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"Heads are looking for heads - successful cooperation event

Successful transfer event of Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society  in cooperation with IHK Pfalz, MRN GmbH and Ludwigshafen City Council with funding from the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Science and Health (MWG RLP) - Karoline Gönner, MWG Head of Department for Knowledge Transfer at Universities: "Transfer is central to every modern university, a cross-sectional task that must be considered in all areas and makes an important contribution to remedying the shortage of skilled workers."

On 10.11.2023, the Center for Research and Cooperation (ZFK) of the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society (HWG LU) and its partners invited all companies and organizations in the region interested in cooperation to the transfer event "Kopf sucht Köpfe"" at the university's East Asia Institute. The meeting focused on the following questions:What different forms of cooperation does the HWG LU offer for regional companies and state or civil society organizations? How do companies and institutions interested in transfer come into contact with academia and future graduates? Who provides fast, competent and uncomplicated help with problems in the fields of business and health? And to what extent do companies and universities benefit from such transfer projects?

Answers to these and many other questions were provided briefly and succinctly in the first part by the keynote speeches, which used concrete examples to illustrate the entire range of transfer opportunities, from Bachelor's theses and education research projects to classic contract research and large third-party funded projects: Daniel Meyer, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Ludwigshafen am Rhein, and Prof. Dr. Frank Thomé, for example, jointly presented a Master's thesis from the field of business informatics: entitled "Possible applications of digital twins for smart cities using the example of the City of Ludwigshafen", a platform concept including a feasibility study for a Smart City Dash Board was developed here in just six weeks.

Markus Wunder, BASF Workforce Enablement, then gave an insight into the joint education and research project "Generative AI@BASF", presenting the extent to which artificial intelligence can help reduce bureaucracy together with two students. In the project led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Lacher, small student groups worked intensively on the automation of repetitive documentation tasks such as protocols and, in addition to formulating clear work instructions for the AI, also developed a manual for employees - "an important impulse and, at the time, also a competitive advantage," said Wunder.

From the field of health economics, Prof. Dr. Elke Raum, together with Dr. Stefan Edinger, Deputy Head of Strategic Corporate Development at AOK Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland, presented an education research project dealing with the topic of transition, the transition phase from child to young adult: The aim was to develop the concept of a digital platform for young people with bronchial asthma or type 1 diabetes who are slowly outgrowing the care provided by pediatric and adolescent medicine. "The fresh perspective from outside and the proximity of the students to the target group provided us with important new impetus," said a delighted Dr. Stefan Edinger.

An example of classic contract research was then provided by Prof. Dr. Stephan Weinert from the Department of Marketing and Human Resources Management, who took a closer look at Vodafone University's personnel development website on behalf of the university. The initial question: Why is this website not as well received by employees as hoped and how can this be changed? "Universities are not management consultancies and do not want to sell products. They provide neutral advice according to scientific standards and also offer an attractive cost-benefit ratio," Weinert concluded.

Marc Brandt from the university-affiliated Institute for Employment and Employability (IBE) then provided information on "InSkills2Go", a third-party funded project funded by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs as part of the German government's national further training strategy, which offers small and medium-sized companies support in the further training jungle. This project includes the development of an IT tool for strategic personnel planning and individual skills needs analysis, a further training database including a search and offer platform, networking events and advice. In addition to the IBE, a consortium of scientists and employers' associations from the metal, electrical and chemical industries are also involved.

At the Degree, Philipp Tachkov from the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI) at HWG LU presented the "BrotWert" project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. This focuses on cross-media consumer communication for bakery customers in order to increase the appreciation of high-quality bread and baked goods and reduce food waste. The project, in collaboration with the medium-sized company Bäcker Görtz GmbH, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, is supported by the Zentralverband des Deutschen Bäckerhandwerks e.V. and will run until September 2024.

