains something like the solid

foundation they need in the fast-moving online era.

Customers today buy at a terrific speed: on

the internet the product of choice is just a click away.

Retailers need to respond with customisable products

and assortments tailored to consumers’ preferences.

After all, they no longer merely differentiate between

physical or online store. The catchword here is multichannel

shopping. Something retailers in the States

especially have long since recognised. Smartphones

become a constant companion, and stores morph

into walk-through online shops. It is all about presenting

products effectively, about shopping experiences.

Ultimately people buy more online. Or perhaps

in stores which, as Apple has demonstrated, no

longer need checkouts. Instead, sales are conducted

using the salesperson’s smartphone, and if a receipt is

needed it arrives by e-mail.





Meanwhile, over 750 people work for Spreadshirt,

and around 350 of these in the Leipzig headquarters:

from customer advisers through to front-end architects,

lawyers, marketing experts, and the production

staff. Nonetheless, an effort has been made to uphold

the sense of being a start-up. There is a relaxed



Work in progress: the

Leipzig-based firm can supply

everything from one-off items

to bulk orders.



CEO Philip Rooke: before

joining Spreadshirt the Brit

gained immense experience

in e-commerce at Tesco

(Great Britain).


All colours and sizes:

to ensure orders can be printed

quickly, T-shirts

are kept in stock.


Spreadshirt works largely

with digital printing, but

foils also ensure the desired

motif or favourite slogan is

reproduced on the item.




atmosphere in the old factory building on Gießerstrasse,

where once railway cranes were assembled.

The average age of employees is around 30. Most of

them wear T-shirts, some walk around barefoot or in

socks. The doors to the open-plan offices are never

closed, outside in the corridor people stop to chat at

the coffee machines. Years ago, a feel-good manager

was hired: Stefanie Frenking, who is also responsible

for recruiting, brings a little bit of Silicon Valley to

Leipzig. After all, feel-good managers are something

we are only familiar with from large tech corporations

such as Facebook or Google.

“Our aim is to make people happy. We do

spend a lot of time in the office,” says Frenking and

talks about hiking tours, language courses, flexible

working hours, and yoga. Employees eat their lunch

on the roof terrace. English is the common language

for the staff from 27 nations.

CEO Philip Rooke joined Spreadshirt in

2009, initially as head of sales and marketing. Then in

2011 the native Briton was appointed CEO. And he

knows what he’s talking about. Before signing on with

Spreadshirt Rooke was part of the management team

at British supermarket chain Tesco, considered one of

the pioneers of e-commerce. Rooke summarises what

Spreadshirt can achieve: “Today it’s no longer enough

to share, to like, or to tweet something. You need to

wear the message emblazoned on your T-shirt.”

There is a high level of traffic in the Spreadshirt

community with over 200,000 new designs being

uploaded every week. To date, 2,000,000 square

metres in total T-shirt surfaces have been printed,

equivalent to the size of about 280 football pitches.

And the numbers are rising. The internet enables the

combination of mass production and one-off items.

Whether it is T-shirts, posters, pictures, mugs, hoodies

or rompers: everything conceivable is ordered in

the shop – providing it is allowed. Spreadshirt does

promote freedom of opinion but it still has a department

that checks the uploaded files. Providing they are

not protected as a brand, and do not contain illegal

or inflammatory content, they are released and made

available to the community. Then the cotton T-shirts

are printed at the five production locations using different

high-quality printing techniques depending on

requirements. Eventually, the goods are sent all around

the world.


devices have

a considerable

influence on

purchasing patterns;


30 per cent of

online sales

are currently

generated by


made with


trend is also borne out by current figures from the German

Retail Association: almost 30 per cent of online

sales are currently generated by purchases made with

smartphones. And even those people who buy in stores

gather information from the internet first. Language

assistants are also playing an increasingly important

role. Ultimately, it’s always about making the shopping

experience simpler and easier. Which is where artificial

intelligence comes into play. Algorithmic decisions

are used in a variety of ways in the retail trade: from

personalised product recommendations via intelligent

costing through to chat bots and promotion robots.

However, the technology behind a particular solution

is usually of secondary importance to customers, as

they are first and foremost interested in obtaining their

favourite product quickly and simply.

Motivated by the desire to further extend

Spreadshirt’s reach Philip Rooke is also closely following

the new trends in e-commerce. The main rival here

is Amazon. In 2017, the online giant and its Marketplace

already accounted for 46 per cent of online sales

in Germany. The online retailer sets standards that are

very difficult for small e-commerce firms to match,

Rooke maintains, saying: “We must continually work

hard at improving our customer services and delivery

times in order to compete with Amazon.” And the

CEO has another ambitious goal: from its headquarters

in Leipzig, the company intends to conquer the

Asian market next. ■




Nobody today can avoid adapting their web content

for use on mobile devices. This is proven by the following

statistics: Over 40 per cent of all orders Spreadshirt

received in 2017 were sent from smartphones. This

FACTS // Location: Leipzig / Founding year: 2002 /

Employees: some 750 worldwide, around 350 of these

at the headquarters in Leipzig / Management: CEO Philip

Rooke / Mission: e-commerce platform for on-demand

printing of clothing and accessories



Inspirational Companies

Inspirational Companies

Smart business ideas point the way to

the digital future






Training devices for surgeons

Artificial skulls from the 3D printer,

on which surgeons can train to

carry out difficult operations: the

company Phacon, based in Leipzig,

specialises in 3D models for preoperative

planning. Founders

Robert Haase and Hendrik Möckel

now supply more than 100 hospitals

with their digital training

models, and in 2017 the company

celebrated its 10th birthday. The

models simulate surgical procedures

under realistic conditions,

while the training system boasts a

realistic look and feel and a patented

detection system: as soon

as the surgeon makes a mistake,

an acoustic signal sounds.


Smart early warning systems

Smart maintenance involves the

use of ‘intelligent’ early warning

systems that mean production

plants can be maintained promptly

before they are disrupted.

The automation of complex systems

and complicated technologies

is the goal of Wolkensteinbased

LSA GmbH Leischnig. Its

managing director Steffen

Leischnig is dedicated to improving

the reliability of work and

production systems. Innovations

come about through research and

development work, which the

company carries out in cooperation

with the region’s technical

universities, various research

institutes, and other companies

in related industries.


Mental time out in the workplace

Less stress, improved concentration

and greater efficiency: this

is the promise of the digital mental

training developed by Lukas Stenzel

and Robin Maier from Leipzig-based

e-health start-up Mindance. It is

oriented towards companies that

wish to incorporate mental coaching

into their corporate health management

and staff development.

The app gives staff access to a

variety of mental training sessions,

with short audio exercises

designed to improve performance

and help reduce stress. The idea

gained Mindance access to the

mentoring programme of the

SpinLab Acceleratr run by Leipzig’s

HHL and AOK Plus in 2017. With a

small team, they are currently

working on the further development

of their app, and the mental

trainer that fits in your pocket is

expected soon.

Unger Kabelkonfektion

High-grade automation

Who built it? A glance at the plug of

an electric toothbrush in any home

bathroom will, in many cases, result

in the same response: Unger. The

system supplier from Sehmatal in

Germany’s Erzgebirge region specialises

in the production of cables

and conductors – what’s more, the

company produces fully automated

production systems in its own special

engineering department. Here,

the family-run company takes care

of customers’ individual packaging

for the goods they produce, among

other things. With 240 employees,

Unger Kabel-Konfektionstechnik is

the biggest employer in the area,

and its owner Ronny Unger recently

invested 12 million euros in a fully

automated high-rack warehouse. The

company’s listed buildings, part of an

old textile factory, are now home to

cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technology.



Inspirational Companies


A revolution in yoghurt pots

Around 3.5 million tonnes of

thermoformed packaging – from

yoghurt pots to blister packaging

– are produced every year in Europe

alone. The energy required

for this is significant, making the

invention by start-up Watttron,

founded in 2016, all the more

interesting. The Dresden-based

company produces a heating system

that saves 30 per cent of the

material and energy that goes into

the production of plastic packaging.

It uses single, individually

regulated heating circuits to create

temperature fields on the

surface of the plastic, whereby

the forming behaviour of the plastic

film can be controlled in a

targeted way. The result is improved

product quality with a

simultaneous reduction in film

thickness. Watttron is a spin-off

of the Institute of Processing

Machines and Mobile Machines

at Technische Universität (TU)

Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute

for Process Engineering and

Packaging. The system won the

company the German Packaging

Award and the IQ Innovation

Award in 2017.


Next-generation digital signage

If George Clooney gives a wink

from the display window or a digital

shop assistant provides details

of the product the customer has

just picked up, then it’s not unlikely

that Sensape is involved. After all,

these kinds of infotainment systems

are what the Leipzig-based

start-up specialises in. The company

was founded by Matthias

Freysoldt and Artur Lohrer in 2015

– a spin-off of HHL Leipzig supported

by the Federal Ministry for

Economic Affairs and Energy. The

Sensape Visual Retail Solution

combines a classic digital signage

approach with artificial intelligence

and augmented reality. The selflearning

image- processing software

is able to react to its environment

and interact with passers-by.


Digitisation test centre

In Görlitz, robots undergo aptitude

tests, autonomous driving is put

through its paces, and the effectiveness

of car-sharing models

is scrutinised so that cars are located

precisely where the app

stipulates. On the edge of the Free

State of Saxony the course is

being set for digitisation, since it is

here that SQS, a service provider

in the area of quality assurance for

digital business processes,

operates one of its most important

test centres. SQS is a key engine

for the region. With specialist staff

from all over this border region

where Poland and the Czech Republic

meet Germany, the company

is showing just how integration

and cooperation between cultures

work in practice.


Fresh fruit for smart power

An intelligent power network

– that’s the vision of Kiwigrid.

Since 2011 the Dresden-based

company has operated a management

platform for energy consumption.

With the system, which

combines software and hardware,

users can remotely monitor and

control solar power systems,

energy storage or electric vehicle

charging stations. Devices like

electricity meters, batteries, storage

devices, wind turbines and other

machines can communicate and

link up with one another via the internet.

Incidentally, founder

Carsten Bether came up with the

name Kiwigrid because the wreath

of fine, radiant lines and dark

spots in a kiwi fruit reminded him

of energy grids. After Apple and

BlackBerry, Kiwigrid is now

bringing fresh fruit from Saxony

to the IT world.



