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What is the future of building automation? At the second Techday, 42 Hager Group employees evaluated the insights they had gained the day before at CODE_n, the startup competition at CeBIT.
The history of Hager Group consists of a series of electrical engineering innovations. That was the case 60 years ago, when the company was founded in 1955, and it remains the case today, in 2015. Only the themes have changed: digitisation, smart homes, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are the hot topics of today. Hager Group’s DNA remains unchanged, however – it has innovation in its genes. But what do we need to know today so we can remain competitive tomorrow?
Hager Group employees already set out to seek some answers to this question two years ago at the start-up competition CODE_n and with the first Techday in 2014. This year, these two events coincided mid-March. 42 representatives of the Building Automation Business Group from across Europe met up with award-winning start-up managers at CODE_n at CeBIt in Hannover, with Techday taking place immediately afterwards: an intense, highly concentrated example of corporate innovation all in one place.
Day 1 of the event featured a visit to CODE_n, where young entrepreneurs presented their innovative and forward-looking ideas. “What we heard from the young entrepreneurs has definitely inspired us to think out of the box,” commented Ralph Bertelt, Senior Vice President of the Building Automation Business Group. “At next day’s Techday we brought their input together with our own ideas and projects.”
Techday on day 2 began with a feedback session on the start-ups the 42 colleagues had met with during CODE_n, with teams working on four strategic areas: modernisation, user interfaces, energy management and commercial applications. Most start-ups in the building automation field are focusing on the Internet of Things, next-generation smart homes and software development. The Techday participants then set about identifying the main trends of CODE_n that may have an impact on Hager Group’s business activities, and filtered out their top five favourite start-ups. During the afternoon workshops, the discussions focused on improving cooperation between Hager Group and external sources of innovation. These sessions produced a large number of ideas and promising approaches, with all participants enthusiastically contributing input.