Successful Customized Program for Airbus China in Cooperation with NDRC in Munich

For a special Customized Program created in close cooperation with Airbus China and the Chinese Government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), an international delegation attended lectures and campus tours in Munich from 3 – 4 September. Participants of the 6th Innovation Management Seminar included 22 delegates from NDRC, four Airbus China staff members, and one member from the AirBusiness Academy in France.

As special guests, the CEO of Airbus China, George Xu and Lou Guosan, Director General of Department of Basic Industries at NDRC joined the opening presentation on the TUM Campus at Leopoldstrasse.

Under the motto Managing Creative Thinking & Innovation Systems, our TUM experts created a curriculum outlining Industry 4.0 and the German educational system. Focus areas included the importance of innovation in the global marketplace, as well as the challenges of digital transformation and international trade relations. Meeting key requirements from Airbus and NDRC, the curriculum placed specific attention on aviation and high-tech sectors, as well as government regulations and government-private sector initiatives aimed at supporting innovation.

Starting off the exclusive program, Vice Dean of Executive Education Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus welcomed the delegation with an opening speech. The first lecture, presented by Prof. Dr. Eveline Wittmann, TUM Chair of Vocational Education, discussed Germany’s unique system of vocational education. It provided the guests with an overview of the German system of vocational education and training and its relation to industrial innovation. The group also learned about the challenges stemming from digitalization and discussed the driving cultural forces behind stability and change within the system.

In his lecture on German Industry 4.0, TUM Chair of Logistics Prof. Dr. Johannes Fottner outlined the evolution of the country’s industrial landscape at the intersection between automation VS. autonomation. With special focus on the manufacturing sector, Fottner showcased future innovations that are transforming processes across the entire supply chain and discussed the ethics of smart factories VS. dark factories.

On Tuesday, the delegation toured the TUM Campus in Garching, including the popular Makerspace workshop as a major asset for start-up companies that are emerging from the Technical University and Munich’s vibrant founder scene. The guests were also impressed with the innovative efforts of campus initiative TU FAST, dedicated to the development and manufacture of racing cars for international university competitions, as well as forays into autonomous driving.

International trade relationships in today’s changing global markets were on the agenda in the closing lecture by Dr. Tobias Rommel, Asst. Professor, Research Fellow for Comparative and International Political Economy, on the subject of European perspectives on China-Europe-America. After presenting the different approaches to industrial policy pursued by China, the European Union, and the United States, Rommel made a realistic assessment of the potential for international conflict and cooperation over competition law and policy.

Rounding out a successful Industry 4.0 and German educational system seminar at TUM, participants from Airbus China, Airbus Academy, and NDRC received their TUM certificates. Next on the agenda, the delegation attended company visits at global businesses in the Munich area, followed by a one-week visit to Berlin with government organizations such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI).

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