Artificial Intelligence





short cut / Artificial intelligence (AI) / Self-learning

computer programs that acquire superhuman abilities in specific

areas / Systems compare huge quantities of data, developing

algorithms from these in order to be able to make decisions

independently / Controversy: What can machines do just as

well or better than human beings? / American and Asian

tech companies are leading the latest wave of AI progress



Artificial Intelligence



Artificial Intelligence

A New

Quantum Leap

The task should actually be ideal for artificial intelligence

(AI): dear Computer, please drive me through

the city in my car avoiding all traffic. Particularly

residents of megacities would love it for that. In the

year 2017 motorists in Los Angeles, which tops the

international congestion rankings published by the

company Inrix, sat in traffic jams for a whopping

102 hours.

Now it may seem hard to believe, given all

the success stories on the abilities of AI, but the traffic

problem cannot yet truly be solved.

It is too complex, the number of possibilities

so immense, that even today’s fastest supercomputer

would still be unable to calculate the best route in a

suitable timeframe. It would need hundreds of years

to run through all the necessary calculations.

Massive investments / Yet there is hope that

precisely this could soon change. Carmaker Volkswagen

recently joined forces with Google to sound

out ways in which traffic flows could be far more

quickly optimised in future. The idea is to use a new

generation of computers, namely quantum computers.

For a long time these machines, which function

in a fundamentally different way to classic computers,

were just theory. “Now we are seeing the entry

of organisations in this field that are able to build

systems reliable enough that we can speak of viable

computers,” says Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, professor

of quantum and solid state theory at Saarland University.

“They are currently Google, IBM, Microsoft

and Intel, but the European Union has also decided

to invest massive sums in this technology.”

Will quantum computers help

artificial intelligence make its



Klaus Lüber

Unlike a



a quantum


doesn’t work

with bits,

but with

quantum bits.

Unlike a conventional computer, a quantum computer

doesn’t work with bits, but with quantum

bits, or qubits for short. Whereas bits can only have

a value of 0 or 1, qubits can, owing to the laws of

quantum physics, occupy the state of 0, 1, or both

states simultaneously. Moreover, two quantum bits

can be intertwined such that an operation on one of

the two instantaneously influences the other as well.

These two characteristics are the reason why a quantum

computer can perform certain tasks far faster

and with fewer bits. “Just 50 functioning qubits are

sufficient to create what’s called quantum supremacy,”

notes Wilhelm-Mauch. “In that case a quantum

computer, at least for certain tasks, is faster than any

classic supercomputer.”

Unanswered questions / Wilhelm-Mauch

is optimistic as regards the number of functioning

qubits: “I think we will reach the magic number of

50 as early as next year.” That said, it is still unclear

when the first practical applications will benefit

from the eagerly anticipated increases in speed

thanks to quantum effects. “Small versions are currently

being tested on the small quantum computers

now available. Yet depending on the use case, it may

be decades before these have reached an industrial

scale.” Neither has it been decided, Wilhelm-Mauch

continues, which hardware system will prevail. The

expert’s favourite? Superconducting circuits cooled

to minus 270 degrees Celsius. Other researchers are

working on qubits made of ions or atoms that function

at room temperature.

So do we have to be patient and wait until

quantum-computer-based systems can smoothly

pilot us through traffic? Possibly, according to AI

expert Hans Christian Boos, CEO of the Frankfurt

firm Arago. “We are talking about fluid simulations

here. We can of course do the quantum calculations,

but at the moment not even our theoretical

knowledge of these systems is particularly well developed.”

For him, the vision of the VW-Google

project to be able to use quantum computers to calculate

in real time when each and every car should

turn left or right for the best route is still relatively

pie in the sky.

What is far more crucial for Boos is that

quantum computers offer a way out for a pressing

hardware problem of classic computers. “To date we

have been able to rely on processing power doubling

every 18 to 24 months in relation to the energy

used.” Yet this so-called Moore’s law will soon come

up against physical limits. “The quantum computer

will help us maintain the rhythm. And that is essential

for AI applications.” ■



Artificial Intelligence

»When I think

of artificial

intelligence …





… I think of talking things, not just

Alexa and Siri, but all objects that are fitted

with mini sensors and wirelessly

connected to a server that sends me up-todate

information. This creates intelligent

environments. First and foremost, however,

artificial intelligence will, better than I

ever could, analyse the natural in telligence

of my fellow human beings, reveal their

thoughts and predict their behaviour. And

when humans start to use artificial intelligence

to protect themselves from these

analyses, the next stage of evolution will

begin, namely hyper-intelligence. Ultimately,

artificial intelligence is the technical

answer to mankind’s trans human


( Professor Peter Weibel has been Chairman of the Center for

Art and Media [ZKM] in Karlsruhe since 1999. As an artist he is

known above all for his works in media and computer art. )

… I welcome the opportunity to simplify our

working world, be it in factories or offices.

Information will be quickly available in the correct

form, resources will be employed in a suitable

manner – in this way we can avoid strain at an early

stage. Yet AI has already caught up with and

overtaken our human ability to make complex

decisions; here ethical and legal rules must keep

pace. We must protect personal rights

and the possibility of having the last word.«

( Professor Angelika Bullinger-Hoffmann has held the chair of ergonomics and innovation

management at Chemnitz University of Technology since April 2012. )



… I see that artificial intelligence will change

entire industries and the ways they work – similarly to

the invention of the steam engine or the introduction of

electricity. It will benefit all of us and I am convinced that

AI will bring about a great many positive changes.

Naturally this transformation also poses challenges for society,

because re-localising work requires better-quality

education and an economic equalising with those countries

to which work was formerly outsourced.«

( Ramin Assadollahi, PhD, is CEO and founder of ExB Labs, a laboratory for the

development of innovative speech-processing products based in Munich. )



Artificial Intelligence





… I look forward to the many great

applications enabled by mass individualisation

in the digital and the traditional

worlds. And at the same time I warn

against overstating the potential for misuse

that can obviously result from the combination

of virtually endless computing capacity,

extensive data stores and scalable

statis tical algorithms. Dialogue on transparent

technology and open society will be

nec essary to steer developments in the

field of artificial intelligence in the right


( Professor Wolfgang Lehner heads the Database Technology Research

Group at Technische Universität Dresden. )



… I think about the fact that there are two camps: the one believes

that we need to collect as much data as possible and simply input

it into an AI system for miracles to happen. That’s most users.

Experienced researchers on the other hand know that AI will only

be really effective for particular applications with good mathematical

models and conceptual work. My best experiences with AI were

when it was integrated in other processes.«

( Yvonne Hofstetter is a non-fiction author and won the 53rd Theodor Heuss Award.

She is managing director of Munich-based Teramark Technologies. )



… I think of the opportunities for business and society, and of

acceptance and responsibility. Start-ups, investors, companies,

and citizens view AI with differing expectations. Curiosity

and enthusiasm for technology come up against fears over a

loss of control and jobs. We must investigate how man

and machine can work together and which competencies

are needed to shape a worthwhile future with AI.«

( Professor Thorsten Posselt heads the Fraunhofer Center for International Management

and Knowledge Economy IMW in Leipzig and is professor of innovation management

and innovation economy at Leipzig University. )

… I initially see the digital transformation

as a whole, which is giving rise to a

fundamental change in business and

society. Artificial intelligence offers opportunities

for entirely new applications.

Germany has important key industries

and can assume a leading role in this development.

Yet it is also clear that we

need robust and safe solutions for critical


( Rutger Wijburg, PhD, is managing director of Infineon Dresden. )



… I think first and foremost of the exciting times that lie ahead

of us. At the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence we

are currently working on an AI vision intended to safeguard jobs and

prosperity. And the European initiative CLAIRE, which encompasses

over 1,000 scientists, will in future bundle AI research, combine

machine learning with actual understanding of content and in so

doing make progress in this field.«

( Professor Philipp Slusallek heads the research department Agents and Simulated

Reality at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence [DFKI] in Saarbrücken. )



Artificial Intelligence

»We could manage

without it, but why should we?«

Why we don’t need to be afraid of artificial

intelligence – an interview with Professor

Sebastian Rudolph of the Institute of Artificial

Intelligence at TU Dresden.


Sabine Simon

Professor Rudolph, many people believe that artificial

intelligence is a matter of machines ruling the world

one day in the future. Is that really the case?

Actually, I consider the visions of the future

conjured up in many of our science-fiction

films where humanity is subjected to machines

to be very far-fetched given the current

status of technology. But I would not rule

out that at some time in the more distant

future machines could develop their own

consciousness and something approaching a

‘will to power’. However, what I find much

more realistic at present is the danger that

people misuse artificial intelligence systems

for their own ends or that damage is caused

involuntarily owing to systems being wrongly

programmed. On the one hand, it is up to

politicians to create a meaningful framework,

and on the other hand AI research itself can

make valuable contributions by developing

security mechanisms founded on basic ethical


Could you define the term artificial intelligence in

a few simple sentences?

The aim of artificial intelligence research is

to equip computers with skills we would

normally only expect of intelligent beings.

We differentiate between ‘weak AI’, when it

is about the solution of specific problems, and

‘strong AI’, when the aim is to achieve general

intelligent behaviour at a human level. Although

today computers already tackle certain

complex tasks better than humans – such as

playing chess – it is still not clear whether and

how strong AI can be achieved.

So, we don’t need to be afraid of artificial


No more and no less than we do of technical

progress in general, if you ask me.

Let’s imagine it is the year 2050. How do you

suppose the economy, work and life will have been

altered through AI?

Generally speaking such long-term predictions

tend to be way off the mark. However,

it is realistic to assume that many areas of

our lives will have become automated, from

transport or communication with authorities

through to the planning of complex procedures.

Naturally this will also cause upheavals

on the job market, but mankind has already

experienced similar phases, for example as

a result of industrialisation. In any case we

can expect AI to relieve people of many bothersome

obligations and tasks.

If we think of companies like Google, Apple, Facebook,

Tencent or Baidu: have we long since

been left behind in Germany when it comes

to digitisation?

The market in the IT sector moves at an

incredibly fast pace. It took only 10 years

for many of the companies you mentioned

to develop into global players. Germany has

a healthy world of SMEs active in IT, and

who knows perhaps it will produce the next

global player – providing we have a suitable

digital infrastructure and favourable general

political conditions.

