On the occasion of the third exchange of experience Workshop Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum invited the UpGradeSME consortium and stakeholders to Stuttgart. After the project meeting on the first day, Steinbeis organized a full day study tour to give the project partners and stakeholders an understanding of the German policy instrument.

First, the group met Edgar Grundstein and Professor van der List from TZM GmbH in Göppingen. TZM is one of the 1000 Steinbeis units and provides first-class engineering services to companies in the automotive, medical and automation industries. Applying the Steinbeis Model of Technology Transfer, TZM started to use the laboratories of the University of Applied Sciences in Esslingen in 1991 to support SMEs in sales and marketing activities. The concentration of know-how and lively exchange with research facilities ensure the decisive technological advancement and make TZM one of the most successful company of the Steinbeis Foundation.

Back in the premises of the Steinbeis Foundation in Stuttgart, SEZ invited Dr. Marlene Gottwald from the Ferdinand-Steinbeis-Institut (FSTI) for digitization and networking. Dr. Gottwald presented institute which is also part of the international Steinbeis network. In the context of Industry 4.0, the FSTI addresses the changes in the industrial ecosystem and value added resulting from the increasing merging of physical objects and embedded IT systems in conjunction with comprehensive Internet-based networking.