DMAN has supported companies in building know-how and contacts for 30 years now. In this way we contribute to the success of our customers – while we also promote the foreign trade relations of the federal state of Lower Saxony.
It has always been our aspiration to convey not only the basics of corporate management and industry-specific expertise, but also the facts and implications of current trends and new technologies. It was therefore no coincidence that DMAN has been taking up a highly topical topic for its anniversary: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI in the company
On 29 October 2019, the academy celebrated the 30th anniversary of its foundation with an event on artificial intelligence (AI) in Celle castle.
The day's event focused on the challenges and opportunities that the application of artificial intelligence brings with it, especially for Lower Saxony's foreign trade. In an accompanying exhibition, pioneers from the Lower Saxony economy showed trends and techniques for the use of artificial intelligence.
Following the thematic day event, DMAN celebrated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony in the Knights Hall and a get-together in the Residence Museum of Celle castle.
Around 150 guests from Germany and abroad took part in the event, among them numerous companies from Lower Saxony and long-standing partner companies of DMAN from the Russian Federation.
Following the welcoming address by Academy Director Harald Becker, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nejdl, Director of the L3S Research Centre at Leibniz University Hannover, spoke about the challenges and opportunities which AI presents for small and medium-sized enterprises. In his lecture he gave an overview of AI activities in Lower Saxony, focusing particularly on the "Applied Machine Learning Academy" and the project "IIP-Ecosphere" as examples for further education in and innovation by AI.
Two practical examples from Russia and Germany illustrated applications and possibilities that already exist. The presentation of biometric voice control from Russia by Oleg Glebov of "SpeechPro" was particularly impressive - no fiction, but reality ready for practical use. Jens Harde of "Acronics" from Hildesheim explained how he prepares his employees for the use of AI, familiarizes them with the new technology and "takes them into the future".
Michael Harms, Chairman of the Management Board of the German Eastern Business Association (OAOEV), explained the development of foreign trade in the past 30 years, especially in the so-called Eastern European trade, and gave an outlook on the future of the export industry in the coming years.
In the panel discussion, current challenges for SMEs in connection with the introduction of digitisation and artificial intelligence were discussed – as an introduction to the subsequent round of forums. In three parallel forums in the afternoon, participants and experts discussed the effects of digitisation on work processes using the example of the export industry as well as artificial intelligence from a business ethics perspective.
The day's event provided a good overview of the issues that export-oriented SMEs will have to deal with over the next few years in terms of digitisation and AI. Many of the topics addressed are thought-provoking and should be taken up and deepened in future events.
During the breaks, the guests took the opportunity to get to know each other, discuss with their peers or inform themselves about examples of digitisation applications at the stands of the accompanying exhibition.
On the occasion of the anniversary event, representatives of the member companies of the DMAN Business Pool Moscow had been meeting in the morning. Kun Guo, the representative of DMAN and the State of Lower Saxony in China, was available to answer participants' questions.
Following the thematic day event, Deutsche Management Akademie Niedersachsen celebrated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony in the Knights Hall and a get-together in the rooms of the Residence Museum at Celle castle.
After a musical opening by the string quartet Josef & Friends, Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Chairman of the DMAN supervisory board, opened the ceremony with a brief review of the academy's successful work. The mayor of Celle, Dr. Jörg Nigge, underlined the importance of DMAN for the city of Celle.
In his festive speech, Lower Saxony's Finance Minister Reinhold Hilbers thanked today's DMAN shareholders for their support, and he also thanked the former Prime Minister Dr. Ernst Albrecht and the then Minister of Economics Walter Hirche, who founded DMAN 30 years ago together with the regional business community, for their far-sightedness. He praised the academy's achievements as a success story and as an important contribution to Lower Saxony's international networking.
The concluding get-together offered all participants plenty of opportunity for networking. In particular, the exchange between German companies and representatives from DMAN's partner countries brought stimulating discussions – and maybe some threads to deepen foreign trade relations.