The Institute of Family Business and Mittelstand at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and the innovation ecosystem "Der Maschinenraum" (The Engine Room) have now officially started their collaboration. For the benefit of small and medium-sized businesses, the partnership is supposed to establish a hub between research and practitioners and to help companies to take a safer and more courageous step towards the future. It is the goal of both institutions to foster the development of the next generation of medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and support them.
In doing so, the SMEs will benefit from the research and expertise of the Institute of Family Business and Mittelstand. Research projects there are currently focused on the understanding of innovation and leadership, employee satisfaction, and succession as well as business ethics and financing of family businesses. Der Maschinenraum, on the other hand, sees itself as an ecosystem that connects German medium-sized and family enterprises and gives them a brighter perspective on the future by working together and aligning their efforts. The organization has an extensive network of established companies, start-ups, and innovation drivers at its disposal. The collaboration between the institute and Der Maschinenraum will therefore result in further synergies for SMEs in Germany in the future. Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, one of the directors of the Institute of Family Business and Mittelstand at WHU, is also looking forward to it: "I am convinced that the newly initiated partnership has the potential to achieve great things. With our scientific knowledge and the creative approaches of our students, our strategy is complementary to the impressive ecosystem Der Maschinenraum has created.”
Round tables and cooperation projects will be offered to medium-sized and family businesses to address the currently most pressing issues in their firms. These include questions of succession, successful internationalization, and digital transformation.