Professional Development and Competence Management Unit

Second Virtual Networking Meeting of the Future Centers

News | Leipzig /

The second internal exchange meeting in the "Future Centers" program focused on common challenges and the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) module.

On March 2, 2021, the stakeholders of the ESF-funded program "Future Centers" met together with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the participating state ministries for a virtual exchange. The Chair of Innovation Management and Innovation Economics at Leipzig, headed by Prof. Dr. Thorsten Posselt, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IMW, supported by the Professional Development and Competence Management Unit, is involved in the project as a project partner.

Dr. Petra Gärtner, head of the Center for Digital Work, and Reimund Overhage from the BMAS opened the event and welcomed the participants. Afterwards, Dr. Markus Dicks from the Denkfabrik Digitale Arbeitsgesellschaft of the BMAS gave an insight into the activities of the Observatory "Artificial Intelligence in Work and Society", which will celebrate its first anniversary in March. Following on from this, Dr. Matthias Peissner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO presented the "KI-Ultra" project.

Since the networking meeting was originally to take place in Thuringia, the ZeTT - Zentrum digitale Transformation Thüringen (Center for Digital Transformation Thuringia) was represented as an input provider: Prof. Dr. Heike Kraußlach from the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena and Dr. Thomas Engel from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena reported on initial experiences in the development of company teaching and learning concepts. Practical examples and digital application scenarios from the Thuringian metal and logistics industry and the retail sector were presented.

In the further course of the virtual day event, there were eight thematic workshops offering a wide range of opportunities for joint exchange on the work and thematic focal points of the Future Centers. Each Future Center organized a thematic workshop and encouraged exchange and discussion among and with the participants. The two research assistants from Leipzig University and Fraunhofer IMW, Dr. Dirk-Förster-Trallo and Tom Herzberg, presented a workshop on the knowledge pool of the Center for Digital Work as part of the event. This provided an exchange platform on the structure and design of the digital tools and was able to set important impulses for further exchange and future collaboration in the project. The results were then summarized on the virtual stage in the form of flashlights.

In their closing remarks, Funda Salomon from the BMAS and Dr. Petra Gärtner thanked the workshop leaders and participants for their input and looked to the future: The next event planned is the second annual labor policy conference in the "Future Centers" program on June 22, 2021. Until then, the practical work of the Future Centers to support companies and workforces will continue to take shape.

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Project Financing

The “Center for Digital Work” project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the European Social Fund as part of the “Future Centers” program and is additionally co-financed by the Free State of Saxony, represented by the Saxon State Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transport.

Project Partners