“Digital, hybrid, global”: Industrial knowledge transfer to international markets

Deutsche Messe Technology Academy continues worldwide growth – cooperations at several locations complement trade fair business.

With the establishment of industrial academies worldwide, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy is supporting the internationalization of leading production technology companies. In the world’s industrial target markets, Deutsche Messe’s knowledge transfer and content marketing services are increasingly in demand. Cooperation partners of the Technology Academy already operate “Smart Factory Academies” at several locations around the world to promote qualification and regional industrial development.  

Tennessee in the USA, Nanjing and Jinan in China, Portugal, Morocco, Indonesia, Port Elizabeth in South Africa: Deutsche Messe Technology Academy has found interested parties and contractual partners for its industrial knowledge transfer concept around the globe. Together with a network of leading industrial suppliers from Germany, Thomas Rilke’s team provides impetus for the acceptance and understanding of modern production technology everywhere.

“Deutsche Messe is the only trade fair company in the world that pursues such a concept of industrial academies and in this way contributes to the sustainability of the internationalization of its exhibitors.”

Thomas Rilke, Division Manager Deutsche Messe Technology Academy

“Our Smart Factory Academies support the knowledge-based solutions business of our industrial partners from Germany,” says Thomas Rilke. He adds that this complements the trade fair business, which is also global, with a year-round and sustainable transfer of knowledge to new markets. “Deutsche Messe is the only trade fair company in the world that pursues such a concept of industrial academies and in this way contributes to the sustainability of the internationalization of its exhibitors.”

In its local collaborations, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy encounters very different conditions. “We provide our partners with all the know-how that we have developed in knowledge transfer, event management and modern content marketing,” emphasizes Reinhold Umminger, Director Global Business at the Technology Academy.  “Digital, hybrid, global” are the keywords to which the team is aligning its business activities, which have grown very strongly in recent months, especially internationally, despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. 

Since fall 2021, the state of Tennessee in the USA has become the newest location in the global Technology Academy network. There, several players have joined forces to develop the industrial ecosystem in the southeastern U.S. and quickly provide additional workforce training in the region. In addition to the state of Tennessee, local universities and educational companies, it is also the Volkswagen plant there that supports the “Smart Factory Institute Tennessee” initiative. 

In the Chinese industrial cities of Nanjing and Jinan, local partners in research and science as well as at the universities are particularly interested in practice-oriented knowledge transfer. The close cooperation between the Technology Academy and leading industrial companies has also motivated the cooperation partners in the People’s Republic to open “Smart Factory Academies”. 

The Chinese partners, who are involved in the construction and provision of appropriate event centers, are supported by the Technology Academy with know-how for the content and marketing of the planned events, training courses and demonstrations. Reinhold Umminger: “It is very important to us to tailor our offering to the respective needs and local objectives of our partners.” This also applies to talks currently underway with partners in Fuzhou in the eastern province of Fujian or in Hefei, a city with eight million inhabitants that has developed into a new center for the production of electric vehicles.

“Morocco is a very ambitious industrial emerging market that places the highest demands on knowledge transfer.”

Reinhold Umminger, Director Global Business at Deutsche Messe Technology Academy

Deutsche Messe Technology Academy is also present in the future market of Africa. After an interruption due to the pandemic, plans with Port Elizabeth, an important location for the automotive industry in South Africa, are gaining new momentum. “We know that our partners there are willing to invest in brains and attach great importance to a concept that offers long-term prospects for employment,” reports Thomas Rilke. 

In North Africa, Deutsche Messe Technology Academy has been involved in an “Automation Competence Center” for Morocco since the beginning of 2021. Together with several industrial partners and Steinbeis University, the Technology Academy is organizing a year-round program of seminars and conferences for the Competence Center on Automation there. This is supported by GIZ as part of the Invest for Jobs initiative. “Morocco is a very ambitious industrial emerging market that places the highest demands on knowledge transfer,” says Reinhold Umminger. For the industrial events he designs, he works closely with the country’s leading universities. Around 1,500 visitors have already taken part in the events for Morocco. Further conferences and matchmakings are planned. 

Thomas Rilke sees the willingness to take into account the very different objectives of local partners and to create viable win-win situations as a key success factor for the Technology Academy’s international business. “The basis for this is confidence in our ability to organize industrial networks.” The Academy’s close and global cooperation with the HANNOVER MESSE teams is also bearing fruit. There have already been inquiries from trade fair partner countries Indonesia and Portugal about setting up Smart Factory Academies.

The goals that Rilke and his team have set themselves worldwide are ambitious: by 2023, Smart Factory Academies or collaborative knowledge transfer projects are to be up and running at a total of nine locations. In 2021, the Academy initiated around 400 events at seven locations. In 2022, at least 500 events are to be held at nine locations. 

In order to provide its participants worldwide with the latest know-how on production technology, the Technology Academy relies on the use of modern communication technology. This includes the global streaming of events, the use of state-of-the-art studio technology and the production of podcasts and videos that can also be used internationally. Thomas Rilke: “We have set ourselves the goal of sustainably supplementing the global trade fair business and becoming the world’s largest provider of industrial events. Innovative concepts and local agility are absolute prerequisites for this.”

Laura Venema
25.05.2022
von Laura Venema