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"Our mission today is to get all participants out of the self-produced filter bubble for one day. Network up, leave your usual terrain and think outside the box!" With this appeal, DLD founder Steffi Czerny opened the second DLD Campus conference this summer in Bayreuth together with university president Stefan Leible. After the premiere in Karlsruhe last week, the University of Bayreuth welcomed local and international entrepreneurs, politicians, inventors, artists and the young talents of tomorrow for the second time. The consistently well-attended ranks of the Audimax, the lively exchange among participants and speakers and the colourful hustle and bustle at the company stands clearly demonstrated that the regional branch of Europe's leading innovation conference DLD (Digital, Life, Design) has arrived in Upper Franconia.
Innovative power through hidden world market leaders
Burda board member Stefan Winners openend the conference day with a keynote, in which he appealed urgently to entrepreneurs in addition to motivating words on change through digitization.
"Please, dear founders, think big. Build the companies bigger and do not make cash at the first opportunity. Spotify, Zalando and Zooplus should be the rule in Europe, not the exception. Hardly anywhere else in Europe there is so much industry as here in Upper Franconia. And hardly anywhere else in Germany are so many hidden world market leaders."
Stefan Winners, Burda board member
With self-confidence into digitization
Minister of State for Digital Dorothee Bär called on the DLD stage to meet the digital challenges with more courage, enthusiasm and passion. She pleaded for more confidence in society and companies, especially in the regional environment. The developments in digitization should not be met with a fundamental defensive attitude and constant concerns – this is the greatest challenge for Germany in terms of digitization.
Mobility mix of the future
Will we continue to drive autonomous cars, through bike-sharing or by using airspace? Alexander Kotouc (BMW Group), Yifan David Li (Hesai), Jimmy Cliff (Mobike) and Lin Sebastian Kayser (Hyperganic) discussed the future of mobility and how people will get from A to B in the coming years. The summary of the mobility experts? Not one species is the right one. Rather, only those cities and regions that allow people to choose which means of transport is best for them in which situation are fit for the future. The individual combination of different options is the key to mobility - but the infrastructure must be right for this.
The so-called "Rocket Man" Richard Browning (Gravity Industries) showed a possible future scenario in his self-developed jet suit: In front of the eyes of numerous conference topics, he took off on a spectacular flight into the air on the Bayreuth university campus.
Blockchain, more than a short hype
Gilbert Fridgen (University of Bayreuth/ Fraunhofer FIT), Heike Hölzner (University of Applied Sciences Berlin), Chris Obereder (TV-TWO) and tech journalist Karsten Lemm employed the potential of Blockchain. Despite the great hype surrounding the topic, technology and the resulting opportunities for society are still in their infancy. Especially the much discussed crypto currencies, the prime example for blockchain applications, are in the opinion of the experts rather first use cases and by far not the limit of what is possible with the technology. Governance structures in particular must be more strongly represented in order to make broad-based use of the technology for society.
From nature to new materials
Hidden champions for new materials in Franconia and Bayreuth as the hub of the world for materials? Wolfgang Hübschle (Invest in Bavaria), Volker Altstädt (Neue Materialien Bayreuth), Frank Ficker (Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hof), Marcus Seitz (Lamilux) and Peter Wilfahrt (Diono) showed this with their insight into the field of new materials and materials. Using scientific as well as creative work inspired by nature, the experts combine a wide variety of materials to create new materials and thus increase the energy efficiency of electric vehicles, for example.
Digitized honey against fraud
Another international pioneer is Stephan Schwarzinger (University of Bayreuth), expert in bio-macromolecules. With his food fingerprint test, he digitizes foods and thus uncovers the fraudulent use of high-quality foods such as olive oil, honey or spices. In times of increasing food fraud, he works with his Food Screener to provide consumers with certainty about product quality.
At the end of the conference programme, the focus was on the students: Young founders of the University of Bayreuth presented their projects at a pitch session. The jury consisting of DLD founder Steffi Czerny, Christian Gnam (Invest in Bavaria) and Lin Sebastian Kayser (Hyperganic) elected the App Cobee as the winner. It offers students an incentive system for sustainable action in everyday life.
Free image material of DLD Campus Bayreuth can be found on Flickr.