PAF and HBM are driving the innovation hotspot Darmstadt
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PAF and HBM are driving the innovation hotspot Darmstadt

Not Berlin. Not Munich. Darmstadt is the most future-oriented city in Germany. The annual ranking published by the German Economic Institute lists Darmstadt as number one in the future-oriented category for the 4th year in a row. How does the city do that?

The Rhine-Main-Neckar Cluster

Darmstadt is located at the heart of the Rhine-Main-Neckar Region, which, according to the Truffle 100 Report, forms the largest and most profitable IT Cluster of Europe. The dense network of research facilities, IT vendors and international companies is the basis for the innovation power in the region. The European Cluster Panorama 2016 Report lists Darmstadt as number three of Europe’s emerging industries hotspots.

And if that’s not enough, Darmstadt ranks 7th in the EU ICT poles of excellence (EIPE) report. EIPEs are regions or cities that display the best performing Information and Communication Technologies production, R&D and innovation activities in the EU. Darmstadt is by far the smallest city in the top 10.

European clusters by software revenue
Darmstadt is located in the heart of the highest-selling IT cluster in Europe. No other cluster region is as successful or employs more IT staff.

Innovation-Hotspot Darmstadt

Darmstadt plays a huge part in the innovation power of the whole region. It is the 'City of Science'. No other place in Germany is suited better for research and innovation. There are three universities in Darmstadt. It is the hometown of many big scientific institutes and companies. Darmstadt hosts, among others, the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) of the European Space Agency, the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Iron Research (you might have heard of the new chemical elements they discovered), Telekom City, Evonik, Software AG and Merck. Next to these big and well-known companies, there are many more smaller businesses, hidden champions and start-ups that drive innovation .

On top of that Darmstadt runs a “smart city” digitization pilot project with a focus on sustainability. The goal is to find solutions that will benefit the city and its citizens even after the project is completed. As a result Darmstadt managed to win a competition held by Germany’s digital economy association Bitkom for best digitization concept and is the smallest city to reach the top 10 in the Bitkom-Ranking of Smart Cities (German) in Germany.

Top 10 EU ICT poles of excellence
As the smallest city in the top 10 of the EU ICT Poles of Excellence Ranking, Darmstadt proves the concentrated innovative strength of the region.

Research is a big topic in the city. There is a House of IT that is directly linked to the Technical University of Darmstadt, a meeting place for creative minds of the IT sector. The Fraunhofer Institute has three facilities in Darmstadt, two of them focused on IT and computing.

The need for innovative solutions in IT and software is huge in the region around Darmstadt. Companies join forces with research institutes or each other to develop exactly those tools that they need to drive their business forward. The entire region profits from those results. Unsurprisingly, media likes to refer to the region as “The Silicon Valley for Business Software”.

PAF lives innovation as a pioneer in Process Mining

This idea of state-of-the-art business software solutions also drives us at PAF. Of course we are part of the innovation spirit that has taken hold in Darmstadt. Our goal is to find new application areas for Process Mining, moving towards the next generation of Process Mining tools.

We have three projects with the Technical University of Darmstadt. Our project partner at TU Darmstadt, Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser, praises the collaboration and the fast implementation of results in a completed project:

“On the one hand, the young scientists involved in the project were able to considerably advance the international state of research – both with regard to the use of state-of-the-art machine learning approaches for process mining and with regard to special problems such as data preprocessing. On the other hand, they demonstrated the extraordinary ability to transfer IT concepts of the “front line of research” almost directly into practical solutions of a still young company."

Cooperation with other pioneers of innovation

We are also part of the research and innovation work in other companies. Merck has just received the renowned CPhl Pharma Award in the category “Regulatory Procedures and Compliance”, the award-winning project used our Process Mining solution.

Of course we also collaborate directly with other companies to drive innovation. Currently we are planning new projects with HBM. They are leading innovation in the area of measurement applications for the complete measurement chain. HBM was just listed in the “Wirtschaftswoche” (an important German business news magazine) as a hidden champion in Germany. The numbers mentioned, however, only refer to the German GmbH. If you consider the entire Hottinger Brüel & Kjaer (HBK) group, HBM receives a significant boost forward. Information on HBK at spectris or hbkworld.

For Karl-Heinz Pöhlmann (Group Vice President Supply Chain, HBM), Process Mining is the (r)evolutionary development of value stream analysis.

Cooperation between the two companies is therefore an obvious choice.

Karl-Heinz Pöhlmann
Karl-Heinz Pöhlmann, Group Vice President Supply Chain, HBM
Tobias Rother
Tobias Rother, Founder & CEO of PAF

PAF CEO Tobias Rother is proud of the innovative collaboration with other Darmstadt-based companies:

“Darmstadt is a hotspot for innovation. It is great to see how well-known companies such as Merck achieve amazing results from using our product. But we should never forget the great work hidden champions contribute. HBM has grown into our trusted partner and we are proud to work even more closely with them in the future. Their holistic approach reflects our own philosophy of putting customers and their needs at the forefront of our developments. As a fellow Darmstadt-based company, HBM has the same innovative spirit that drives us and the whole region. It goes without saying that we will create something great together and promote Darmstadt as an IT and industry location. There is no better location for us and our mission to make Process Mining accessible to everyone in the world.”

The future is always exciting regarding the innovation location Darmstadt. The PAF is proud to contribute to this successful region and is looking forward to spreading the word about Darmstadt together with its partners. So that in the near future it’s known everywhere: Quality and progress is made in Darmstadt.