werk_39, the innovation center of B. Braun Melsungen AG was officially opened in Tuttlingen on Friday, October 13th.

The head of werk_39, Sören Lauinger, opened the ceremony to about 90 guests and participants and stressed the importance of the location. “It was important to us to implement the project in Tuttlingen and not in a big city like Berlin,” Lauinger said. One had deliberately decided for the “Medical Valley”. This also facilitated the direct exchange with the main Aesculap factory.

Dr. Joachim Schulz, CEO of Aesculap, clarified the objectives of the co-innovation center. “We need to help customers become better,” Schulz said. The provision of digital solutions is at the forefront. With the comprehensive approach, werk_39 takes a pioneering role in the region. He was confident that the project would bring “right innovation into the house”.

Rolf Schumann, an expert in digitalization and innovation at the German software producer SAP, was a speaker at the celebration. With his keynote “Digitization – Where is the journey going?” he presented the future development and referred to the immense speed of digital change. The person itself is the most important variable. werk_39 provides a suitable platform to take on the digital requirements and to understand the relationship between data and human behavior.

In addition, the event series “medtech_shakers” of werk_39 was introduced. It will be held four times a year and will discuss important innovative (digital) topics. The Communication within the medical valley network is to be promoted.

The direct contact and exchange with the customer the aim of werk_39. The focus is always on the optimal solution. Clinical processes are to be improved by digital solutions. Sören Lauinger explains the idea as follows: “A project team develops a first minimal viable version in a relatively short period of time, thus directly approaching the customer and obtaining their feedback. It does not necessarily have to be a product in the classical sense, it can also be “beyond the product” – thus a solution, a business model or a service.”

The innovation program “B. Braun Acceleration Program” is also part of the concept. A program aimed at finding fast solutions, constantly optimizing services and bringing together people from different disciplines, both nationally and internationally. In short, to enable co-creation. In werk_39 this is done in the form of small internal project teams in the open spaces of the site. However, the hopes of the employees of Aesculap and B. Braun are high. They get an innovative and open atmosphere outside the existing corporate structures in which they can develop their ideas further.

In order to stimulate these employees, the werk_39 team launched in September a first “Call for Projects” within the B. Braun Group titled “How to optimize surgical workflows using data?”. Three winners’ teams will be determined, who will continue to work on their promising approaches at werk_39 as internal start-ups for a duration of six months in the coming year.

And the concept is already bearing fruit. This June, the digital application “Tray Organizing Manager”, which organizes the assembly of surgical instruments and the sterile supply, won the SAP HANA Innovation Award. Further solutions, which make the work easier for all participants in the medical technology sector, are already on the agenda of werk_39.

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