An organised group trip to the world's largest industrial innovation fair, the Hannover Messe in Germany: an effort trip for Tilburg entrepreneurs. The municipality of Tilburg organizes this annual event to discover opportunities in the field of Smart Industry. The entrepreneurs who travel with us gain a lot of knowledge and get the opportunity to make European contacts. A real experience in which the club Tilburgse ondermens could strengthen each other inside and outside the network.
The Hannover Messe is a big concept in the manufacturing industry. It is the only fair in the world that covers the entire industrial value chain - from product design to production. It is the place to get acquainted with new trends, to network, but also to gauge the state of the competition. In addition, Germany is a very important trading partner for the Netherlands and the fair offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore their potential market.
There was a nice program for participants. There was a visit to Siemens, who showed their developments in the field of Smart Industry applications. The group also visited Ericsson, where the group was updated on the latest developments in the field of 5g and there was a matchmaking with companies from the German region of Thuringia.
Reaction of the entrepreneurs
On the occasion of the trip at the beginning of April, we spoke to the entrepreneurs present. They were very positive about the visit to the Hannover Messe. "The fair brought me nice contacts from Tilburg and a new insight into Smart Industry," says Geert-Jan of Ireland from ABC Olie. The fair also brought entrepreneurs various opportunities. "I have looked at many companies and their possibilities, which may be applicable in the near future," says Eduard Linnenbank of Maître Paul.
The opportunities of Smart Industry
Entrepreneurs were reminded during the trip of the opportunities offered by Smart Industry. These opportunities can be found in different areas. Carlo Korssen explains that the Smart Industry offers many sales opportunities for his company Indicia. For Maarten Oostdam of Oostdam Engineering, Smart Industry gives his company the opportunity to outsource production in a simple way. Smart Industry seems more important to some entrepreneurs than to others. Jeroen van Unen of Melis Gieterijen explains that Smart Industry gives the company a future and a right to exist. But what about the Smart Industry in Tilburg? And how important is it, according to the entrepreneurs, that Tilburg entrepreneurs respond to this?
Smart Industry Tilburg
"Companies in Tilburg are interested but do not yet fully embrace Smart Industry. With the speed of innovation, there is a risk that the companies will later 'fall behind'," says Frank Hermans of Mindlabs. "Various initiatives such as Fieldlabs have been initiated, but there is no structural cooperation yet. We need to join forces, for example by setting up field lab: Smart Manufacturing," reports Barry Melis of Artooling. According to Maarten Oostdam, companies that do not adapt will even cease to exist. "It's important to keep up, investment is necessary," adds Jeroen van Unen.
Disadvantages of Smart Industry
Despite the importance of Smart Industry, according to the entrepreneurs, it also has its disadvantages. Frank Hermans says that capital must be available. In addition, according to him, there must also be a willingness to invest this capital in new developments. In addition to financial aspects, the understanding of companies also entails internal obstacles. "It is complex for older employees, acceptance is difficult," says Jeroen van Unen. "A lot of knowledge is needed, this knowledge will become scarce," says Carlo Korssen of Indicia.
What did the entrepreneurs take with them?
"A lot is possible with open-minded insights," says Sjors Baeten of Hoppenbrouwers Techniek. "The speed of change is still very high. Awareness of all the possibilities within the industry requires a lot of attention," says Frank Hermans. "Embrace new developments and start discovering today what it can do for your company," he adds.