In the technology network it's OWL - Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe, more than 200 companies, research institutes and organisations develop solutions for intelligent products and production processes. With support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, projects worth EUR 100 million will be implemented between 2018 and 2023. The focus topics will be artificial intelligence, digital platforms, digital twins and work 4.0. Named as one of the Leading-Edge Clusters by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it's OWL is considered to be one of the largest Industrie 4.0 initiatives for SMEs. Over the last seven years, it’s OWL has established itself as a driver for competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in OstWestfalenLippe.
OstWestfalenLippe is among the strongest production areas in Europe, characterised by a high concentration of employment, capacity for innovation and export quota. The region has 400 companies in mechanical engineering, the electrical and electronics industry and the automotive supply industry, providing jobs for around 80,000 employees and generating annual revenue of EUR 17 billion.
The core of the cluster is made up of family-run businesses and a wide range of medium-sized firms. This includes numerous market leaders: strong brands such as Benteler, Claas, Diebold Nixdorf, DMG Mori, GEA, Hella, Hettich und Miele, but also lots of hidden champions such as Kannegiesser or WP Kemper. Beckhoff, Harting, KEB, Lenze, Phoenix Contact, Wago and Weidmüller set global standards in industrial electronics. In connection technology, they have a world market share of 75 percent.
Regional universities and research facilities are a byword for top-class research areas such as artificial intelligence, industry automation, work 4.0, and Systems Engineering. Around 1000 scientists are working on the solutions of tomorrow in four special research areas, 18 research institutes and three Fraunhofer institutes. Universities offer over 20,000 students excellent training in STEM subjects.
The technology network was founded in 2012 after the Federal Ministry of Education and Research awarded it's OWL the title of winner in the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition. The basis was a strategy concept developed by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gausemeier and coordinated by OstWestfalenLippe GmbH. From 2012 to 2017, 47 projects with a project volume of 100 million euros were implemented as part of the Leading-Edge Cluster with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
On this basis, companies and research institutions developed a new strategy in 2018 and intensified their cooperation. Projects worth 200 million euros are to be launched by 2023 to tap the potential of AI for production.
it's OWL - That's OWL: Pioneers for Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence. Application-oriented cutting-edge research. A strong network for SMEs. Attractive employers in business and science. An engine for the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in OstWestfalenLippe.