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22. December 2022

Almost two years of the Future Center for AI NRW

The partners of the Future Center for AI NRW presented the results of one and a half years of consulting and qualification practice on 28 November 2022 at the symposium “Shaping transformation together and qualifying employees” in Düsseldorf. Successful practical examples and success factors for digitalisation in SMEs were presented.

The two labour market experts Fabian Langenbruch (BMAS) and State Secretary Matthias Heidmeier (MAGS) reported on changes in the world of work and on support services offered by the federal and state governments to secure skilled labour in the context of the corporate digital and ecological transformation, especially of SMEs in NRW.

“The state government has launched a skilled labour offensive in order to leverage existing potential at home and to market work in NRW internationally. The way we shape the digital transformation of our economy is incredibly important for the success of the skilled labour offensive: because digitalisation raises the potential of companies, creates new jobs, but also poses major challenges to entire workforces. I am thinking here of the adaptation of business models and work processes, or the necessary training and further education to keep up with progress. The state government’s clear position is that digitisation is not something that can be done against the employees, but only in close cooperation with them. That is why our North Rhine-Westphalian Future Centre is of particular value to me. Here, the consortium is made up of precisely those actors who work in direct cooperation with employees, works councils and companies for a transformation of the world of work based on partnership. Moreover, the social partnership orientation of the consortium is not only clear evidence of social partnership in action in North Rhine-Westphalia, but also indispensable for the success of the transformation.”

State Secretary Matthias Heidmeier | Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (MAGS)

The more than 100 participants were able to gain a lot of inspiration, especially in the context of the demonstrator exhibition, and discuss their specific questions in detail with experts in two workshops. The keynote speech “Changing the world of work through digital transformation” by Prof. Dr. Christof Röhrig of Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts provided valuable impetus and the science slammer Dr. Maximilian Bock needed to get to the point: “Something cool with digitalisation”. At the same time, the focus was also on the future. SMEs were able to find out how the Zukunftszentrum KI NRW can provide support in the coming years beyond the topic of digitalisation and AI to the challenges of the ecological transformation of companies.

“We are pleased that the Zukunftszentrum will also be able to support small and medium-sized businesses in NRW as a competent contact partner in the next four years. Entrepreneurs but also works councils can turn to our team of 40 experts in the fields of consulting and qualification with their questions and ideas on digitalisation and ecological change.”

Jürgen Schnitzmeier | Managing Director of ZENIT GmbH and consortium leader of the Future Center for AI NRW project.

The tasks of the stakeholders remain diverse: The focus is on elaborating and presenting the potentials of digitalisation and the use of AI in order to derive impulses for new innovative work and business processes and thus strengthen the competitiveness of the companies. Furthermore, the advisors of the Future Center for AI NRW identify obstacles to digitalisation and automation and work together with company management and employees to develop a participative, human-centred design of work and technology.

Futher information is available here