What can AI do that humans are not able to do

for themselves?

With AI it is all about tasks people could also

do, such as recognising spam mails or driving

vehicles. However, the aim of AI technology is

to do these tasks more reliably and faster than

humans and free people up for other tasks. In

these cases, there is no real difference between

AI and other technical instruments such as

navigation systems. We could manage without

them, but why should we? ■

The interviewee

Since April 2013

Sebastian Rudolph has

been professor for

computational logic

in the Institute of Artificial

Intelligence at the faculty

of computer science

TU Dresden. He is concerned

primarily with

AI and focuses specifically

on research into decidability

in logic-based knowledge

representation – in other

words the representation

of human knowledge in

computer systems and

the calculation of logical

consequences on the basis

of this knowledge.



IN 100


Work, life,


health: four


look ahead

to the digital




Future in 100 Words

OUR LIFE / »Some say technology is

changing our lives for the worse; I

believe it is changing them for the

better. The arrival on Earth of such

a radical concept as the world wide

web (thank you, Sir Tim Berners-

Lee) and Google in its wake, has

revolutionised the world. To make

information free and available to all

– that is one of the greatest gifts

mankind has ever given, and can

ever give itself. The result? Equalised

opportunity and education

that is fundamentally inclusive and

non-discriminatory, and spans

freely across ages, nations and cultures,

resulting in a fundamental

new sense of self-empowerment.

For all. Now and in future.«

( Lady Kinvara Balfour is a director, producer,

writer and speaker. Her work spans the worlds of

fashion, tech, theatre and film. She is a tech and

consumer trends expert. )


physically and digitally networked

simultaneously – travelling

between ten cities on three

continents and hooked up with

my offices in three time zones via

l aptop, smartphone, tablet and

headphones. I actually live, the

digital office. In the context of the

digitised (working) world, space

is assigned a new meaning: the office

serves as a place for meetings

and social encounters and this requires

new qualities and structures.

Our design for the C ollabora tive

Cloud, a media company’s building

in Berlin, is an example of how future

workplaces can be conceived,

namely between the poles of focussed

working and direct participation

in communal exchange

in the tangible space of the cloud.«

( OLE SCHEERen is an internationally active

architect and founder of Büro Ole Scheeren,

whose prize-winning buildings redesign urban

living spaces. )



Future in 100 Words

OUR ECONOMY / »With digitisation,

the challenges for the economy are

becoming more complex: different

sectors are shifting closer to one

another, and at the same time, 2.5

quintillion bytes of data are being

created every day. The future belongs

to the organisations that are

able to use this data strategically,

but 80 per cent of all commercially

relevant data is currently used for

… nothing at all. That’s why we

need intelligent solutions for data

analysis and evaluation, be it for a

personalised approach to customers,

predictive planning, or greater

transparency in the supply chain.

The future of the economy lies in

the use of AI solutions – as well as

in the application of platforms on

which the data can be exchanged.

Data economy + platform economy

= the future!«

OUR HEALTH / »The healthcare industry

is the area that will see the

biggest changes: hospitals will be

able to save up to 30 per cent of

their costs with AI or quantum computing.

With intelligent toothbrushes,

people will get real-time data

about their physical condition with

treatment available through medical

food. But this is only the beginning.

With gene editing and the production

of replacement organs, technologies

are developing that are able

to radically prolong our lives. If

these reach market maturity within

the next 80 years, my now threeyear-old

son could live to be more

than 120 years old. Also, the millions

that Elon Musk has invested

in the brain-computer interface

will make it possible to upload the

human brain to a computer.«

( Sven Gábor Jánszky is a futurologist and Chairman

of Europe’s largest futurology institute ‘2b Ahead

ThinkTank’, based in Leipzig. )

( Martina Koederitz was CEO of IBM in

Germany from 2011. Since 2018 she has managed

the industrial and automotive sector of IBM as

its Global Industry Managing Director. )






Dresden’s “Smart Systems Hub” and Leipzig’s

“Smart Infrastructure Hub” with partners

in Chemnitz, Freiberg and Mittweida digitize

industry and infrastructure.




Smart Systems





short cut / Smart systems / Intelligent integration of

individual components and new materials / Ever more functions

are being incorporated into components that are becoming

ever smaller and are thus able to meet ever greater demands /

Challenge: increasing complexity and interdisciplinarity / Opportunities,

most significantly, in the area of medical technology

leading to better diagnosis, therapy and monitoring



Smart Systems

Higher, Further,







Christina lynN dier


Thomas MEyer


Smart Systems


Tino Petsch, born in 1967, founded 3D-Micromac AG

in 2002 and has managed it ever since as its CEO and

primary shareholder. The company is based in Chemnitz

and specialises in laser micromachining. Its most

important customers come from the photovoltaic, semiconductor,

and glass and display industries, as well as

from the micro-diagnostics and medical technology

sectors. Petsch places great emphasis on knowledge

transfer between universities and industries, and in

2012 he was named Saxony’s Entrepreneur of the Year.




Smart Systems




Optimist: Founder Tino Petsch

has developed 3D-Micromac

AG from a start-up to a leading

laser specialist.


Solutions for the photovoltaic

industry: Tino Petsch stands

before a microCELL system

for the laser processing of

solar cells.


Product showroom: customers

can get an overview of the

laser systems at the headquarters

in Chemnitz.

Why an


from Chemnitz

takes a close look

at the trends

of Silicon Valley.

Mr Petsch, what does precision mean to you?

Profession and passion. We develop machines

for laser micromachining – where measurements

are in micrometres, that is, thousandths of millimetres.

In other words: a woman’s hair is on

average 60 micrometres thick, so one sixtieth of

the breadth of a hair is the level of precision we

are typically working with.

You founded 3D-Micromac AG in 2002 and since

then the company has developed from a start-up to the

leading specialist in laser micromachining. What has

been your most important lesson?

That change is inevitable. “Higher, further,

faster” might sound corny, but it’s the name

of the game in this industry. Only those

who continue to move forward can offer

products that are also in demand internationally.

I try to keep an ear to the ground

everywhere – be it in the company’s own

process development, at our site in Silicon

Valley, among end customers in Asia, or

at different trade shows worldwide. That’s

how new ideas mature, how joint projects

develop with customers. ➔



Smart Systems



Innovative technology:

the microDICE system serves

to isolate semiconductor wafers

in individual chips.


A look inside:

the microSTRUCT laser

systems are used primarily

in product development and

applied research.

You’re also active in the area of additive production

and many of your customers come from Silicon Valley.

Correct. It’s an exciting field, even if the technology

of industrial 3D printing is in itself not

new. What we’ve done is transfer it from the

macro to the micro world. We’ve succeeded in

reducing the layer thickness from 100 to 1 micrometre.

The so-called micro laser sintering process enables

the production of minute metallic objects

– for example for use in medical technology –

using powdered metal as a basis.

Our raw materials are therefore basically powder

and data.

What are the other digital trends that have come

from Silicon Valley?

The entire area around near field communication

will see a boom. This wireless transfer

technology permits data exchange between devices

up to a distance of a few centimetres.

The transfer requires a smartphone on the one

side, and on the other a ‘tag’, that is, an RFID

chip on which data is stored that can be read

using a mobile phone. This not only opens

up ever more new possibilities for marketing,

but also helps to make products traceable

and counterfeit-proof.

So product piracy remains a major topic?

Definitely. The customer of one of our customers

is a well-known winery in California. One

day they noticed that they were selling three

times more wine in China than they even produce

in America. Further investigations revealed

that there is a second- and even thirdhand

market for the original bottles, which are

filled with cheaper wine and resold. This

is of course very damaging to the winery’s image.

Now the winery is working with a tag that is

»Miniaturisation plays right

into our hands. The smaller

the products, the more precise

the work needs to be.«

destroyed when the bottle top is unscrewed.

Buyers of the wine can thus use a smartphone

to read whether or not the bottle has already

been opened. What’s more, the tag gives them

further information, for example about the

optimum drinking temperature or the dishes it

goes well with. Because we produce these tags,

I’m optimistic that quite a few of our devices

will still be required in future.

A particular challenge for many industries is also ongoing

miniaturisation, coupled with growing demands

on the performance of electrical components. What does

that mean for you?

Miniaturisation plays right into our hands.

The smaller the products, the more precise the

work needs to be. With chips, for example,

we are now seeing integration into the third

dimension. That means there’s not just one chip,

which takes up a larger surface area, but rather

multiple chips stacked on top of one another.

In the semiconductor industry, this so-called 3D

integration is a promising way of accommodating

the trend towards more compact, more

high-performance electrical devices. Laser processes

are required in order to create and analyse

the connections and passages between the chips.

You export 75 per cent of your production and travel

abroad frequently. How are other countries dealing

with the changes brought about by digitisation?

I can certainly see some differences in mentality.

As before, the Germans remain rather

conservative, while the Americans are much

more open to changes and innovations. In the

USA even smaller companies and start-ups

get a chance to present new products to industry

giants, while here key factors like company

size and capital resources are a major focus.

On the other hand, the Americans are

also more erratic in the process, sometimes

changing the requirements of a machine even

while it’s being built. The Asians, in contrast,

are very precise and want to specify everything.

That can be a good thing too, but

leaves little scope for creative ideas in the

subsequent design process. Regardless of

whether it’s in Europe, the USA or Asia

though, ultimately what counts is that the

product works and enables the company to

earn money.

How will our world change if more and more devices

are connected to one another?



Smart Systems

»A certain amount of basic

scepticism is a good thing,

but it shouldn’t be paralysing.«


It’s hard to imagine what might be possible in

future. Even today, a huge number of things

are connected – including we human beings.

I think the key question is what happens

if more and more robots take over the work of

human beings in future? People are still going

to need a purpose in life.

Do these developments worry you?

They don’t worry me exactly. As an engineer

I always see more opportunities than risks in

technology. Nevertheless, digitisation raises

questions for society that need to be discussed

in the coming years. One thing is clear though:

people have always been sceptical as new developments

have taken their course. A certain

amount of basic scepticism is a good thing, but

it shouldn’t be paralysing. Incidentally, this also

applies to local legislation, which often lags

behind the trends. If we’re too slow in Germany

– for example with regard to setting a legal

course for autonomous driving – then we must

expect to be disadvantaged in the face of international


On the Smart Systems Campus in Chemnitz, 3D-

Micromac has now taken over three buildings and

employs around 200 people. Where is the journey


Over the past few years, we have focussed entirely

on growth in order to achieve critical

mass in the market. We’ve now succeeded at

that. We’ve occupied a niche segment and are

now the biggest among the small providers. In

future we’ll focus on boosting profitability. We

have to build up our reserves for times when

the economic situation is not so good for us.


