The BMWi’s “Mittelstand 4.0 – Digital Production and Work Processes” funding initiative aims to strengthen the regional economic structure and preserve jobs.


The target group are small and medium-sized manufacturing and production-related companies, service providers and craft enterprises.


As a pioneer, the Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center Saarbrücken was the first of 26 Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centers to start with 4 AI trainers on June 1, 2019, underscoring the importance of artificial intelligence for small and medium-sized enterprises as well.

Your contact

Portrait Mitarbeiter Tobias Greff

Tobias Greff

eMail: tobias.greff@aws-institut.de
Phone: +49 172 4580 391

In a nutshell


The Saarbrücken Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center was launched on September 01, 2017 as part of the BMWi’s “Mittelstand 4.0 – Digital Production and Work Processes” funding initiative. The project aims to build up the digitalization capability in SMEs as well as craft enterprises and consequently to strengthen the regional economic structure and competitiveness. In order to support the respective companies to think digitally, there are different offer formats for beginners, advanced or experienced in the field of digitalization.

1. sensitization and information
2. demonstration and testing opportunities
3. webinars


As of March 12, 2020, we have accomplished the following:

  • Awareness-raising events: 75 with around 7,752 participants
  • Workshops: 27 with 208 participants
  • Webinars: 14 of our own plus nationwide coordination
  • Consultation hours: 136
  • Lab tours: 10 with 148 participants
  • Roadshow and trade fairs: 34
  • Self-assessments: 127 maturity assessments & 124 needs assessments
  • Demonstrators: 20 application examples
  • Implementation projects: 6

initial situation

According to the EU Commission’s definition of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), around 3.462 million companies were defined as SMEs in Germany in 2018. That is 99.4% of all companies, which generated a total of 2.32 trillion euros and around 16.06 million employees subject to social insurance contributions. The southwest of Germany, and in particular the region in and around Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, is characterized by strong industrial production. Accordingly, the density of SMEs and craft enterprises in this region is also high.

In order for these companies to be able to keep up with the developments and requirements of the market and to secure their competitiveness, digital competencies are needed on the part of the companies. However, there is often no empirical knowledge about where, in which case and how digitalization and Industry 4.0 technologies can be used economically. In order to provide targeted support for such companies in the region, there is therefore a need for central contact persons and experts who can offer advice and assistance.

Data strategy in the midmarket

When AI tells the baker how many croissants to bake

The August-Wilhelm Scheer Institute is primarily responsible for the center's digital offerings:

This includes, for example, digital qualification offerings such as webinars, the development of the digital business networking platform, the annual technology report and the center’s digital self-service offerings.

  • Digital Business Model Development
  • AI Trainer
  • Technology Scouting in Industry 4.0 Practice
  • Data integration and cyberphysical systems
  • Product Service Systems and Networking
  • Data & predictive analytics in production
  • Servicification and 3D printing



Logo Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

The Saarbrücken Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center Saarbrücken is funded by Mittelstand-Digital.