Visiting Greifswald – an underestimated city in the outskirts of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

“Honestly, we didn’t expect such a beautiful city”, noted Harri and Helena, our Next2Met-project partners from Finland and Ireland.

WITENO welcomed the Lead Partner and other project partners in the dynamic Greifswald, a city striving to become a digital, sustainable front-runner in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV), hopefully serving as a future model for other cities in MV.

Digitalisation covers many aspects of working and private life. In our rural Next2Met-areas digitalisation brings about many new opportunities to become regions of knowledge, capital and work force. To seize these opportunities, the partners met with the most relevant regional stakeholders, working in a variety of fields, from education to health, community-building and start-up support.

With the Next2Met-project we have the opportunity to structure today’s many different digitalisation approaches, adapting solutions to fit into our rural regions, to tackle the specific challenges our next-to-metropolitan areas are facing, says Harri Kuusela, Lead Partner of the project

Partners met first of all with Prof. Ines Sura, Professor for media pedagogy at the University of Greifswald, having a look at different digital solutions for education. To show us regional solutions for elementary school pedagogy, her institute has built up stations to explain different tools used to for young people to learn to handle media and digital tools in a responsible, constructive and healthy way.

On the other hand, SME’s can very well use such tools, especially in their simplified form for young people, as they are ready-to-use for digital beginners and can motivate their employees to approach digital solutions. 

In addition, partners met with the Chief Digitalisation Officer of University Clinic of Greifswald, Toralf Schnell, as well as his colleague responsible for corporate and regional development, Kai Lippold and the CEO of the start-up gwa-Hygiene, Tobias Gebhardt. During this exchange project partners from Poland and Spain were also able to join online thanks to the digital connections in the Digital Innovation Center Greifswald.

Tobias Gebhardt demonstrated a prize-winning solution for patients who are not familiar with the often confusing University Clinic’s building: hand disinfectant dispensers which serve for indoor navigation inside the University Clinic’s building, providing precise digital guidance through the building thanks to the on-the-spot-solution.

 After a tour through the Digital Innovation Center Greifswald, partners met with Prof. Joscha Diehl, professor for mathematics and informatics in University of Greifswald, who developed together with other colleagues the MakerSpace Greifswald, a community hub equipped with laser printers, 3D-printers and working areas for e.g. start-ups. Prof. Joscha Diehl is as well developing AR- and VR-solutions as well as Unity-courses for beginners in games development together with the FabLab in Szczecin, Poland, funded by Interreg Brandenburg-Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-Poland.