How digitally inclined are you personally in your

free time?

That’s an easy question – I always have

my smartphone and tablet to hand. What’s

more, I spend a lot of time working on the

computer, because I produce travel and

nature films as a sideline. ■

FACTS // Locations: Chemnitz, San Jose (USA), Wuxi

(China) / Year of foundation: 2002 / Employees: around

200 / Management Board: Tino Petsch, Uwe Wagner /

Mission: Innovative laser processes for industrial production



Industry 4.0





short cut / Industry 4.0; also the fourth industrial

revolution / Term stems from a ‘future project’ by the German

federal government / Industrial production is dovetailed with

modern information technology / Objective: optimum cooperation

between humans, machines and IT / New level of organisation

and management of the overall value chain / German

industry aims to invest 40 billion euros annually up to 2020



Industry 4.0

Humans as

conductors and



Guido Walter

Industry 4.0 is a German

success story. The worlds

of science and industry are

hard at work together in an effort

to write the next chapter.

The vision of a future humanfree

factory, however, won’t

necessarily become a reality. ➔



Industry 4.0





Industry 4.0



Smart production: in the

future Infineon, seen here

in Dresden, aims to manage

all its international locations

as if they constituted one

big virtual factory.


Interaction between human

and machine: the company

is by no means aiming to do

without employees.


Test environment:

in the model factory at the

HTW in Dresden, semi-automated

production processes

are realistically simulated.

to 5.9 billion euros in 2017. From 2018 onwards, the

figure will be in excess of 7 billion.

The numbers and the full order books of

industrial corporations show the potential for digitisation

in factories. The sector is currently seeing

the strongest increase in demand for corresponding

solutions in the fields of mechanical engineering and

plant construction. Just how Industry 4.0 can create

value for companies was demonstrated by Bosch at

the Hanover Trade Fair using the example of a selflearning

system. The company produces braking

control systems at 11 different locations worldwide.

If, for example, a welding station in India were

to work half a per cent better, this would automatically

be visualised at all the other stations in the

global network, and they could then be adapted accordingly.

Through the interconnectivity of factories

and machines, Bosch managed to double productivity

within five years.


companies in

Germany have

already succeeded

in dovetailing



with modern

information and



Yet the

pace is growing


A gentle whirring, clicking and clattering is created

by the robots and machines, which all appear to

know precisely what they need to do. The technical

processes of this small production line seem like

perfectly practiced choreography. All the human

has to do is supervise. This, the future of industrial

manufacturing, can be experienced during a visit

to a model factory built by scientists from Dresden

University of Applied Sciences (HTW). In this mini-factory

with its modern sensor technology, robot

modules and self-driving transport vehicles interact.

“The model factory serves as a test environment

where research institutes and partners from industry

can trial their components in combination,” says

Dirk Reichelt, a professor at HTW. He holds workshops

destined to help visitors better understand the

model factory. “The most common question participants

ask is where do I start with digitisation?”

Many companies in Germany have already

succeeded in dovetailing industrial production with

modern information and communications technology.

Yet the pace is growing faster and anyone wanting

to be successful on the markets of tomorrow will

need to make their plant more intelligent. “Industry

4.0 has reached factories, but the digital transformation

of industry is far from being achieved,”

comments Sven Zehl from digital association Bitkom.

“Many companies are still hesitant to upgrade

their entire fleet of machines.” Since the majority

of companies already have an Industry 4.0 strategy

for the corporation as a whole, however, the question

of whether to change over has long since been

resolved for German industry. According to Bitkom,

sales of solutions for Industry 4.0 rose by 21 per cent


The next stage of digitisation will see ‘cobots’ (collaborative

robots) playing a greater role. The advanced

versions created by Esslingen manufacturer

Festo are also being used in the model factory at

the HTW in Dresden. “Cobots support people in

their work and handle the particularly physically

demanding tasks,” says Reichelt. “We are currently

working on a demonstrator for a cobot workstation,

where the cobot can recognise the relevant

em ployee and their movements at the workstation.”

Another future trend that is coming to fruition

for industry is the ‘digital twin’. This involves

a virtual copy of a machine or production line.

As a three-dimensional CAD model with all the




Industry 4.0

Sales with Industry 4.0 rise to 7 billion euros.

German market for 4.0 solutions 2015-8 (in millions of euros)

(Source: ‘Industry 4.0 – The Future of Production’; Bitkom)

4,061 4,858






2015 2016 2017 2018

qualities and functions of the real thing, the digital

twin guides the system from the first draft through

production and further development to recycling.

“The virtual copies of the plants enable early predictions

about the future behaviour of a system in

production,” Reichelt explains. “This means that key

performance parameters can be determined as early

as the planning stage of the smart factory.” The digital

twin also plays an important role when it comes

to pre-emptive maintenance. Here, there is huge potential

for increasing the availability of machines and

plants and minimising unscheduled downtime.

“Digital twins for products or production

lines are also an area we’re working on, but we’re

aiming to go one step further,” says Christoph

Schumacher of Infineon in Dresden. “In the future

we want to manage all the international manufacturing

sites of Infineon as if they were one single big

virtual factory.”

The current reality is lots of different sites, as

well as aging industrial facilities, but these too can be

upgraded for the digital age. A simple retrofit, installed

as an add-on the existing machine, is often sufficient

in such a context. For example, by adding an impulse

counter with an extra mini-computer you can get information

about quantities produced more quickly

and easily. “Often, the art to it is finding the right

sensor and measuring system,” says Reichelt. “In the

model factory we are able to try out typical scenarios

in advance and later adapt them to the relevant industrial



and Industry

4.0 are indeed

an opportunity

to reclaim

jobs that have


been relocated

abroad. After

all, the use

of robots

and artificial


makes local



more attractive.


Humans will also have to adapt. The notion that

the increasing automation through robots and selfdriving

vehicles will lead to these replacing human

workforces is as undisputed as the fact that, at the

same time, new, often more highly skilled positions

will be created. “I don’t think the future vision of an

entirely human-free factory will become a reality in

the medium term,” says Schumacher. “It’s true, automation

means our factories now look very unlike

what they were 10 years ago. And in the next 10 years

there will be further significant changes, but we’ll still

need employees in manufacturing in the future, too.”

What is certain is that the increased use of

cobots and assistance systems in manufacturing is

supporting humans and relieving them of some

of their tasks. In the smart factory of tomorrow,

machines, materials and tools will communicate with

one another in real time.

“In a smart factory like this, the role of

people will shift ever more towards that of the conductors

and trouble-shooters,” says Reichelt. “And

the advancing automation and interconnectivity of

factories will lead to the development of new, higherquality


Digitisation and Industry 4.0 are indeed an

opportunity to reclaim jobs that have previously

been relocated abroad. After all, the use of robots and

artificial intelligence makes local production substantially

more attractive. In Germany, production

in a smart factory permits flexible and rapid manufacture

of individual products with small batch sizes.

And there’s another aspect that sets Germany apart

from other countries: the close cooperation between

leading companies and research institutions with

expertise in the fields of hardware, software and connectivity

– namely, the essential drivers for realising

future Industry 4.0 concepts. ■



Industry 4.0



Do robots

make better




»The better colleagues at

work are humans – not machines.

A hammer is never going to be a

workman’s friend. However intelligent

robots can be, we

know that there is no consciousness

inside that metal exterior. Robots

do not feel fear, they don’t feel

anything, they don’t know anything.«

( RAÚl Rojas, mathematician and professor of

IT at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is director

of the Dahlem Center for Machine Learning and Robotics. )



Digital Business







Doreen Reinhard

All of their brands have

traditional craftsmanship at

their core, but their routes to

the future vary: how companies

are showing time and

again that tradition and digitisation

can indeed go

hand in hand.



Digitisation meets craftsmanship:

Nomos Glashütte

uses technology primarily

when it comes down to

thousandths of millimetres.


Everyone knows the watches

from Glashütte: the small town

near Dresden is world-famous

and its watchmakers are among

the best in the profession.

The course for the future is set: digitisation is advancing

and the work of human beings is being performed

ever more by software. This applies for numerous

industries, but what about those which earn a living

through traditional craftsmanship? In Saxony there

are many companies whose business is based on sometimes

centuries-old traditions. Elaborate craftwork is

inherent to their brands, yet they have very different

ways of organising the interplay of past and future.

At the porcelain manufactory in Meissen, for

example, the fundamental steps of the work have

changed little over more than 300 years of history

– and, as before, these steps rely on the skills of specialists,

from the shaping to the painting of a teacup.

Nevertheless, this craftsmanship has long since been

integrated with digital processes. In 2015 a control

system was introduced by means of which orders are

planned and stocks monitored, among other things.

The amount of work involved was halved, says the

manufactory’s spokesperson, Sandra Jäschke, explaining:

“We no longer have to use a card index for these

steps.” The company’s archive has also been digitised.

The manufactory has its own treasure trove of 30,000

historic moulds, which frequently provide inspiration

for current collections and can be researched much

more easily in the database. The Meissen online shop

has also just been given new features. Customers can

already find the manufactory’s entire range there, some

of which is available to order. “With the relaunch of

the online shop, we are expecting to see an increase

in sales,” says Jäschke, “although the majority of our

products will continue to be sold via our boutiques

and specialist retailers. Not many customers want to

buy high-end porcelain online.”

Online trade an important addition / Similar experiences

have been gained in the watchmaking industry

too, as the small town of Glashütte in Germany’s

Erzgebirge region has shown. One of the pioneers in

this area is Nomos Glashütte. “We need high-quality

craftsmanship combined with the advantages of digitisation,”

says the company’s spokesperson Anna Jas-



Digital Business





Digital Business

3 4



Traditional to the core: Wendt

& Kühn, a manufacturer of

wooden figures and music

boxes, is somewhat reserved

when it comes to digitisation.



