The region must quickly develop a concept for receiving funds from the federal government

As part of its economic stimulus package, the federal government is promising a bonus program for the automotive industry worth two billion euros. Innovations should be demanded. But it is still unclear who will benefit and how – and this is precisely where the opportunity for ideas from the region lies. This was one of the findings of a virtual panel discussion between representatives of regional business and science and lisa badum, a member of the green parliament, about the transformation process in the automotive industry. The roundtable was moderated by ute schmid, professor of applied informatics at the university of bamberg and member of the bamberg future council.

Independent of the drive train

Even before corona, the automotive industry was facing a drop in sales and was in the midst of structural change, which was particularly hard on the region’s small and medium-sized suppliers. Now the corona crisis is exacerbating the problems even further. "Small and medium-sized suppliers in particular can defy the crisis, the innovations are there, independent of the powertrain, but we have to take the people with us. Because they are our greatest potential", stressed lisa badum and speaks in this context of mandatory qualification in short-time work phases and clear political guidelines, such as an end date for the burnout, so that companies can adapt.

"The industry will take five to ten years to adapt. We simply need time, said timo piwonski from the company iprotex and markus zirkel, works council member at schaeffler hirschaid. "For us at schaeffler, the type of powertrain and the progress of the digitalization processes are crucial for a successful transformation", zirkel stated. "Ultimately, it’s about finding niches and reducing or at least cushioning dependencies", on the other hand piwonski described. His company from munchberg produces technical textiles not only for cars, but also for railroads and airplanes.

Pact for the region adopted

Karl-heinz gerholz, professor of business education at the university of bamberg, said: "we need a stronger dialog between the education and employment systems." He means cooperation between regional companies and the university. All participants in the discussion agreed that with the right investments, bamberg can grow into an exemplary region for transformation processes. Together with zirkel and piwonski, badum therefore ultimately adopted a pact for the region. Together, they want to continue their efforts to attract funds to the region, to demand innovation and, above all, to strengthen cooperation. Stakeholders now had to develop common criteria for the transformation region of bamberg and franconia and present them to the ministry of economics.

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