The digital transformation affects companies of different sizes and industries. Even though many medium-sized companies have now recognised that it is necessary to break new ground in order to continue their business, innovation often fails due to excuses such as “too little budget, no time and no experience”.

As future strategist I often encounter these statements in my everyday work. Despite their understanding of the relevance of digitization, companies do not dare to take the step towards transformation and find it difficult to implement.

Maschinenraum - Change Your Movements

Machine room – Change Your Movements (Source: Maschinenraum)


In order to support each other in this area and to learn from the experiences of other companies, a group of family businesses has joined forces to create an innovative and digital ecosystem. The result is the shared innovation ecosystem “Maschinenraum” in Berlin.

Part of the initiative is also the German family company Viessmann, which has already become known in the past for the successful fusion of tradition and innovation. In an interview with World, Max Viessmann commented on the drive for the Maschinenraum:

“Ideas and creativity slumber in every company. However, this often only becomes clear when talking to others”

Currently, 14 companies are among the founders of the innovation ecosystem. In addition to Viessmann, there are also building materials manufacturer Knauf, logistics service provider Fiege, lift manufacturer Vestner and the automation supplier Phoenix Contact.

According to the statement on the website of the Co-Creating Space, the machine room sees itself as a shared innovation ecosystem that brings together German medium-sized and family-owned companies in order to jointly develop future-oriented topics and drive forward the digital transformation of medium-sized companies. Especially resources, methods and infrastructures are to be shared here. Although such a system is well known from the start-up scene, a competence centre only for SMEs and family businesses is so far unique on the market.

The members are to benefit from the unified broad network and exchange ideas with innovators, other companies, visionaries and startups and learn from each other. Although the digital transformation is individually unique, the basic challenges and methods are the same, especially in the beginning.

The Maschinenraum therefore wants to be seen as an inspiring space where medium-sized companies can work on new attitudes and digital solutions using new methods and ways of thinking away from the familiar everyday environment. I wish the initiative every success and hope that other companies will be more open to the topic of collaboration in the future. Especially in the digital transformation, it is of central importance to break new ground, to learn from the expertise of others and to jointly shape the future.



Post picture: Maschinenraum


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