The best WATIFY Technological Transformation for 2018 is…
Bächer and Bergmann is the best WATIFY technological transformation for 2018. Their technological transformation is a prime example of the integration of modern and advanced technology, with traditional practices. Michael Behr, technical director of Bächer and Bergmann, accepted the 3D printed WATIFY award, and spoke of having “to sail through the seas of transformation with curiosity as well as strength”, and continue to see digitalisation as a “toolbox” for future development.
The WATIFY Awards, presented by Natalia Martinez Páramo, Head of the COSME Unit, EASME, recognised two other super finalists from across Europe, De Trog from Belgium and Trimek from Spain. De Trog presented their transformation from a traditional artisanal bakery with 10 employees, into a ‘Factory of the Future’ with over 150 employees. Trimek presented their development of quality control systems that have allowed them to not only produce higher quality products but detect defects efficiently.
On 2 May, WATIFY: Inspire to Transform took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, and celebrated technological transformation for European SMEs. The day opened with a welcome address from Malina Edreva, Vice President of the Bureau of the European Committee of the Regions, who welcomed the WATFY campaign to Bulgaria and gave an overview of the Bulgarian context. This was followed by Michael Berz, Policy Officer for Digital Transformation from the European Commission, who spoke of the need to "focus on investment in smart, innovative, sustainable industry", and the purpose of WATIFY “to connect, inspire and boost technological transformation". Markuu Markkula, first vice-president of the EU Committee of the Regions, continued on the theme of technological transformation, and highlighted the increasing importance of "creating intelligent communities where citizens are empowering each other with innovation driven societal solutions".
The final key note speech, given by Sasha Bezuhanova, Founder and chairperson of MOVE.BG focused on the changing paradigms and the “fundamental time of transformation we are living in”, including how the “systems of yesterday, are no longer able to regulate the emerging world”. She focused on both the European and Bulgarian contexts, speaking of the need “to understand the possibilities of this new world and not only the challenges”. The floor then opened up to questions from the audience, which covered topics ranging from the sustainability of innovative European industry and the status of the Bulgarian startup community, to advice for young entrepreneurs.
The event provided opportunities for important connections to be made, and co-creation across industries to take place, and ultimately for WATIFY to continue to inspire to transform.
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