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The technologies that companies should invest in over the course of 2024
Bavaria has been pursuing a clear innovation strategy for several years now, with a strict focus on five areas: Mobility, Life Sciences, Energy, New Materials, and Digitalisation. Companies planning innovations and investments in these disciplines will once again enjoy fantastic prospects for success in Bavaria in 2024.
New year, new perspectives? The first few weeks of the year are the perfect opportunity to set the course for a successful 2024. The holiday season is just coming to an end, and with that, numerous customers, partners and service providers are only beginning to slowly ramp up their activities once more. This time can be used to consider in which direction the business could develop – and where you could drive innovation within your own company.
Firstly, it is important to reflect on the successes and failures of the previous year. This is because clear, achievable goals can be derived from this process – including when it comes to an expansion strategy. Secondly, this leads to considerations about the team’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as questions about qualification programmes or recruiting offensives. And thirdly, there is the financial assessment: the budget is only the beginning, because decisions can be made about which areas to invest in – as well as which ones don’t make the cut – in line with the company’s goals and knowledge of the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Companies in Bavaria drive innovation
Bavaria is a state driven by innovation that has, once again, produced many positive examples and numerous sources of inspirations in 2023. Take Meta, for example: the seventh most valuable company in the world. The tech giant moved into its office on Munich’s “Campus of Ideas” in October 2023. There is currently space for up to 100 employees. The decisive factors for investing in Munich as a new location were top-level German and Bavarian research, the availability of skilled workers and the proximity to relevant companies in Bavaria. Meta’s move represents a great example of how it pays to invest strategically in promising locations.
The aspirations of the company SIEMENS are moving in a more technological direction. In the summer of 2023, the DAX-listed company announced its intention to invest in the development of an industrial Metaverse. And they’re not shy when it comes to the budget: EUR 1 billion has been earmarked for this purpose, EUR 500 million of which will be for a new campus for development and high-tech production in Erlangen alone. The underlying goal is to use relevant data and artificial intelligence to render production more sustainable and flexible. One great overview of the potential harboured by this investment in innovation is provided by the Report on the Industrial Metaverse compiled by SIEMENS together with the MIT Technology Review.
However, it doesn’t always have to be one of the major global players that drives innovation through targeted investments. PERI – a company based in Weissenhorn, Bavaria – which is primarily known for its formwork and scaffolding, has become one of the leading providers of 3D printing solutions in the construction industry. Their new type of concrete – which is suitable for innovative additive processes – makes it possible to increase the efficiency, safety and individual character of construction projects, as well as to minimise costs. In 2023, PERI realised Germany’s first publicly subsidised apartment building using the 3D printing process.
Seizing opportunities in 2024: with Bavaria’s funding programmes
And so, whether you’re a global corporation, hidden champion or start-up, it can be well worth making a plan for the coming twelve months (and beyond) at the beginning of the year. Especially in Bavaria, a leading centre of innovation in Europe and the world. The Free State’s focus, as the examples mentioned above show, remains channelled into the areas of Mobility, Life Sciences, Energy, Materials and Digitalisation. This focus is also reflected in attractive funding programmes for innovative ideas and in a unique landscape of topic-specific networks. Both could serve not only as a source of motivation, but also as key impetus for an innovation and investment project.
For example, in the field of artificial intelligence: the new edition of the AI Transfer Plus funding programme established by the Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs will get the ball rolling in spring 2024. The programme’s aim is to integrate artificial intelligence into SMEs. The programme is designed to awaken SMEs from their digital slumber, and turn them into AI users in just nine months. Since the programme’s start in 2021, this has already been successful with 15 participating companies.
The Bavarian Joint Research Programme (BayVFP) also offers an exciting range of funding opportunities. This programme supports projects that promise major progress that fall within the scope of cross-industry innovation. In addition to artificial intelligence, the focus for 2024 will be on the communication networks of tomorrow’s world, electronic systems and process technologies, as well as IT security. The application deadlines are 29 February and 19 March.
Networks broaden horizons and foster new connections
Another way of accessing new, innovative topics – and potentially new partners with whom projects can be jointly realised – is through topic-specific networks: Bavaria is known for its broad and far-reaching network structures, which have already been invaluable for the business success of many companies. One good example of this is the interactive EinDruck³ specialist forum, which will take place in the Bavarian city of Fürth on 6 March 2024, bringing together experts from all remits of additive manufacturing and promoting an exchange within the industry. This year’s focus topics are data collection and utilisation, on the one hand, and sustainability, on the other.
In contrast, the “Interieur im Automobil” conference at the Audi Sportpark in Ingolstadt should be of interest to the mobility sector. On 20 March, current growth areas, suppliers, sustainability and, last but not least, UX will be on the agenda. The programme will be supported by presentations from BMW, NIO, Forvia, Continental, Webasto, Iconincar and many other industry giants.
Whatever specific topics may be relevant for your company, Bavaria offers tremendous potential for innovation. We, at Invest in Bavaria, will help you to identify suitable offers and establish the appropriate contacts. With that personal touch, in absolute confidence and with the necessary local expertise at your disposal. For a 2024 that exceeds all expectations.