Smart cities, strong partners – the Digital Hubs in Dresden and Leipzig are working together to create the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart city dreams and Industry 4.0 are becoming reality here thanks to research into infrastructures and systems. Both locations create a central platform in the region for application-oriented solutions in key industries and ensure that exciting ideas are turned into innovative products.
Dresden and Leipzig have different areas of focus that complement one another: While the focus in Leipzig is on the development of smart infrastructure in the areas of energy, smart cities, e-health and cross-sectional technologies, the emphasis in Dresden is on the interaction of hardware, software and connectivity. The region thus benefits from the expertise of both cities as a visionary IoT location.
Leipzig is getting things started: Saxony's largest city has long been regarded as an attractive and up-and-coming start-up location. Numerous educational establishments with a wide range of research projects serve as a driving force here. As the Hub’s backer, the SpinLab nurtures start-ups in the fields of e-health, smart cities and energy. The focus here is on coaching and mentoring as well as on supporting teams during the foundation stage and throughout various phases of growth, making it possible to turn unique business ideas into reality. The SpinLab has a large network of companies, facilitating cooperation partnerships with those interested in founding a company. The mission: to combine and promote entrepreneurship with a spirit of innovation – and not just in Central Germany.
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The Leipzig-based start-up mementor has been granted licences to operate as an ‘app on prescription’. As a result, patients can use the web application and the app if they suffer from non-organic insomnia, i. e. have difficulty falling asleep, wake up too early or find it hard to fall into a deep sleep phase. This gives patients the opportunity to receive a kind of therapy that is largely risk-free and does not produce side effects like synthetic drugs. mementor was founded in Zurich, but the start-up later relocated its headquarters to Leipzig as part of seed financing measures.
The regional energy supplier enviaM is working alongside the Leipzig start-up Flynex, using drones to permit the visual and digital inspection and maintenance of high-voltage lines. The footage is automated with the aid of software and evaluated with the assistance of AI applications, enabling any damage, including storm damage, wear and tear or overload, to be detected autonomously. Flynex is a nationwide pioneer in this field: the use of drones on power lines is the first of its kind in Germany. enviaM and Flynex got to know one another through the Smart Infrastructure Hub Leipzig.
The SpinLab Accelerator helps teams to set up companies and stimulates the growth of their innovative business ideas. The mission is to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Central Germany and beyond in the area of start-up funding. The start-up teams remain independent – with a tailored programme and no share entitlements. The focus here is on energy, smart cities and e-heath.
The Saxon capital is not only home to established microelectronics companies and many software companies, but is also a pioneer in the field of 5G and 6G. As such, the Smart Systems Hub Dresden is working on the vision of a fully connected world. The aim is to accelerate innovations in the industrial environment and to implement leading IoT technologies. To this end, the hub provides access to reference solutions and technologies, creates spaces for cooperation between industry partners, start-ups and SMEs and develops concepts, prototypes, minimum viable products (MVPs) and viable IoT business models in methodically managed co-innovation processes. In addition, co-innovation formats for IoT solutions are offered in the form of the Digital Product Factory and the Thin[gk]athon.
Faces behind the Hub
The Dresden start-up Wandelbots has developed a TracePen with which industrial robots can be trained quickly and without IT knowledge. Expensive programming processes are thus no longer necessary. VW's Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden and the start-up have entered into a cooperation partnership. The state of Saxony is supporting Wandelbots via the Smart Systems Hub Dresden.
Packwise is a Dresden-based technology start-up founded in 2017. It provides an innovative IIoT solution that enables customers in the chemical and food industries to generate transparency along the supply chain. The Packwise Smart Cap plug and play device records location, fill level and movement sensor data with high precision in real time. This data is then displayed on the Packwise Flow software platform.
Customers – the challenge owners – use the Thin[gk]athon as a basis for making decisions with regard to their IoT concepts. The hub makes available software and tech experts and provides the development environment for this purpose. In a protected space, the development teams show how IoT solutions may look – in just four days. The most promising ideas are nurtured until they are ready for market.
Digital Product Factory
In the Digital Product Factory, a project team made up of experts and coaches works as an accelerator on customers’ ideas. The aim is to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) in just three months. The role of the Smart Systems Hub is to provide the necessary space, to support the process methodically and to involve the right partners and cross-industry experts.