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Skills for Industry
Fostering New Services and Jobs Creation

Expert Workshop

The Platform Economy as an Opportunity for SMEs and Start-ups

Support programmes to develop an ambitious innovation strategy and skill sets

9th December 2020, 2:00 – 5:00 pm CET





2:00 - 2:10 pm

Introduction and background

Carola Schulz,

empirica GmbH

2:10 – 2:20 pm

European policy background

André Richier,

European Commission DG GROW

2:20 – 2:40 pm

Online Platform Markets 2021 – An opportunity for SMEs?

Fabian Stephany,

Lead Researcher in Computational Social Science at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

2:40 – 3:00 pm

SmartFactory – an example for a networked cross-border factory of the future and the skills needed (Belgium)

Dirk Torfs,

Director, Flanders Make

3:00 – 3:20 pm

KMU.Digital  – supporting the digital uptake, transformation and service orientation of SMEs (Austria)


Success story: Rubble Master Group

Gerhard Laga,

Head of E-Center, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber


Gerald Hanisch

CEO and Founder, Rubble Master Group

Harald Kussegg

Parts Manager, Rubble Master Group

3:20 – 3:30 pm


3:30-3:50 pm

Transfer initiative for SMEs for service innovation and digitalisation (Germany)

Walter Ganz,

Head of Service and Human Resources, Fraunhofer IAO

3:50 – 4:10 pm

Platform economy and SMEs – lessons from the US (USA)

Jim Spohrer

Director, Cognitive OpenTech, IBM

Expert discussion

  • Understanding the platform economy
  • Exploring opportunities for SMEs
  • Strategies, How-to
  • Skills needs, Implications for re- and up-skilling

Moderated by:

Jim Spohrer, IBM

Gerhard Gudergan, ISSIP

Laurent Probst, PwC

Werner B. Korte, empirica

Contact in case of problems and questions

Carola Schulz: carola.schulz@empirica(dot)com

Tobias Hüsing: tobias.huesing@empirica(dot)com

Werner B. Korte: werner.korte@empirica(dot)com


tel.: +49 228 98530-0