Fine brushstrokes:

the trademark of porcelain

manufactory Meissen is

applied to each individual

piece by hand.


The art of Meissen

craftsmanship: in the modelling

process, the individual parts

are assembled to produce the

finished figure.

“We make use

of digital means

in the areas

that don’t affect

the core of

our brand,

namely the


per. The online shop, which was launched in 2010, is

among the first in the industry. “It allows us to serve

primarily overseas markets where we’re not represented

with retailers. The development of our online presence

is increasing the familiarity with our brand, so

our fixed retailers are benefitting too.” Software helps

to optimise operations, while digitised processes help

with the design, for example 3D printing for the production

of prototypes. CNC machines are used in production.

“We use these wherever we need to measure

not just to the hundredth, but to the thousandth of a

millimetre,” explains Jasper.

At watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne too, it’s not

only the past they are relying on. “We believe tradition

and digitisation can go hand in hand,” says managing

director Wilhelm Schmid. The Lange range involves a

higher level of workmanship – and is therefore more

expensive. The online business is an important market

that is being closely monitored, as are the preferences

of customers, Schmid explains. So far, though, they

seem to have preferred to buy in person, perhaps since

the price of a watch starts at around 14,000 euros.

“Our experience shows that as yet there is no widespread

online business in this segment,” says Schmid.

As before, direct sales in 19 boutiques and at more

than 200 points of sale worldwide are more important.

“We make use of digital means in the areas that

don’t affect the core of our brand, namely the craftsmanship,”

says Schmid, “or where we are strongly

incentivised to do so by customer preferences. If tomorrow

everyone decides they want to shop online,

then we’ll be ready.” The company’s production does

make use of software at least. Lots of information

can be viewed online, ranging from the tasks for the

watchmakers to the database of watches. If a particular

model requires a check in 100 years’ time, there is a

digital file for each model.

Craftsmanship as the core of the brand / The same

applies at Wendt & Kühn, a manufacturer of wooden

figures and music boxes likewise located in the Erzgebirge

region; they too are taking a cautious approach

to digitisation. Here it has been decided primarily

to strengthen the core of the brand – craftsmanship.

Certain areas like warehousing are now managed by

computers and there is a digital company archive with

historic documents, which are valuable for marketing.

But production of the famous angel remains a very

traditional affair: “All that’s involved here is a paintbrush,

paint and wood. Every figure is a unique piece,”

says spokesperson Thomas Rost. This idea of one of

a kind has been carried over to the sales side, so the

company has decided against a conventional online

shop and instead introduced a selective portal in 2017.

This is aimed primarily at the 750 specialist retailers

who place orders for their stores here. Customers are

also able to select products on the site, but can only

place orders online in a roundabout way. “It’s a very

strict regime, but it guarantees value and fairness to

retailers – as well as the quality of our brand,” explains

Rost. The company can well afford to operate such a

particular model: sales at Wendt & Kühn have risen by

25 per cent since 2012, while many of the figures new

to the range are collectors’ items and are quickly sold

out in stores – just like in the old days. ■







short cut / Blockchain, technically: decentralised database

/ Basic technology and central innovation of the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin / Data are distributed across the entire network

and stored chronologically in transaction blocks / Disruptive

potential: no central authority required, rather direct electronic

transfer of values possible / Financial industry is conducting

intensive research into possible applications




Here to Stay

How blockchain – the

technology behind digital currency

Bitcoin – could revolutionise the

internet and is already provoking

hysteria in entire industries.


Klaus Lüber

In 2013, IT expert Andreas Ittner came across a paper

that had been haunting the internet since 2008.

In it, an ominous author by the name of Satoshi

Nakamoto claimed to have found a forgery-proof

online payment system that works without banks.

The title of the publication? ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-

Peer Electronic Cash System’. “I had to read it three

times, but at some point it clicked and then I knew:

This could be big.”

Ittner, who is professor of IT/distributed

information systems at Mittweida University of

Applied Sciences near Chemnitz, started to get his

colleagues interested in the text and established an

interdisciplinary centre of excellence which currently

includes 15 professors. “We not only examine

the technology, but also consider economic and

legal aspects.” And they are justified in doing so, he

believes: ultimately, the core of it all involves nothing

less than the reinvention of the internet.

Blockchain Competence Center Mittweida

is the name of the newly created institution at

Ittner’s university, named after a technology presented

in the paper as ‘blockchain’, which to a large

extent forms the heart of the digital currency of

Bitcoin, a name that has been on everyone’s lips

since its share value rocketed at the end of 2017.


Are they the future?

Blockchains – special

databases – can manage

transaction data without

a central controlling authority.

What’s involved is a special database which stores

all transactions like a digital ledger and organises

them in a decentralised manner in the process. Its

name comes from its structure – a chain of encrypted

data blocks. The crucial thing is that the journal

is kept active and verified by the network of users.

It’s no longer reliant on one central authority.



Although blockchain was developed in connection

with Bitcoin, the database can be used in various

ways elsewhere. After all, as a distributed ledger

technology (DLT) it can manage entirely different

assets: information about plots of land, health

data, passport information, contract terms or supply

chains, for example. “Blockchain will be the

foundation of digitisation when it comes to assets

and goods,” says Ittner with certainty, forecasting

the internet stepping up a level. “We have long been

dealing with an internet of data. This is now being

replaced and supplemented by the internet of

things. The blockchain will take us to the internet

of assets.”

And all this – as in the case of Bitcoin – without

an intermediary authority that creates trust.







Smart locks

Start-up seeks to

make our everyday lives

easier: locks that have a

Bluetooth function or some

other interface can be

opened or closed using a

blockchain facility: for example,

apartments or bicycles

can thus be rented out or

hired without any personal

contact being required. You

can simply chose a bicycle

by app and pay for it the

same way. The bike lock is

then opened by Bluetooth.

The system itself generates the trust – it becomes a

‘trust machine’, as the Economist calls the technology.

So much for the vision. But is blockchain yet

ripe for specific applications? At the moment there

is a great deal of hype surrounding the technology,

Ittner admits. “Since the foundation of our competence

centre, every day we have had enquiries from

companies who think they must have a blockchain

solution.” At the moment, though, this is only really

justified in very few cases, he explains. “People

are desperate not to miss out on something, so

first they get themselves a hammer and then search

frantically for a nail. It’s madness in a way.”

Andranik Tumasjan, professor of management

and digital transformation at Johannes

Gutenberg University Mainz, identifies two development

strands at present. “On the one hand we

have the vision of decentralised business models,

as is innate to the underlying concept of the Bitcoin

blockchain and which ever more start-ups are

working towards.” He sees promising approaches in

the energy sector, for example. These would make

it possible to use blockchain technology to set up

micropayment systems. The owners of a solar plant

could make the power available to charge a package

drone, for example, or sell it directly to neighbours.

This could be invoiced via automated, electronic

contracts, so-called smart contracts.



These smart contracts are also used by, a

start-up likewise based in Mittweida near Chemnitz.

“That’s no coincidence,” says the company’s

founder Christoph Jentzsch. “We benefit a great

deal from the efforts by the university, not to mention

local policymakers and businesses who seek

to make blockchain a major issue in this region.” develops solutions that enable you to control

networked devices by means of access authorisation

via smart contracts in the blockchain – and it does so,

in keeping with the revolutionary basic idea, without

a middleman. Anyone, for example, wanting to rent

out their apartment or their bicycle can do so directly

via A smart lock controls all the necessary

actions – and it does so precisely according to the

terms set out in a smart contract.

Like IT expert Ittner, Jentzsch also discerns

an opportunity for a quasi-reinvention of

the internet – a reinvention that would basically

be a return to the utopia laid down at the beginning

and which is at the core of the technology:

the decentralised network. “We have made ourselves

dangerously reliant on major players,” says

Christoph Jentzsch. “If Google were to decide tomorrow

to shut down its servers that would create

huge problems for us.” Blockchain, however, offers

the possibility of “regenerating the web once

again as a decentralised structure from the bottom


Now not only are there start-ups wanting to

shake things up, but also established firms, particularly

in the financial, insurance and logistics industries

that are exploring the benefits of blockchains.

However, according to blockchain expert Tumasjan

at the University of Mainz, the technology is not

yet being used in the enterprise context to tap into

radical new business models, but rather to optimise

existing ones. Hence the Digital Trade Chain Consortium,

an association currently made up of seven

European banks and IBM, is working on a platform

called, which should make international

trade easier for medium-sized companies. The idea?

All the components of a contract, from the billing

to the customs documentation to delivery, could be

represented in the blockchain.



Just how the data management of supply chains

can be further optimised is currently being researched

also by other institutions, for instance

the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems,

or IPMS, in Dresden.

Already small radio transponders, so-called

RFID tags, are being used for automated identification

and shipment tracking of goods. If sensors are

integrated into the tags, data relating to conditions

such as temperature, pressure and humidity can be

obtained. “Here we believe there is great potential for

further automation,” explains Monika Beck from the

Fraunhofer IPMS. “It would also be conceivable, for

example, to have automated quality checks of incoming

goods based on the RFID sensor data obtained

from manufacture and transportation. The exact

terms of the inspections could be set out in smart


Whether and when blockchain technology

will actually lead to a grand revolution, and to a

new internet of assets, remains to be seen. Blockchain

will not reach its ‘plateau of productivity’

for another 5-10 years, according to the current

innovation report from American market research

company Gartner. For researcher Andreas Ittner,

however, one thing is certain: “I’m 110 per cent

convinced that blockchain is a technology that’s

here to stay.” ■



Smart Infrastructure





short cut / Smart infrastructure; also ‘intelligent

infrastructure’ / Important social and economic infrastructure

areas are connected to one another through digital, smart

technologies / Objective: sustainable management of resources,

improvement in quality of life / Area of research with major

potential for the future / Current areas of application: energy

industry, healthcare, smart city



Smart Infrastructure

city of the


Megacities: a challenge

for the future

In 2050 two thirds of the

world’s population will live

in cities, according to estimates

by the United Nations.

This development is set

to affect European cities too.

In order to optimise urban

development, Paris is treading

new ground: the French

capital is evaluating

the public chats and posts

of its inhabitants and thus

finding out what matters

to them.



Smart Infrastructure


Stefanie Hutschenreuter

All over the

world, cities are

striving to get

closer to the

ideal of a smart

city. Is there a

magic formula?

