Newsletter of Fraunhofer IMW


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Dear readers,

Just what the full extent of the impact that the corona pandemic will have on small and medium-sized companies in Germany, Europe and worldwide is not yet completely foreseeable. However, the crisis is rapidly advancing one aspect that allows us to continue research and work with you at a healthy distance: digitization.

Assistance is provided, among others, by the team of the SME 4.0 Competence Center eStandards at Fraunhofer IMW, which supports the development of new digital services and business models. In this newsletter we focus on selected research projects and publications of Fraunhofer IMW on digitization. The research project EXPRESS: Digital Experimental Field is investigating data-driven networking and digitization in agriculture in cooperation with practitioners. In a recently published case study in Harvard Business Manager, Prof. Dr. Heiko Gebauer, project head of the Data Mining and Value Creation project at Fraunhofer IMW, focused on the challenges of digital transformation for companies. There is still a lot of potential in the area of digitization and health and in the current situation this has become evidently clear. As a result we present a study on digitization in the health insurance market. Whether and how a digital patient model is possible is investigated by the Fraunhofer lead project MED²ICIN, which combines the competencies of seven Fraunhofer institutes.

Stay healthy. Society, business, science and politics will work together to overcome this crisis and learn to live and work with the pandemic. As a socio-economic institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, we support #FraunhofervsCorona


Prof. Dr. Thorsten Posselt
Institute Director

Does the digitization of agriculture combine economic and environmental protection?

Together with small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises, the research team of the EXPRESS experimental field is creating a showcase for the potential of networked digital technologies in agriculture. This is paving the way for sustainable and efficient crop cultivation. As project partners, the Fraunhofer experts are supporting the science communication of the research project.

Interview series: How digital are fruit and wine growing?

The potential of digital solutions for agriculture has been highly discussed for years. However, how far has the practice progressed and what about the culture of innovation in regional farms? To find answers to these questions, the EXPRESS team spoke with experts from the Saxon fruit and wine growing sector.

Newsletter on the digitisation of agriculture

Are you interested in the topic of digitisation in agriculture and would like to stay informed about the EXPRESS project? Then subscribe to the newsletter of the EXPRESS project.

Fundraising #WirVsVirus Matching Fonds

The #WirVsVirus Hackathon organized by the German government has produced over 1500 solutions that can create real added value - if they are implemented now. Financial resources are currently being sought for the #WirVsVirus Matching Fond in order to turn ideas and prototypes into concrete products and services that will be of broad-based benefit. Not only will projects of the Hackathon be addressed but also all those who develop relevant solutions for the Corona crisis. The Matching Fond is supported by the Hackathon organisation team and is under the patronage of the Federal Chancellery. The Innovation Financing Unit plans to support the project of Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland (SEND), Startnext and the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung in the current crowdfunding process. Fraunhofer's team of experts can draw on research project expertise in crowdfunding, matching and innovative financing instruments.


Currently in demand: A study on the digitization of the health insurance market

The corona pandemic poses major challenges for all areas of healthcare - including statutory and private health insurance companies. In 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer IMW and the University of Leipzig, together with the Gesundheitsforen Leipzig, published a study on the status of digitization in public and private health insurance companies.


Do innovations die in sales?

Heiko Gebauer the head of the project, "Data Mining and Value Creation", addresses the challenges of digital transformation for companies in his case study for the Harvard Business Manager from January 2020. The aim of the "Data Mining and Value Creation" project at Fraunhofer IMW is to use application-oriented methods to measure the value of data. Software solutions should enable Saxon companies to use their data profitably.

Research and business come together - despite social distancing

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular are suffering from the current situation and the accompanying slump in orders. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, with the research expertise of all its Fraunhofer Institutes, can find solutions with many applications for industry, both during the pandemic and in the post-corona period. But how can researchers and companies come together? The hope for the perfect match is offered by a web application: Corporate Match.

The Innovation Policy and Transfer Design Unit at Fraunhofer IMW is developing this application, which supports Fraunhofer employees in finding suitable small and medium-sized companies for joint research activities.

Reading tips

Our recently published publications examine two further areas of digital transformation. The study "Crowdfunding and Credit Financing" analyses the opportunities and risks of crowdfunding as co-financing of a business start-up or product innovation for banks and savings banks. The thesis paper "Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Corporate Context" formulates theses on the future use of AI solutions for business and politics.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the corporate context

Crowdfunding and credit financing: A future co-financing model?