Innovation: SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance Innovation Workshop

fraunhoferThe sky was the limit at a recent Innovation Workshop hosted by the SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance (SCFUSA), a partnership between the SC Council on Competitiveness and SC Commerce. Held at the BMW Zentrum Museum, and sponsored by the German American Chamber of the Southern U.S. and the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group, the forum featured an expert panel of speakers and a workshop focusing on innovation for the future.

Sven Schimpf, Ph.D., managing director of the Fraunhofer Group for Innovation and Research, served as keynote speaker. He outlined a roadmap for innovation to the year 2030 and beyond, which includes increased openness; integrated solutions; increased digitization of innovation; more open-handling of knowledge; and data security and safety. Schimpf spoke about how companies first need to understand customers’ needs, then create the technology to make those problems easier to solve. 

The event also included a panel discussion led by SCFUSA Director Suzanne Dickerson and featured BMW Manufacturing President and CEO Knudt Flor; Bicycle Company of America General Manager Bob Edwards; and Bosch Rexroth Lean Manufacturing Account Manager Jamie Fox. Each panelist has led a SCFUSA research project and shared their experiences.

"The amount of talent and information Fraunhofer can bring to the table from a research perspective – they can bring stuff that most individual companies cannot bring to the table," said Jamie Fox of Bosch Rexroth during the discussion. 

Initiatives like the SCFUSA, with its partnership with SC Commerce, SC Council on Competitiveness, the state’s research universities and industry, are vital to the continued success for companies. 

To learn more about the SCFUSA and how to get involved, click here.