MFG Review of the Year 2011 - January to June

20.12.2011 | MFG Projects, World Events, 1st Half of 2011

An eventful year is drawing to a close. Strengthened by social networking on the Internet, demonstrators from Cairo to Rome and right through to Moscow have risen up against their rulers. The nuclear disaster in Japan shook the world and has brought about a paradigm shift. There have been changes both large and small in politics and industry, as well as in research and science. MFG Baden-Württemberg has also got a lot of things moving. Which issues have been important? Furthermore, what have MFG achieved together with their partners from right across Europe? Take a look back on the first half of 2011.

MFG Akademie programme brochure leaning against a briefcase A frontrunner when it comes to further education in IT and medi: MFG Akademie (image: textbar)

Attractive educational provision and business concepts for technological innovations

MFG. The MFG Akademie starts 2011 with a new programme. Seminar participants can find out from experienced experts about how they can use current developments and innovative technologies to their benefit. Around 90 further training events are on the schedule this year, bundled into four subject blocks: IT developments; trends in communication and creative industry; innovations in public sector and cluster management; and strategies for management, education and internationalisation. Over 60 applications are received by the closing date of 7 January for the 2011 CyberOne business plan competition, one of the most important technology prizes in industry in the south-west German state of Baden-Württemberg. Supported by MFG, the "Baden-Württemberg: Connected – bwcon" industry initiative uses CyberOne to encourage medium-sized and start-up technology companies to press ahead with innovative concepts.

Screenshot of the Oscar website Oscar nomination for Filmakademie alumni with "The Gruffalo" (image: AMPAS)

World events. In the USA, the American Dialect Society in Pittsburgh chooses "app" as its Word of the Year 2010. Two alumni of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg are nominated for an Oscar for their animated film "The Gruffalo". In Tunisia, protests by the people – aided by information exchange on the Internet – have spread to become a revolution. On 14 January, President Ben Ali steps down after 23 years in government and swiftly leaves the country. On 25 January, inspired by Tunisia, people start to revolt against their rulers in many locations in Egypt. The heart of the protest takes place in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the largest city in the Arab world. Out of fear for a further loss of control, the Mubarak regime shuts down Internet connections and mobile networks for several days.
Visitors to a trade fair stand. 180 exhibitors present their solutions in the areas of E-learning and further training

Visitors to a trade fair stand. 180 exhibitors present their solutions in the areas of E-learning an and further training

With EU-wide training and award-winning knowledge management as the key to success

MFG. From 1 to 3 February, the German-speaking E-learning and further education industry gets together at the Learntec fair in Karlsruhe. 180 exhibitors from 10 nations are on show. MFG supports Learntec as a partner and moderates the congress panel entitled: "Learning and cooperation for small and medium-sized companies". The MFG team presents the latest results from the SVEA and INNOTRAIN IT EU-projects on its fair stand, in addition to current learning provision. As part of SVEA, a training programme has been put together to train adult education lecturers in using social media. In the coming three years, 1,000 small and medium-sized companies from central Europe will take part in INNOTRAIN IT in order to find out how to manage their IT services effectively and how to use IT to drive innovation. At the "WM 2011 – Professional Knowledge Management" conference in Innsbruck, MFG is awarded the "proWM 2010" prize for professional knowledge management on 22 February.

BITKOM apps graphic BITKOM apps graphic. The number of app downloads is exploding (image: BITKOM)

World events. Egypt is back online. On 11 February, President Husni Mubarak admits defeat and transfers power to the military forces after almost three decades of autocratic rule. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators euphorically celebrate the long-awaited resignation in Tahrir Square and other locations. The "Arab Spring" is gaining pace – protest has already been stirring for a long time in Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Bahrain and Syria. In the middle of the month, the BITKOM high-tech association in Berlin publishes figures on the development of app downloads: German mobile phone users downloaded 900 million applications onto their mobile telephones in 2010, more than twice as many as in the preceding year. On 16 February, the IBM Watson supercomputer defeats defending champions on the Jeopardy quiz show. On 24 February, the space shuttle "Discovery" is launched into space for the final time from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Participants of the OSII kick-off meeting. OSII kick-off meeting at the CeBIT 2011 (image: MFG)

Trendsetting E-government and Germany-wide open-source initiative at the CeBIT

MFG. At the CeBIT 2011, from 1 to 5 March, Baden-Württemberg presents itself as a modern location for IT and knowledge management. Decision makers from industry, research and politics get together on Baden-Württemberg's joint stand. Minister President Stefan Mappus and state secretary Richard Drautz get themselves up to speed on current IT solutions and trendsetting pilot projects for council services and E-government. On 2 March, selected open-source experts use the largest computer fair in the world as the setting for the kick-off meeting of the newly founded "Open Source Integration Initiative" (OSII). The network of companies, led by MFG, wants to develop a modular solution for business applications on an open-source basis. This solution is intended to entirely match the standard of complete proprietary provision. On 14 March, scholars from the Karl Steinbuch programme present their work at the MFG Talent Day in Stuttgart. The range stretches from a 3D configurator for specific lamp design right through to intelligent living environments.

Cover of "Spiegel" magazine on Fukushima. The Fukushima disaster ushers in the end of the nuclear age in Germany (image: textbar)

World events. While Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel tours the CeBIT in early March, Federal Minister of Defence zu Guttenberg announces his resignation in Berlin as a consequence of the plagiarism scandal surrounding his doctoral thesis. On 11 March, the ground 370 kilometres north-east of Tokyo is shook by the most powerful earthquake in Japan since records began. It sparks off a serious tsunami and a far-reaching series of accidents in several nuclear power stations, particularly in Fukushima. Three days later, Chancellor Merkel announces a three-month moratorium in Berlin for the recently agreed extension to the operational lifetime of German nuclear power stations. Seven nuclear power stations are initially removed from the grid. After roughly 50 years of Christian Democrat involvement in the state's government, the coalition of CDU (Christian Democrats) and FDP (Liberals) loses its majority in the state election in Baden-Württemberg on 27 March. The Greens poll 24.2% of the votes, while the SPD (Social Democrats) polls 23.1%.

