3D printing, virtual reality and a stadium made of Lego

3D printing, virtual reality and a stadium made of Lego

Published on 05.06.2015

In the middle of the Harburg inland port is the store on the department store canal. Food and seeds were once stored in the two-storey half-timbered house, which was built in 1827. On this day, it is the place where nothing less than the future is talked about. At the first so-called Hamburg Innovation Summit.

“We want to finally bring together the Hamburg startup scene, business, politics and science,” says Nick Sohnemann, one of the organizers, on the stage on the first floor in front of the almost 430 participants. Every day, innovative technologies and new business concepts would emerge in the metropolitan region, which will shape the future of the city. What the scene lacks, however, is the appropriate attention. “With the Innovation Summit, we want to change that.“

“Who makes money? The porn industry!“

In addition to the networking of the industry, technology is also in the foreground on this day. For this reason, the organizers have brought the Tomorrows-Tech-Today-Expo on board, which has already taken place last year. Companies such as Tesla, Oculus or startups such as myprintoo, who want to bring 3-D printing into the living room with their lamps, are represented. The special feature: The products are not presented by the companies themselves, but by IT experts and scientists.

On the first floor of the half-timbered house. Journalist Jan-Keno Janssen talks about the possibilities of using virtual reality, one of the three core topics of the Summit. “Imagine that you are sitting in an office here and want to hold a conference with colleagues in Mexico. With this technology, it would even be possible for them to shake hands with their colleagues,“ says Janssen, pointing to a picture of 3-D glasses. When asked who earns money with virtual reality, except with hardware, Janssen says: “I can only give you one good example at the moment: The porn industry!“

Revolution in industry

In addition to virtual reality and Smart tech, another core topic of the summit, which is organized by the TU Hamburg-Harburg, among others, is 3D printing. Particularly interesting for the city of Hamburg: As stated in the red-green coalition agreement, Hamburg is striving with the 3-D-Print initiative to become one of the main locations for companies specializing in this technology. Perhaps this is one reason why the Innovation Summit is under the patronage of Olaf Scholz (SPD).

What are still visions of the future for the whole of Hamburg at the Senate is already a reality at Airbus in Finkenwerder. Peter Sander, Manager at Airbus, talks about how 3D printing is used in aviation. And also provides an example: “A titanium part that we printed is already in use.”When asked about the stability, he says:” This part holds cabin elements together up to twelve tons. And it is 30 percent lighter than a milled metal part. And it’s also 20 percent cheaper.”The printing of spare parts will be possible at any time in the future. Sander therefore prophesied that camps would soon no longer be necessary.

While speeches and lectures dominated the morning, it becomes all the more practical in the afternoon. “This is now an experiment that we really want to try out with you,” says Moritz Avenarius. And by that means a barcamp. While it has long been part of the vocabulary of the under-thirty-year-olds, the question marks on the forehead of some participants with rather thin hair stand out. A barcamp is a kind of unconference, an interactive and open event format, says Avenarius. Which is all about one thing: cooperation. There are a total of 13 topics this afternoon. And so it happens that the culture of innovation is debated on beer benches, while a few corners further heads from the most diverse industries suddenly build an Olympic stadium with Lego bricks. Behind this lies Scrum, a method to manage projects and orders in companies better, more effectively and ultimately more agile.

The first Innovation Summit in Hamburg came to an end with an award ceremony in the evening. Out of 15 finalists, the jury chose three winners: X-Spektrum GmbH for its innovative X-ray camera, a team for an augmented reality system in the field of sports training won the prize for the best idea, and the award in the “Growth” category went to Aqua free Membrane Technology GmbH, which produces sophisticated filters for germ-free water.

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