Transformation hub to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in digital ecosystems in value chains of manufacturing companies


Georg Schnauffer

ARENA2036 e.V.


Access to data ecosystems for SMEs

The KoPa35c initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) enables manufacturing companies in the automotive industry to establish lighthouse projects in the context of digitalization. Transfer-X aims to present the results of these projects to SMEs so that they can take them up, adapt them to their requirements and implement them quickly.

Support of transformation processes in the automotive industry

Transfer-X provides interested companies with fast and targeted access to project results in the context of data ecosystems. The aim is to transfer developed technologies and tools to the industry and thus to scale the developed services, apps, connectors and other solutions.

The focus of Transfer-X is the bundling of project results with regard to the end-to-end digitization of the automotive value chain from the supplier and machine builder to the use and recycling of the car. Through this digitalization approach, transparent and resilient structures are transferred to many companies in the value chain and form a basis for sustainable production. The core task of Transfer-X thus lies in transferring the project results into transfer modules and making them available digitally, as well as in developing suitable transfer paths.

It is therefore the goal of Transfer-X to establish a transformation hub that not only makes the project results of the KoPa35c initiative available to other companies along the automotive value chains, but also actively accompanies the transfer to SMEs, thus going one step further than conventional exploitation approaches.

Preparation of content in a digital learning platform

The transformation hub Transfer-X consolidates the results of the funding projects relevant to the transformation of the automotive, supplier and equipment industry with significant digitization contributions with regard to a coherent overall transfer.

With the help of digital transfer modules, which will be offered on a platform in the future, the content will be multiplied and disseminated in the mostly medium-sized industry. Particular focus is placed here on various access paths and digital formats that consistently exploit the full potential of the "new normal" of digital communication and collaboration. This ensures significantly greater reach and connectivity to the company-specific initial situations than via conventional presence formats. In addition, such formats reduce the need for travel and thus the time required, and allow the offerings to be used flexibly in terms of time.

The hub considers the content and results of the KoPa35c projects and other research activities in terms of their transferability to industrial SMEs. Transfer-X is able to translate project results into understandable and relevant messages and use cases. This domain knowledge is the working basis for communication of research results in a way that is understandable from a practical point of view. In this way, a practice-oriented communication will be established, which enables SMEs to quickly understand the results of the research and to integrate them into their own processes.

What is a transformation hub?

Transfer-X is a publicly funded project that was approved as part of the funding announcement "Establishment and implementation of transformation hubs to support transformation processes in value chains in the automotive industry" by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMWK) dated October 5, 2021.

The aim of the funding announcement is to support the relevant stakeholders in the regions affected by the structural change of the automotive and supplier industry along the entire value chain of the automotive industry in the necessary transformation in terms of thematic content quickly and sustainably, in particular through knowledge transfer.

To this end, thematically oriented transformation hubs are to be designed, established and operated along relevant value chains in the automotive and supplier industry. Based on their respective knowledge of the thematic focus(s), they are to highlight and bundle current, economic and technological trends, R&D results and state-of-the-art digitization technologies and applications of their thematic focus(s) and prepare them for transfer in the regions.

In contrast to other transformation hubs, Transfer-X is not oriented toward a dedicated value chain of a core automotive component, but positions itself as a thematic cross-sectional hub. The core topic is a holistic view of all topics required for the cross-company digitization of value chains.