The digital revolution is rapidly transforming every aspect of business and industry and is becoming a key factor in companies' competitiveness. Industry 4.0 refers to the digitisation of industrial processes but digitisation is also making inroads into the retail sector and many of the trades. Bremeninvest's Industry 4.0 network is bringing together companies and institutes in the Bremen region and driving forward the digital transformation. We help to implement digital initiatives, optimise processes, develop new business models and put in place the technological framework. This involves changing how companies are organized so that they cater to new trends in work practices, and bringing in new production technologies such as 3D printing and additive layer manufacturing.
To promote digitisation and Industry 4.0, we provide support to companies in the form of networks, R&D programmes and funding for consultancy services. An extensive range of loans and equity investments are also available to help businesses take the necessary steps to thrive in the market. Our team of expert advisors ensure that every organization is able to find the right partners to implement their very own digital strategy.
The initiatives focus on infrastructure, the development of new business models, and how companies will need to reorganise because of the new technological realities, the fast-changing markets and the transformation of work practices.
Start-ups are given all the support they need in Bremen. High-quality office space in the form of business incubators is available at the Bremen Innovation and Technology Centre (BITZ) and the Bremen World Trade Centre. Entrepreneurs and start-ups can take their first steps in business in the 'seed rooms', while the BRUT coaching programme offered by Bremen's development bank (Bremer Aufbau-Bank) will give them all the help they need to successfully launch on the market. There is also an extensive programme of events tailored to newly established companies.
Bremen is a partner of the SME 4.0 centre of excellence for Lower Saxony and Bremen. The centre facilitates the sharing of knowledge and expertise between business and academia by providing information and consultancy services and running specific projects. This helps companies to access the external input that is so often key to developing their ideas.
Materials are a factor in a wide variety of industries, and lightweight, durable materials in particular are needed in everything from ships, cars and planes to wind turbines and satellites. Digital technologies such as 3D printing are becoming increasingly important in the materials sector. Companies can now use additive layer manufacturing (ALM) to produce high-strength components for specialist applications.
ALM will be taking manufacturing technologies in whole new directions over the coming years. Bremen is gaining a reputation across Germany as a specialist region for this field. We are home to the Rapid Prototyping Centre, for example, while Materialise GmbH and the dental technology experts at BEGO Group are leading the way in 3D printing.
ALM as a technology represents a synthesis of innovative materials and Industry 4.0 and is highly relevant for the Bremen region. Aerospace, medical equipment and automotive engineering are key application areas for ALM.
Dr.-Ing. Norbert Möllerbernd
BAB Bremer Aufbau-Bank
Innovation manager, innovative materials
P +49 (0) 421 9600-345
DIGILAB Brennerei 4.0
DIGILAB Brennerei 4.0 works on the challenges of tomorrow with interdisciplinary teams drawn from universities. It uses an extensive network of experts and proven, innovative methods to develop business models and solve problems, helping companies to incorporate new technologies and adapt to fast-changing markets. DIGILAB Brennerei 4.0 works with the region's IT firms to open up future trends to the wider business community.
Funding for consultancy services
To successfully digitise, your business will need outside help. We can provide financial assistance for the services of consultants drawn from the Bremen Industry 4.0 network.
Research and development
Developing, testing and introducing new technologies often represents a major risk. For SMEs in particular it is important to reduce the barriers to investment and development. Our research and development programme uses regional and EU funds to help them minimise risks and realise their ideas.
You will find an overview of the various support programmes in our Funding & Support section.
In December 2014, ORTEC GmbH moved from Lower Saxony to Bremen. The software specialist hoped to strengthen its market position by moving to the city’s Überseestadt district. Around three and a half years later, we got in touch with the company again to ask whether the move has been a success.
You rarely get the opportunity to try out musical instruments when you buy them online. Bremen-based start-up TonePedia has developed a piece of software that allows musicians to properly compare guitars, bass guitars, amplifiers and effect products online. This saves time and reduces the number of returns and the associated cost.
Is this what sales assistants of the future will look like? Bremen start-up company Blackout Technologies develops software based on artificial intelligence, unlike any other software in Europe. Before long, we’ll be greeted by their robot Pepper in shops, at trade fairs or even in care homes. We visited Bremen’s robot lab to find out more.
The research alliance ROBEX is sending robots up active volcanoes and down into the deepest and darkest seas. Working across disciplines, the 120 scientists of the 16 institutes involved are breaking new ground on this project. They have been eagerly waiting to find out what has happened to the TRAMPER diving robot, which has been exploring the deep seas around Spitsbergen for a year. Now they are ready to bring it back.
A growing number of companies are becoming more aware of their social and environmental footprint, and are looking for ways to act with greater environmental and social responsibility. Germany’s north-west is set to become the national centre for social entrepreneurship in logistics. A new platform is under development and the first round of events is being planned to achieve this goal.
This new master’s degree at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences prepares students for the future and offers them excellent job prospects.
BLG Logistics Group is a major player in logistics with 18,000 employees. It established the Digilab in Bremen as a core element of its digitalisation. The company’s premises are reminiscent of start-ups in Silicon Valley, and there are good reasons for that.
FabLab Bremen invites visitors to learn about new manufacturing technologies and try their hand at everything from laser cutters to printing and programming. Digital technology enthusiasts of all ages and programmers of all abilities are welcome here. And it is not long before they can put what they have learnt to good use.
A great deal of manual labour goes into aircraft construction. Despite this – or perhaps even because of it – Airbus is changing its approach to make increased use of digital technologies. It’s also researching the applications of new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing. And not a moment too soon, as Airbus’ site manager in Bremen, Dr André Walter, explains in our interview.