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A multitude of studies in past years have found that small companies in particular misjudge their digitalization needs . Companies frequently require external support to overcome the hurdles on the path to Industry 4.0, including political support. For this reason, Baden-Wuerttemberg is backing a network of ten digital hubs, to provide SMEs with targeted support in their digital transformation. One of the projects, the Digital Hub Nordschwarzwald RESPOND , is set to receive a grant of over €1 million from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The hubs aim to support industry in the region with ‘one-stop-shops’, training courses, and advice. In addition, Baden-Wuerttemberg also wants to create experimental and collaboration spaces, in which researchers, established companies, and startups from a variety of areas of industry can come together to collaborate on new technologies and ideas. The project is part of a comprehensive digitalization strategy that foresees investment of approximately €1 billion during the current legislation period, as well as the direct financial support of the SMEs for the implementation of their modernization plans.