A lack of parking spaces, gridlocked streets, extortionate

rents – by monitoring the public chats and

posts of their citizens, city authorities are finding

out what really matters to them. A self-learning algorithm

clusters current comments from citizens

anonymously according to themes. It may sound

like science fiction, but in Tel Aviv and Paris it’s already

a reality. Both cities are clients of the start-up

ZenCity, which uses a new kind of software to identify

the topics of discussion and thus to support local

authorities in recognising and better understanding

the concerns of their citizens. The city authorities

are then able to take countermeasures.

The model slots into a number of individual

digital solutions that cities all over the world are

currently implementing. With the help of new technological

possibilities, they are aiming to become



Smart Infrastructure


The interconnection

of the

various areas of

urban life can

make cities

greener, safer

and more pleasant

to live in.

smart cities and are thus hoping to be better placed

to tackle the major challenges of the future. After

all, many urban areas are at risk of suffering trafficinduced

cardiac arrest, while climate protection is

forcing them to rethink their energy and water provision.

And that faster than many urban planners

would like, for resident numbers are continuing to

grow. In all likelihood, by the year 2050 two thirds

of the world’s population will live in cities, as current

figures from the United Nations testify.

The citizen as partner / The development of a

smart city is basically about “the renewal of infrastructures

that are no longer viable”, says Elke Pahl-

Weber, professor of urban development and regeneration

at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin. For

the future, it’s crucial that “cities actually make use

of the opportunities arising from the windows currently

being opened by digitisation. We need to link

up infrastructures – technically, financially and operationally.

This can only be achieved through digitisation.”

The interconnection of the various areas

of urban life can make cities greener, safer and more

pleasant to live in. Nevertheless, Pahl-Weber stresses

that there is no formula for smart infrastructure that

can be implemented equally across the board. “The

technologies have to be adapted to the specifics of

each city.”

Digital solutions therefore have to be oriented

towards the actual needs of city-dwellers,

“and these can’t be ascertained with standard surveys,”

says Pahl-Weber. Leipzig, for example – one


of the most rapidly growing cities in Germany

with annual growth of 10,000 inhabitants – has

worked with experts from academia, local companies,

and residents to develop a pilot concept for

the area of the city known as the ‘Leipziger Westen’.

Among other things, this provides for the use

of heat from industrial plants for heating homes.

“BMW is also on board with its storage farm of

used electric car batteries on the Leipzig factory

site,” explains project manager Beate Ginzel from

Leipzig Office for Urban Renewal and Housing

Promotion. The aim is for excess green energy, for

example from photovoltaic plants in the district,

to be temporarily stored at the storage farm in future.

“This interconnectivity of players and technologies,

which the smart city approach strives to

achieve, has not previously been envisioned in the

context of city districts,” says the project manager.

Yet for the implementation of the smart district

solution, the city is reliant on external funding.

Support is available from EU programmes, for example,

which allocate funds to the best concepts

to emerge from a competition process. But the

high number of submissions means Beate Ginzel

is realistic about Leipzig’s chances. “We are therefore

hoping that there will soon be a funding initiative

from the federal government for these sorts

of interdisciplinary approaches.”



Smart Infrastructure



Incubator: at the Gläserne

Manufaktur (‘transparent

manufactory’) in Dresden, startups

can develop their trailblazing

mobility ideas through

to market maturity.

The green transport service

Fewer cars, less pollution:

that’s the goal of the three

founders of CleverShuttle.

The start-up relies on

the principle of ride sharing,

with environmentally friendly

cars available to book via

a smartphone app. An algorithm

bundles passengers

with similar routes, so

multiple users share a car

and its driver.


Digital solutions: Elke

Pahl-Weber, professor of urban

development and regeneration

at TU Berlin, carries out

research into the future of

city centres.

Smart innovations / The concepts Leipzig has

come up with for existing districts are also being

applied to three newly emerging inner-city areas.

Martin Richter from Saxony’s Smart Infrastructure

Hub believes that other cities can learn from Leipzig:

“It’s crucial that the local authorities recognise

the potential of digitisation and embrace it and put

it into practice.” Andreas Franke, managing director

of VNG ViertelEnergie, agrees. If smaller and

medium-sized municipalities do not wish to implement

smart-city concepts alone, they can get help

with district development from his company, a subsidiary

of Leipzig-based VNG AG founded in July

2017, in cooperation with the firm Tilia. They work

with representatives of local authorities to produce a

district concept that incorporates all areas of energy

infrastructure – from decentralised energy provision

to fast internet and electromobility, and even LED

street lighting – “offering unbiased advice on manufacturer

and energy type, from the concept to the investment

stage and on to operation of the systems,”

as Franke emphasises.

The basis for the entire approach is fast internet

available across the board. In terms of expanding

bandwidth, some regions of the country have some

catching up to do, although there are already plenty

of smart ideas. “In Germany we have a fantastic environment

for research, development and innovation.

We just have to promote that more outwardly,” says

Martin Richter, whose successful start-up support

programme SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator, part

of the Smart Infrastructure Hub, aims to link up the

lively scenes in Leipzig and Dresden with players in

business and academia.

Example of electromobility / At the Gläserne

Manufaktur (‘transparent manufactory’) exhibition

space in Dresden, Volkswagen’s Future Mobility Incubator

is enabling selected company founders to develop

their trailblazing ideas through to market maturity.

One such start-up is ChargeX. Since March

2018 the young trio of founders and their team have

been testing an expandable charger system for electric

vehicles, which charges the vehicles like a multiple

power socket – albeit not evenly, but rather one

after the other with a self-learning algorithm. Each

vehicle is filled up with power according to its basic

energy need. The advantage: the charging stations

are cheaper than previous models because they require

neither the complex installation nor the expensive

hardware of previous versions. “The solution is

particularly well suited to buildings in urban areas,

where companies wish to install charging stations

for employees, but also residents’ associations that

want to install charging points for residents,” says

co-founder Tobias Wagner.

The city of Dresden is generally very open

to the new smart technologies. Among other things,

it has opened up parts of its road network as a test

field for self-driving vehicles. From September 2018

the ride-sharing service CleverShuttle will also expand

its service to Dresden. The start-up, which

was founded in 2014, has so far been operating in

Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart.

Passengers with similar routes are bundled together

into travel communities via an app and transported

to their chosen destinations by drivers in electric or

hydrogen-propelled vehicles. At the same time, the

service represents an affordable alternative to taxis or

private cars. It also helps cities to avoid traffic jams,

according to Fabio Adlassnigg, spokesperson for

CleverShuttle: “After all, if we’re really serious about

improving quality of life, health and the attractiveness

of our cities, we need a drastic reduction in individual

motorised transportation.” ■



Inspirational Items

Inspirational Items

Eight innovative objects that make life in our

world that little bit easier.




Christina Lynn Dier,

Benjamin Kleemann-von Gersum

& Sabine Simon

Algorithms to combat depression

The use of modern sensor technology

can help treat people with depression.

Software developers at IT firm

adesso are currently working on an IT

solution together with Leipzig University

as part of the STEADY research

project. It involves the use of a fitnessstyle

bracelet that collects the patient’s

biodata, for example the quality and

duration of their sleep. Algorithms

evaluate the data and correlate them

with individual information. The aim is

to recognise nascent depressive episodes

at an early stage.

Independent living

Anyone born in Germany in 2018 will live to an average age of around 80

– and that number is rising. Smart solutions that enable us to lead independent

lives in our own homes for longer are therefore much in demand. One

very smart system is RICA from IoCare. The start-up initially got going in the

accelerator at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. The RICA sensor

box, which analyses the activities of seniors in need of care and informs

relatives or care staff when there are any deviations, is straightforward in

the way it works, using a movement sensor and a light. The sensor in the

user’s home learns their habitual movements and is connected via telephone

or WLAN to a display in the home of a responsible person, who is notified

by means of lights on the display. If the movements are interpreted as ‘normal’,

then a green light is displayed. Deviations that come about due to a

fall, for example, trigger the display of an amber or red light.

Greater independence for the blind

Finding your way in an unfamiliar environment

is virtually impossible for

blind people. Artificial intelligence, a

camera, loudspeakers and sensors,

all packaged together in the form of

smart glasses, are set to change this.

This navigation system, designed to

boost the independence and safety

of visually impaired people, is being

developed by the start-up AiServe

Technologies, which was part of the

accelerator at HHL Leipzig. If the

glasses make it to market maturity, it

will represent a quantum leap for millions

of people.

Computer models in the operating theatre

The Innovation Center Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS), part of the

medical faculty at Leipzig University, carries out research into the

medicine of the future. Since its foundation in 2005, quite a few innovations

have been launched, from ultrasound for cancer cell research to

the recording belt for in-situ monitoring of accident victims. An ‘intelligent’

operating theatre has also been developed. Computers assist the surgeon

with additional information during the procedure, which – based on

computer models – should help with decision-making. Another innovation

is the ‘magic lens’, which makes it possible to see inside the patient’s

body before the procedure with the help of an iPad, for example to ensure

the cut is made in an optimum position. The basis for this is MRI and CT




Inspirational Items

New material for the construction industry

Four times lighter than steel and six times its load-bearing capacity: carbon

concrete could soon revolutionise the construction industry. This new composite

material is set to achieve market maturity by 2021 – then carbon fibres

could replace the steel that is currently encased in concrete for the construction

of buildings or bridges. This will make it possible to build entire structures

that are much leaner, and thus to make material savings of up to 50 per

cent – an important step for the construction industry with its high consumption

of resources and energy. The long-term goal? For new buildings, it

should be possible to replace at least 20 per cent of the steel reinforcements

with carbon reinforcements. More than 160 partners from science and industry

are working together to make this a reality. One leading figure in the project

is Professor Manfred Curbach, who is based at the Institute of Concrete

Structures at Technische Universität (TU) Dresden. The significance of the

carbon concrete technology has also been recognised by the German Federal

Ministry of Education and Research, which is supporting the project

with 43 million euros.

Travel 4.0

In the past, people would flick through travel brochures, but these days

most book their holidays online. Or perhaps they might substitute this with

an animated adventure, like that offered by Japan’s First Airline, involving

virtual flights to New York complete with sightseeing and on-board meals.