Senior citizen in front of the PC chatting on Skype. Initiatives support senior citizens in their questions about PCs and the Internet (Image: MFG)

Strong partners for immersive technologies and interdisciplinary research

MFG. At the 10th Heidelberg Innovation Forum, the focus is placed on immersive technologies. In the Villa Bosch, researchers, founders and developers have the opportunity on 4 April to convince investors and decision-makers from industry about their business ideas. On 9 April, MFG announces that as part of the "Internet goes Ländle " project, it will also support the founding of senior citizen Internet initiatives in 2011. The Karl Steinbuch Research programme (KSF) intends to stimulate innovative research dealing with the interdependencies between IT and telecommunication technology and the creative industries. The programme is advertised by the MFG Foundation Baden-Württemberg for the first time on 19 April. There will be three further rounds for bids until 2014, in which 2-4 projects will be sponsored per round with a maximum of 70,000 euros per research project. On 26 April, the 12th round of bids for the renowned Karl Steinbuch Scholarship also commences. The MFG Foundation uses the Scholarship to support young talents from Baden-Württemberg, who develop innovative IT and media solutions parallel to their studies.

Screenshot of Royal Wedding auf Youtube Royal Wedding on Youtube (image: screenshot)

World events. On 1 April, the National Cyberdefence Centre commences its work in the building of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in Bonn. In accordance with the Cyber Security Strategy for Germany, the Centre has the task of analysing IT security incidents quickly and comprehensively, and creating coordinated recommendations for action. On 8 April, Germany's largest solar roof goes into service on an industrial building in Philippsburg (district of Karlsruhe). The device has a surface area of 87,500 square metres and an output of 7.4 megawatts. The month's big media event is the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. The wedding video on the official "Royal Channel" on Youtube is viewed over 1.5 million times alone.

Excellent communication design and high-quality moving image content

MFG. At the international communication competition organised by the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) in San Diego, California, on 4 May, MFG is awarded the Spotlight Award in gold and a Special Prize in platinum for its "excellent and extraordinarily creative" booklet on the occasion of its anniversary review 1995-2010. MFG finishes in 9th place overall among the 50 best communication brochures worldwide. On 25 May, the jury of the newly created "Digital Content Funding (DCF)" programme announces the winners of the current sponsorship round. Three quality media applications with interactive film-relevant moving image content receive a total of 210,000 euros: "The Inner World" adventure game, the "TOMs World" iPad/iPhone app and the "Minotauros Project" – a project for further development of user-generated content in film.

Winfried Kretschmann at his inauguration. Winfried Kretschmann (right) at his inauguration (image: "Baden-Württemberg State Media Centre")

World events. Apple has replaced Google as the most valuable brand in the world. According to the "BrandZ" brand value survey published by the international market researchers Millward Brown on 9 May, Apple has overtaken the Internet giant Google with an estimated market value of 153.3 billion US dollars compared to 111.4 billion US dollars. In the same month, Google breaks the one-billion-user mark for the first time. On 12 May, the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg elects Winfried Kretschmann as the first Green minister president in Germany. On 14 May, Azerbaijan wins the 56th Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. 13.8 million People watch the final on German television. In the closing communiqué of the G8 summit in the French coastal resort of Deauville on 27 May, the seven leading industrial nations and Russia commit themselves to Internet openness, transparency and freedom..

Die kegelförmigen CyberOne-Awards Der CyberOne Award wurde schon zum 14. Mal verliehen. (Bild: bwcon)

Six months in an international creative laboratory in Finland with MFG

. On 9 June, the "Baden-Württemberg: Connected – bwcon" industrial initiative awards the CyberOne Award to the best business concepts before more than 500 guests. The winning projects include a dental implant system, trendsetting sensor technology for agriculture, and a new type of laser light for spectroscopic measurements. The competition's patron is Minister President Winfried Kretschmann. From 16 June onwards, young lateral thinkers from Baden-Württemberg are able to apply for a talent sponsorship programme. MFG hereby wants to enable committed leading talents from Baden-Württemberg to undertake a six-month placement at the Demola laboratory. In the Finnish creative laboratory, students from all over the world develop new product and service ideas together with researchers and developers. The selected university graduates receive up to 4,740 euros in support.

Tim Bartel (left) accepts the prize on behalf of all authors of the "GuttenPlag Wiki" Award for the "GuttenPlag Wiki" (image: Grimme Institute/Jens Becker/creative commons)

World events. On 1 June, the dpa news agency reports that Facebook has broken through the 20-million mark of active users in Germany. On 6 June, the Federal Government agrees to a change to the nuclear power law as a consequence of the reactor disaster in Fukushima. This change makes provision for a step-by-step phase out of nuclear power by 2022. On 22 June, the "GuttenPlag Wiki" wins the Grimme Online Award. The platform had demonstrated by way of collaborative plagiarism documentation how many sections of text had been lifted by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg from other texts for his dissertation without denoting them as quotes. At the opening of the Women's Football World Cup, the teams from Nigeria and France walk out to a sell-out crowd on 26 June in the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany. On the same day, fans in Berlin celebrate the German team's victory over Canada. Over 14 million people watch the match on ARD, German public television.