VDMA: Digitisation must become a Top Topic in Engineering Studies

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"Digitisation must become a top topic in engineering science university teaching", emphasises Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of the VDMA, on the occasion of the annual report published on 27 February by the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI).

Excellence alone in industry 4.0 research, which undoubtedly exists in Germany, is by far not enough. "The universities must also keep pace with the rapid pace of digitisation in teaching and didactics and adapt their curricula accordingly".

A recent study by the IMPULS Foundation of the VDMA on "Engineers for Industry 4.0" has shown that many universities are still at the beginning of a change process. There are hardly any structured decision-making processes to include new content or delete old content. "But the adaptation of the curricula is urgent," emphasizes Rauen. "Presence and frontal teaching still play a central role, but at least within the faculties there is a lot going on. Thus hackathons and practical projects with companies found their way into the studies more strongly.

"Digitisation must also be lived out in teaching and learning methods."

Startup cooperation is established in mechanical engineering
"The close cooperation with practice pays off in both worlds", emphasizes Rauen. "In general, the startup topic has arrived in mechanical engineering and plant construction, as a recent survey among VDMA members has shown. "More than half of the respondents have already cooperated with start-ups in the last three years," reports Rauen. "In mechanical engineering, startups are not a marketing bubble, but a strategic approach that demonstrably generates value.

On 8 March 2019, the VDMA publishes the study "Startup affinity and strategy in mechanical and plant engineering". The study illuminates for the first time the demand for start-ups in the mechanical engineering industry. With Startup-Machine, the VDMA has established a platform that networks mechanical engineering companies with the best startups and imparts a startup culture. Among other things, a scouting tool, the VDMA Startup Radar, will be available from spring 2019. The radar identifies worldwide startups with mechanical engineering relevance, clusters them and provides information on startup trend fields as well as a multitude of startup contacts.