MDZ – Mittelstand-Digital Center Rhineland

Key Info

Basic Information

01.11.2021 to 31.10.2024
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Machine Tools, Automation and Control
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Research partner

    • Cologne University of Technology (THK): Institute for Product Development and Design Technology (IPK)
    • RWTH Aachen University (RWTH): Chair of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering (IMA)
    • Digital Hub Cologne GmbH
    • European 4.0 Transformation Center (E4TC)



+49 241 80 7017280



The "Mittelstand-Digital-Zentrum Rheinland" (MDZ) as a successor project to the "Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum" (2016-2021) aims to support SMEs in implementing digitization measures in the Rhineland region. In this context, low-threshold solution concepts offer SMEs the opportunity to catch up in this area and thus strengthen their own competitiveness. The aim is not to offer ready-made solutions, but to enable companies to identify and compensate for any shortcomings on their own. Approaches to this include reducing the complexity of administrative processes, initiating innovation processes, establishing explicit knowledge management, and developing suitable hybrid working models. Overall, the aim is to achieve a digital transformation. A wide range of topics is covered, such as cloud applications, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, circular value creation, additive manufacturing, and the use of AI algorithms. In addition, methodological skills in the areas of digital collaboration, change management, organizational learning, process design, or agile product development are also taught. The know-how from the university environment is made available to SMEs in various formats such as consultation hours, coaching sessions, consulting days, and informative tours.