At Diginetmedia in Schneeberg, one of the biggest virtual reality providers

in the tourism segment, the fundamental change in user behaviour sparked

an idea: what would it be like to be able to see your accommodation even

before you make the trip? And how can travel agents secure important

market shares in the hard-fought tourism sector? Diginetmedia makes use

of the technologies for virtual reality, bringing the holiday accommodation

or the cruise ship to compatible VR goggles. The concept has been well

received: more than 10,000 travel agents and six cruise companies are

already using the portal.

The alternative bike lock

Most bicycles are still secured against theft by means of heavy steel

chains and padlocks. Leipzig-based company founders Alexandra Baum

and Suse Brand have spent eight months developing a flexible, lightweight

alternative, however, in the form of their product tex-lock. The

textile rope consists of multiple layers of modern high-tech fibres, the

properties of which have also led to their use in space travel and the

automobile industry. The combination of rope, eyelets and lock boasts

a level of resistance comparable to that of a steel chain. Initial reactions

following the market launch of the young product were mixed, but the

e ntrepreneurs see this as an incentive to keep working on it. The next

stage of development will involve not only better theft protection, but

also electronics, alarm and sensor technology.

Remote support

Our grandparents’ generation is facing a dilemma: smartphones are too

complicated for them, yet they find the mobile phones designed for older

people to be too stigmatising. Without Skype and WhatsApp though, it’s

not easy to stay in touch with grandchildren living hundreds of kilometres

away. One solution is the asina app by Dresden-based company exelonix,

which offers a clear interface, making it easier to access the digital

world. And there’s another plus point: grandchildren can provide remote

support with its configuration. The tablet is managed via a web portal.

Using a login, relatives or friends can log various settings, addresses and

telephone numbers, set up a medication plan, upload photos or arrange

apps on the start screen. Another accessory is the blood pressure monitor,

which shows the data as a graphic on the tablet. The software is now

also available separately from the tablet for all common smartphones.



Big Data





short cut / Data as the raw material of the future / In

the Internet of Things alone, 20 billion devices are set to be

communicating with one another by 2020 / These connections

produce vast quantities of data / Using big data, self-learning

algorithms form smart data / The data sets supply us with power,

make investment decisions, optimise advertising or recognise

hacker attacks



Big Data



How much

data does

a person need?



»The key question is rather

how much transparency there is

with regard to the processing of

personal data. In the Germanspeaking

countries in particular,

users of digital networks want

sovereignty over their data –

protecting this is one of the most

important concerns of our time.«

( Thomas Vollmoeller, PhD, has been CEO

of career portal Xing since 2012. )



Big Data

A Man with a





Big Data


Christina Lynn Dier

‘Astro Alex’

has an



with him

on board

the ISS.



Space mission:

Alexander Gerst conducts over

50 European experiments on

board the ISS.


Return visit:

the geophysicist already

spent six months at the

outpost of mankind back

in 2014.

‘Horizons’ was the name astronaut Alexander

Gerst gave to his second mission on the International

Space Station (ISS). And that is quite fitting,

as his second stay 400 km above the Earth is indeed

intended to explore new horizons, including

in matters of digital self-measurement. Specifically,

Gerst has an experiment from Saxony on board

called Metabolic Space that analyses the human

metabolism. This innovative wearable system was

especially advanced for use on the ISS in a joint

project by the Institute of Aerospace Engineering

at Technische Universität (TU) Dresden and Leipzig-based

firm Cortex. Gerst is to wear the 600-

gram device a total of five times when he gets on

the treadmill during the six-month mission, to test

the state of his health and fitness. “In addition to

oxygen intake and carbon dioxide emission, the device

measures respiration, heart rate and treadmill

speed. This way we know how much air he needs


for which performance levels,” explains Markus

Siepmann, managing director of Cortex. Based on

this data, the experts on Earth calculate roughly

100 additional parameters.

Consequently, the experiment is very much

in line with the (earthly) trend: in future, the

enormous amounts of data that are already generated,

say, by networked machines will be complemented

by further huge amounts of medical

monitoring information. The use of big data technologies

could enable new insights for research

through the interplay of statistics, machine learning

and pattern recognition. This is also the hope

of those involved in the Metabolic Space project:

“This is not only about evaluating the physical fitness

of astronauts; results should also help prepare

future space tourists for their journey into outer

space,” says Siepmann. They could be provided

with a smart system for testing their physical fitness

before, during and after their stay in space,

entirely independently and without medical assistance.

And there is also the manned mission to

Mars that is scheduled to become reality in the

years after 2030. If a crew is to spend months travelling

to Mars, maintaining physical fitness will

play an even more crucial role.

Meanwhile, Cortex director Siepmann intends

to continue research. The company hopes to

make the current device smaller and lighter – also

for use on Earth – and at the same time it is to

provide even more information. And yes, the fact

that Alexander Gerst is using a Cortex device on

his mission “does make one proud – and also a little

sad when it burns up on re-entering the Earth’s

atmosphere”. ■



Virtual Reality





short cut / Virtual Reality / A reality that exists only

virtually, but in which one can move around and have experiences

and feelings / Virtual worlds are conquering the art scene,

facilitating unimagined perspectives / VR cameras transform

what has been experienced into 360-degree panoramic images /

For gamers, VR is the ultimate kick, while for medical practitioners

and technicians, it represents the future



Virtual Reality

Brave new world

‘The Birth of Venus’ is

displayed to the public

at the Uffizi Gallery in

Florence – and online,

since an Italian company

has now digitised Botticelli’s

work in high resolution.

The insights gained are not

available to the naked eye.



Virtual Reality






Sabine Simon


Gene glovER

How a hidden champion from Germany’s Ore Mountains

is setting standards with 360-degree cameras.



Virtual Reality




angles: digitised

art offers

young people

in particular an

entirely new

way of approaching


subject area.




Utmost precision:

before the systems go to the

customer, they are meticulously

tested and calibrated.


In production: the ‘piXplorer’

combines with a camera to produce

panoramic images in the

gigapixel range at the touch of

a button.


Hands-on work: in the

automated manufactory, the

company bridges the divide

between automated series production

and manual assembly.

This view shows the automatic

circuit board assembly.


Keeping it in the family:

with Hartmut Clauss, the

company is now in the hands of

the second generation.

The expertise is in the detail / When Hartmut

Clauss talks about his work, he uses no shortage of

superlatives. From Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’

in 16-gigapixel resolution to a panorama of the Malaysian

capital Kuala Lumpur with virtually 900 gigapixels:

these images are not just big, they are enormous.

One gigapixel corresponds to around 50 times

the resolution of a handheld camera, for example. Yet

the staff at Dr. Clauß Bild- und Datentechnik GmbH

are not photographers; rather, they supply the technology

that makes these sorts of photographs possible:

high-resolution 360-degree recording systems.

“Here, the expertise lies in the detail,” says Clauss.

Placed on a tripod, the company’s panoramic

heads direct the camera with which they are linked so

that the object to be photographed is automatically

scanned step by step. A gigapixel shot takes a few

minutes on average, while multiple lighting stages

or multispectral content can also be captured. Following

this, software reassembles the countless individual

images. This depth of detail is not visible to

the naked eye. The potential applications are manifold

and the systems much in demand: from virtual

tours for the tourism industry, which can be viewed

by means of VR headsets, to gigapixel and industry

photography, to the digitisation of artworks. ➔



Virtual Reality

Panoramas and virtual tours / Established in 1996,

the company from Zwönitz in Germany’s Erzgebirge

region (Ore Mountains) is now one of the world

leaders in its segment. The founder of the company,

Ulrich Clauss, handed over the operational management

to his son Hartmut a few years ago, but continues

to run the development department himself.

15 people work in the family-run company, which

manufactures all the parts and components of its

panoramic heads – in some cases even the camera –

in-house, distributing them across the world.

While the systems have already been in use

among police forces and security services for some

time – for example to create virtually explorable

crime scenes, to secure clues and evidence photographically,

or for the planning of deployments and

escape routes – new approaches are also emerging,

for example as part of the energy transition. Gigapixel

photography can help to save time and costs

in the maintenance of wind turbines, explains Hartmut

Clauss. “Efficient inspections permit shorter

test intervals and any material damage is recognised

much more quickly.”



Compatibility as standard:

the shots generated by the

panoramic heads can be viewed

using any VR headset, for

example the Oculus Rift or the

Samsung Gear VR.


Extraordinary panoramas:

gigapixel photography permits

entirely new insights, for

example into the burial chamber

of Pharaoh Ramses VI in

Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.


With its ‘Renaissance

experience’, Leipzig’s Kunstkraftwerk

has brought to life

the treasures of the Uffizi

Gallery in Florence by means

of cutting-edge technology.

150 of the most important

paintings are on display.




Art you can touch / In the last few years, many

museums and archives have also transitioned to digitising

their treasures for eternity – and have thus also

secured new sources of income. Digitised art offers

young people in particular an entirely new way of approaching

the subject area. At the beginning of 2018,

for example, works from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

were brought to life in Leipzig’s Kunstkraftwerk. The

panoramic heads from Zwönitz were involved here

too. Alongside projections on the eight-metre-high

walls, visitors were also able to use large touchscreens

to delve into paintings by such artists as Sandro Botticelli,

Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and

Michelangelo, with options to view and zoom into individual

paintings. The digitisation itself was initiated

by Italian firm Centrica.

