One of the great strengths of the economy in Mönchengladbach is the still high number of industrial jobs, combined with the dominant presence of traditional family businesses. Many of these often market-leading and successful companies have a high innovative spirit and a great interest in the benefits of digitisation – but by no means all of them. The WFMG has therefore made a commitment to support the digital transformation of medium-sized businesses to allow them to stay competitive in the future.
The WFMG concept “Mönchengladbach as experimental space” won over the independent jury of experts of the nationwide competition “DWNRW-Networks” in 2017. As a result, additional funding will be available for a period of 24 months to boost the digital transformation potential of small and medium-sized businesses with the help of start-ups. In the summer of 2018, for example, “Smart City Forum Niederrhein” was launched, the first such scheme to attract public attention.
Thanks to this additional funding, the business development agency can continue to work with the digital association nextMG and other project partners such as the Westend MG and the NEW’s Blauschmiede start-up centre to try out new ways of initiating digitisation projects and establish forward-looking networks for digital transformation together with young and digital-focused start-ups and existing companies.
The “Mönchengladbach as experimental space” have a double meaning here. On the one hand, they are spaces where creative professionals and medium-sized businesses are given the opportunity to look beyond their own horizon, exchange ideas and develop experimental and pioneering business models. On the other hand, the concept itself is an experiment that explores the best way to raise the digital transformation potential of medium-sized businesses with the help of start-ups.