• The task force of the Berlin universities for companies in Corona times.

    TRAO – digital transfer day on the 20th of May

The coronavirus crisis poses great challenges especially for small and medium-sized companies. In order to help Berlin-based companies and organisations respond to pressing issues and digitally support them with knowledge, six Berlin Universities of Applied Sciences have now founded TRAO, the digital Corona-Task Force. On the 20th of May, scientific experts will speak all day in virtual panels on topics such as digitization, New Work, health and industry 4.0. Participation in the online event is free of charge.

“I am currently experiencing that many employees notice how well the work can be done from home -  if they don’t have to provide for home schooling and suitable technology is available” says Prof. Dr Jürgen Radel, Brain City Ambassador and Professor for Labour and Personnel Management at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW Berlin). “I myself am very curious to see whether there will be a measurable decline in productivity that is directly linked to working from home. Probably not. Companies will then have a ‘problem’ because in many cases, there are now no excuses to prohibit people from working from home. However, some managers do not seem to like this, as they feel a loss of control. However, employees are also experiencing the negative sides: meetings in front of a camera, on the kitchen chair, without being able to ‘escape’ from the family, are often more stressful than in an office.”

Transfer of knowledge, expertise and research findings

Prof. Jürgen Radel is one of many Berlin-based scientists who are thinking about the various challenges that the corona pandemic poses for the economy – and also about how universities can help small and medium-sized companies by transferring knowledge, expertise and research results findings. In order to support companies right now, six Universities of Applied Sciences have initiated a new format under the umbrella of the network Berlin Innovation Transfer (BIT⁶): the transfer offensive TRAO. On May 20th, 2020, from 9 am to 7 pm, experts from Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (ASH Berlin), Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Evangelische Hochschule Berlin (ehb), HTW Berlin, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (Berlin School of Economics and Law, HWR) and the Catholic University of Applied Social Sciences (KHSB) will offer free open-innovation sessions. In video panels, eight experts will provide answers to the diverse challenges of the Corona crisis.

“In these exceptional times that we are currently experiencing, in which transformation does happen abruptly and not steadily, companies and organisations need broad support; not only financially, but also in terms of structure and content,” explains Prof. Stefanie Molthagen-Schnöring, Vice President for Research and Transfer at HTW Berlin and main initiator of the digital transfer event: “With TRAO, we want to help create opportunities and possibilities out of the crisis - digital and yet personal.”

Current relevant topics and individual follow-up sessions

The topics of the seven digital panels resulted from the collaboration of the BIT⁶ network with Berlin companies, explains Stefanie Molthagen-Schnöring: “Digitization is of course such a topic, as well as New Work, communication and management, workplace health promotion, e-learning and process and change management. These topics also coincide with relevant research topics at the interface of business, science and society. It is important for us to tackle the central challenges of our time and convey application- and practice-oriented knowledge.”

Anyone can take part in the digital transfer day. However, it is mainly addressed to Berlin companies and organisations as well as students at Berlin’s universities. After registering online, participants can not only watch and listen to the one-hour live video sessions, but can also actively participate in discussions. Stefanie Molthagen-Schnöring emphasizes that the offer of “individual follow-up sessions” after the panels is also exciting, “Following the general input, specific, individual problems and challenges can be discussed with the experts. In most cases, it then becomes clearer and quicker to see where the core of the problem lies and what the options for solving it are. Here, the BIT⁶ team supports universities and companies with their further ongoing collaboration.“

Event with a pilot character

The digital TRAO event on 20th of May is basically a prototype. Whether further events follow will largely be determined by demand. Participant feedback from the first session will then shape any further content-related design.

In his presentation, Brain City Ambassador Prof. Jürgen Radel will focus on the challenges and obstacles that the Corona crisis is creating for managers and employees. In the long term, he predicts, little will change for companies and employees in the way they work together. “As far as employees are concerned, I believe that we will all return to our old world. And that there may even be a “flight” back to the office. The analogue relationship will experience a renaissance. Although digital working is possible, but it's more like eating astronaut food compared to a well-designed menu. l. We will probably enjoy personal contact with others more again.” (vdo)

More information and online registration


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