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 was 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 was able to work with the digital association nextMG and other project partners such as 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.
“Mönchengladbach as experimental space” has a double meaning here. On the one hand, the project represented spaces where creative professionals and medium-sized businesses were 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 was an experiment that explored the best way to raise the digital transformation potential of medium-sized businesses with the help of start-ups.