Moderated by the humanoid robot Nao, a cooperation project between the business informatics degree programs and the Ludwigshafen City Library, the following panel discussion featured Peter Johann, Managing Director of metropolitan area Rhine-Neckar GmbH; Dr. Tibor Müller, Managing Director of the Palatinate Chamber of Industry and Commerce; University President Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Prof. Dr. Rainer Völker, Scientific Director of the university-affiliated Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI), Martin Faust, Head of Rehabilitative Care at AOK Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland and Daniel Meyer, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Ludwigshafen, answered questions from moderator Dr. Katharina Klüver-Beck.

Their conclusion: all sides benefit from cooperative projects between universities and companies. Important success factors for successful collaboration are discussions at eye level, clear objectives, good preparation on the part of the company and specific contact persons on both sides. "It's all about people," Peter Johann from MRN summed it up. It is also important that the university makes its offers transparent and provides structural support. HWG LU, with its focus on business and society, is a very good fit for the metropolitan region and the companies and institutions based here, added university president Gunther Piller. "The event showed that the university in Ludwigshafen is not an inaccessible ivory tower," said Dr. Tibor Müller from the Palatinate Chamber of Industry and Commerce with satisfaction. The only thing left to do now is to motivate SMEs to get in touch with the university - the time is right to start working together, said Müller. Degree Johann addressed a request to the MWG RLP: For the metropolitan area Rhine-Neckar with three federal states, cross-state funding is essential.

At the "Market of Opportunities", transfer-oriented institutions and research-oriented protagonists of the university then presented themselves and answered the guests' questions:

  • Prof. Dr. Elke Raum / Prof. Dr. Eveline Häusler: Questions from companies in the healthcare sector
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Thomé / Prof. Dr. Johannes Kals: Smart Energy Management in the context of sustainability
  • Pof. Dr. Stefan Bongart: Tool-supported economic efficiency comparison of vehicles with alternative drive systems
  • Prof. Dr. Elmar Günther: Strategic Marketing and Customer Value & Business Modelling
  • Prof. Dr. Maximilian Coblenz / Prof. Dr. Klaus Freyburger: Data science, machine learning / AI, big data, simulation / statistical methods for small samples
  • Prof. Dr. Manuel Vermeer / Prof. Dr. Frank Rövekamp / Prof. Dr. Barbara Darimont: Questions from companies about China, Japan, Korea and possibly India
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Lacher: Innovation Management
  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Weinert: personnel issues
  • Prof. Dr. Christina Stadler: Entrepreneurship/Foundation
  • Prof. Dr. Laura Ehm: Wine tourism and social media marketing
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Thomaschewski / Prof. Dr. Rainer Völker / Philipp Tachkov: Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI)
  • Marc Brandt: Institute for Employment and Employability (IBE)
  • Dr. Andrea Kuhn: Health Research Network
  • Sabine Tarulli: Germany Scholarship
  • Holger Roßberg:  EMPOWER - Living cooperation and shaping innovation
  • Prof. Dr Gerhard Raab - Behavioral Science Research Laboratory
  • Bettina Stier: WirtschaftsEntwicklungGesellschaft Ludwigshafen am Rhein mbH (W.E.G)

Specialist contact:
Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society
Center for Research and Cooperation (ZFK)
Tel.: 0621/5203 -380, -262 or -413
E-mail: forschung@ 8< SPAM protection, please remove >8 hwg-lu.de

Group photo robotics project
At the "Market of Opportunities", business informatics students presented their robotics project in cooperation with the Ludwigshafen City Library (Image: HWG LU)
Peter Johann and Dr. Tibor Müller
From left: Peter Johann, Managing Director of the metropolitan area Rhine-Neckar GmbH and Dr. Tibor Müller, Managing Director of the Palatinate Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Image: HWG LU)
Karoline Gönner
Karoline Gönner, MWG RLP (Image: HWG LU)
Group picture panel discussion
(from left): Prof. Dr. Rainer Völker, Scientific Director of the Institute for Management and Innovation; University President Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Peter Johann, Managing Director of metropolitan area Rhine-Neckar GmbH; Dr. Tibor Müller, Managing Director of IHK Pfalz and moderator Dr. Katharina Klüver-Beck


Dr. Elena Wassmann

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