This year’s SME conference was all about the innovative strength of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are seen as the key drivers for new fields of research and the rapid development of markets. Experts, entrepreneurs and researchers gathered under the motto “Innovation in a hurry” to discuss the role of SMEs in turning key technologies into marketable products and services. After the SME conference did not take place for several years due to the pandemic, this year’s event was particularly large because many organizations from previous years were also represented.
The flexibility and speed of SMEs was emphasized, especially when it comes to getting involved in new areas of research. The need for SMEs to be strong in research was emphasized in order to meet the challenges of the times. In the midst of technological leaps, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence, fundamental questions were addressed on how to achieve even better success.
One of the central discussions focused on the digital solutions developed through SME cooperation projects. Companies proudly presented their innovative approaches and technologies that not only enable efficient business processes, but also contribute to pressing global issues such as digitalization, climate protection and sustainability. From intelligent production facilities to resource-saving technologies – the range of projects presented illustrated the enormous potential of SMEs.
Another focus was on the question of how cooperation and the transfer of knowledge and technologies between companies and research institutions can be improved. The conference provided a platform for lively discussions and the exchange of best practices. In particular, models for faster and more efficient collaboration were presented in order to accelerate the innovation cycle.