If there’s a new record in gigapixel photography

anywhere in the world, the Zwönitz-based company

will likely be involved. And Hartmut Clauss is

not stopping there: “Our VR technology is already being

used in many new areas of application. We are continually

working on the further development of our

products – and thus also that of the entire industry.” ■

FACTS // Location: Zwönitz / Year of foundation:

1996 / Employees: 15 / CEO: Hartmut Clauss / Mission:

To explore new virtual worlds with 360-degree cameras







Adlassnigg, Fabio 69

Assadollahi, Ramin 39


Balfour, Lady Kinvara 5, 43

Baum, Alexandra 71

Beck, Monika 64

Berners-Lee, Sir Tim 43

Bether, Carsten 35

Böhringer, Martin 14, 16, 17

Boos, Hans Christian 38

Brand, Suse 71

Brandenburg, Paul 19

Bullinger-Hoffmann, Angelika 39


Claus, Sören 23

Clauss, Hartmut 79, 80

Clauss, Ulrich 80

Clooney, George 35

Curbach, Manfred 71


Feger, Karl-Otto 28

Fettweis, Gerhard 19

Fitzek, Frank 11

Franke, Andreas 69

Frenking, Stefanie 33

Freysoldt, Matthias 35


Gadowski, Lukasz 20, 31

Gerlach, Lutz 14, 16, 17

Gerst, Alexander 75

Ginzel, Beate 68

Gläss, Rainer 18

Grosa, Patrick 11


Haase, Robert 34

Hillenbrand, Katja 18

Hofstetter, Yvonne 40


Ittner, Andreas 62, 64


Janszky, Sven Gabor 44

Jasper, Anna 58, 60

Jäschke, Sandra 58

Jentzsch, Christoph 64

Jobs, Steve 31


Knie, Andreas 23

Koederitz, Martina 3, 44


Lehner, Wolfgang 40

Leischnig, Steffen 34

Leitermann, Franziska 27, 28

Lohrer, Artur 35


Maier, Robin 34

Montag, Christian 9

Möckel, Hendrik 34

Musk, Elon 44


Nakamoto, Satoshi 62

Nida-Rümelin, Julian 24

Nyderle, Oliver 28


Pahl-Weber, Elke 68, 69

Petsch, Tino 48, 49, 51

Posselt, Thorsten 40


Reichelt, Dirk 55, 56

Richter, Martin 69

Ritter, Teresa 27, 28

Rojas, Raúl57

Rooke, Philip 31, 32, 33

Rost, Thomas 60

Rudolph, Sebastian 41


Scheeren, Ole 3, 43

Schmid, Wilhelm 60

Schumacher, Christoph 56

Seifert, Joachim 11

Siepmann, Markus 75

Slusallek, Philipp 40

Spiess, Matthias 31

Stenzel, Lukas 34

Streiter, Robin 22


Trautmann, Toralf 22, 23

Tumasjan, Andranik 64


Unger, Ronny 34


Voit, Brigitte 19

Vollmoeller, Thomas 73


Wagner, Tobias 69

Wagner, Uwe 51

Weger, Gesche 19

Weibel, Peter 39

Wijburg, Rutger 40

Wilhelm-Mauch, Frank 38

Wolf, Frank 14, 16, 17


Zehl, Sven 55




Annaberg-Buchholz 22, 23


Berlin 5, 11, 23, 43, 57, 68, 69



Chemnitz 5, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 39,

48, 49, 51, 62, 64

Cologne 13, 17


Dresden 11, 17, 19, 22, 23, 27, 35,

40, 41, 55, 56, 58, 64, 69, 71, 75


Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains)

5, 18, 34, 58, 60, 78, 80














Kuala Lumpur 79


Las Vegas 31


Leipzig 19, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35,

40, 44, 68, 69, 70, 71, 75, 80


Los Angeles 38



Meissen 58, 60

Mittweida 62, 64

Munich 24, 39, 40, 69


New York 5, 17, 71



Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge)

5, 18, 34, 58, 60, 78, 80


Paris 6, 67


Saarbrücken 38, 40

San Jose 51




Silicon Valley 5, 17, 19, 33, 49, 50



Tel Aviv 67
















AiServe Technologies 70

A. Lange & Söhne 60

Amazon 31, 33

Amt für Stadterneuerung und

Wohnungsbauförderung Leipzig

(Office for Urban Renewal) 68

AOK Plus 34

Apple 32, 35, 41


AG Verbrauchs- & Medienanalyse 6






Bertelsmann Foundation 7

Bitkom 6, 13, 27, 55, 56


Blockchain Competence Center

Mittweida 62

BMW 22, 68

Bosch 19, 55


BSI (Federal Office for

Information Security) 27


Capnamic Ventures 17



Constellation Research 7


Cloud & Heat 27, 28


Dahlem Center for Machine

Learning and Robotics 57


DFKI (German Research

Center for Artificial Intelligence) 40

Deutsche Telekom 11, 19


Dr. Clauß Bild- und

Datentechnik 79, 80






ExB Labs 39


Facebook 13, 16, 33

Federal Office for

Information Security (BSI) 27

First Airline 71

Fraunhofer IAO 7

Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic

Microsystems IPMS 64

Fraunhofer Institute for Process

Engineering and Packaging IVV 35

Fraunhofer Center for International

Management and Knowledge

Economy IMW 40

Freie Universität Berlin 57

Future Mobility Incubator 69





Gartner 64

German Federal Statistical Office 6

German Research Center

for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) 40

Gläserne Manufaktur Dresden 69

Google 13, 33, 38, 41, 64

GK Software 18


HHL Leipzig Graduate School of

Management 31, 34, 35, 70

HTW Dresden University of Applied

Sciences 22, 23, 55


IBM 19, 38, 44, 64

Infineon 40, 50, 55, 56

Innovation Center Computer

Assisted Surgery (ICCAS) 70

Instagram 13

Institute of Aerospace

Engineering TU Dresden 75

Institute of Artificial Intelligence

TU Dresden 41

Institute of Concrete Structures

TU Dresden 71

Institute of Processing Machines

and Mobile Machines

TU Dresden 35

Intel 20, 38

Intenta 17

International Data Corporation 6

IoCare 70

Inrix 38

IW German Economic Institute 13


Johannes Gutenberg University

Mainz 64


Kiwigrid 35

Kizoo Technology Capital 17


Leibniz Institute of Polymer

Research (IPF) Dresden 19

Leipzig University 39, 70

Lieferheld 31

LinkedIn 13, 16

LSA 34


München (LMU Munich) 24


Massterly 23


Forschungsverbund Südwest 7

Meissen Porcelain Manufactory 5

Microsoft 38

Mindance 34

Mister Spex 31

Mittweida University of Applied

Sciences 62

Møller-Mærsk 28


Naventik 22

Nomos Glashütte 58




Packwise 19

Phacon 34

Pinterest 13

Prudsys 17

PwC 13


Roland Berger 6

RWTH Aachen 11


Saarland University 38

Sensape 35

Siemens 16

Skype 71

Slack 16 64

Smart Infrastructure Hub 69

Smart Rail Connectivity Campus 22

Smart Systems Hub 11

Snapchat 13

SpinLab 34

Spredfast 13

Spreadshirt 30, 31, 32, 33

Staffbase 14, 17

StudiVZ 31

SQS 35


Telegram 13

Tencent 13, 41

Teramark Technologies 40

Tesco 32, 33

Tex-lock 71

Threema 13

Tilia 69

T-Systems Multimedia

Solutions 16, 28

TU Berlin 68

TU Chemnitz 22, 39

TU Dresden 11, 17, 19, 39, 40,

41, 71, 75

Twitter 13, 16


Ulm University 9

Unger Kabel-Konfektionstechnik 34


VNG ViertelEnergie 69

Viessmann 16

Volkswagen 38, 69

Volocopter 20, 23


Watttron 35

Wendt & Kühn 60

WhatsApp 13, 71

World Economic Forum 13

WZB Berlin

Social Science Center 23


Xing 73


YouTube 13


ZenCity 67

ZKM Center for Art and Media

Karlsruhe 39

2b Ahead ThinkTank 44

3D-Micromac AG 48, 49

5G Energy Hub 11

5G Lab 11, 17, 19



Special Trending Topics,

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,

© Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH 2018

Publishing house

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH,

Hellerhofstraße 2 – 4, 60327 Frankfurt am Main,

the service address for the responsible parties and

authorised representatives mentioned in the imprint.

Management board

Thomas Lindner (CEO), Volker Breid

Responsible for advertising: Ingo Müller;

for advertising production: Andreas Gierth

Project management

F.A.Z. Media Solutions Manufaktur,

Philipp T. Meyer

Editorial concept and design

FAZIT Communication GmbH,

Frankenallee 71 – 81, 60327 Frankfurt

Editorial team

Christina Lynn Dier (lead editor),

Stefanie Hutschenreuter, Boris Karkowski, Benjamin

Kleemann-von Gersum, Klaus Lüber, Doreen Reinhard,

Judith Reker, Sabine Simon, Juliane Streicher,

Guido Walter, Christiane Zimmer

Creative direction

Anita Mrusek


Westdeutsche Verlags- und Druckerei GmbH


The special issue Trending Topics was created in cooperation

with the Free State of Saxony, the Saxon State Chancellery,

and coordinated by Ketchum Pleon GmbH, Dresden.

Photo and illustration credits

p. 1 Lennart Gäbel | pp. 4 – 5 ESA/S. Corvaja, Gene Glover,

Volocopter, Joachim Baldauf, Thomas Meyer, Franziska Rieder,

Alex Bramall | pp. 6 – 7 nadla/Getty Images | p. 10 RoseStudio/

shutterstock | pp. 14 – 17 Gene Glover | pp. 18 – 19 Gene Glover,

Micas, TU Dresden, Amac Garbe, Ronald Bonss, Dipat | pp. 20 – 21

Volocopter | pp. 22 – 23 HTW Dresden/Peter Sebb, Anne Schwerin

| p. 26 iStock | p. 28 Brandon Laufenberg/iStock | pp. 30 – 33

Spreadshirt | pp. 34 – 35 André Gottschalk | pp. 36 – 37 agsandrew/shutterstock

| p. 39 Arvid Müller, Onuk, Michael Bader |

p. 40 TU Dresden, Infineon, Heimo Aga, Fraunhofer IMW, Uwe

Bellhäuser | p. 41 TU Dresden | p. 42 Alex Bramall | p. 43 Iwan

Baan | p. 44 IBM Deutschland, Roman Walczyna | pp. 47 – 51

Thomas Meyer | p. 54 Infineon | p. 55 HTW Dresden/Peter Sebb |

p. 59 Nomos Glashütte | p. 60 Wendt & Kühn, Meissen/Klaus

Tänzer | p. 63 buffaloboy/shutterstock | p. 64 | p. 66 Prasit

photo/Getty Images | pp. 68 – 69 Steven Lüdtke, Kai-Uwe Knoth |

pp. 70 – 71 Anje Jager | p. 74 ESA/S. Corvaja | p. 75 NASA/Getty

Images | pp. 76 – 77 Imagno/Getty Images | pp. 78 – 79 Gene

Glover | p. 80 Gene Glover, Salma Eldardiry, dpa


Modern Opulence




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and some 50 non-university research institutes, the region is notable for worldchanging

innovation and a vibrant start-up landscape. To discover the full range

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