University of Mannheim: ForDigital’s interdisciplinary and cross-location projects were funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture (MKW) of the State of Baden-Württemberg with almost 900,000 euros.

ForDigital is an initiative to network scientists at the Karlsruhe and Mannheim locations. The aim of the research alliance, founded in 2016, is to better understand the mechanisms and effects of the rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the economy, society and individuals, and on this basis to design innovative ICT solutions for them. Researchers from all departments at the participating locations could apply for ForDigital projects.

At the end of ForDigital at the end of February, all those involved drew a positive balance: Prof. Dr. Alexander Mädche (ForDigital Alliance Spokesman, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)) and Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl (ForDigital Alliance Spokesman, University of Mannheim) reported on a total of 81 projects that were funded by ForDigital with a total volume of almost 900,000 euros. 44 university professors and a total of 130 scientists from different disciplines (including business informatics, business administration, computer science, mechanical engineering, economics, law and political science) participated in cross-location ForDigital projects. ForDigital also promoted young academics in particular by funding 16 doctorates.

The cooperation resulted in numerous publications in recognized scientific journals and lectures at scientific conferences. In addition, ForDigital specifically supported cross-location third-party funded projects, including those of the German Research Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This resulted in follow-up projects with a total third-party funding volume of 9.1 million euros.

Ministerial Director Dr. Simone Schwanitz, head of the “Research, Technology Transfer, Digitization and European Union” department at the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and Art particularly praised the numerous cross-location and interdisciplinary collaborations that ForDigital has created and thus a positive contribution to networking Researchers in Baden-Württemberg. Prof. Dr. Oliver Kraft (Vice President for Research, KIT) and Prof. Dr. Edgar Erdfelder (Vice-Rector for Research and Young Academics, University of Mannheim) emphasized

The 81 funded projects include the cross-location project “Society in Digital Change”, which has been researching the impact of digitization on individuals and society in an interdisciplinary manner since 2019. The research association includes eight university and non-university institutions from all over Baden-Württemberg. You can find information on “Society in the digital transition” at www.digilog-bw.de .

Another example is the project “Mittelstand 4.0 – Usability Competence Center”, which supports small and medium-sized companies in particular in digitizing, networking and introducing Industry 4.0. In addition to the KIT, the Institute for SME Research (ifm) at the University of Mannheim is also involved in the BMWi-funded project.

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