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University Alliance for SMEs

7th Berlin Transfer Conference “Social Responsibility and Innovations” – Sign up now!

Whether it is in terms of sustainability, digitization or diversity universities of applied sciences (HAW) and medium-sized companies bear a special responsibility in their regions. Their collaborative innovations not only strengthen the field of technology, they also make an essential contribution to regional development in the social and cultural spheres. Under the title Social Responsibility and Innovations, the Higher Education Alliance for SMEs (HAfM), of which Mainz University of Applied Sciences is a member, invites you to the 7th Berlin Transfer Conference held at the State Representation of Bremen on Monday, March 13, 2023. Representatives from the worlds of politics, SMEs, and academia will discuss the opportunities and limitations of mastering current challenges technologically, socially, and culturally, and promoting social participation in a sustainable manner, starting at 2:00 pm. The keynote address will be delivered by Zarah Bruhn, BMBF Commissioner for Social Innovation.

“As universities of applied sciences, we bear a special social responsibility as part of our application-oriented teaching and research,” stated Prof. Dr. Kira Kastell, Chairwoman of the University Alliance for SMEs. By engaging in intensive exchange with small and medium-sized companies in particular, students learn that their technological and economic activities always have a social and societal component as well. The invention of a vaccine was given as an example, as it not only entails technological innovation, but also raises social issues regarding accessibility and distribution. “In view of such societal challenges, it is necessary to firmly embed the dialogue between universities of applied sciences, small and medium-sized enterprises, politics, and society not only on a theoretical level, but also in a very practical and realistic way,” said the Managing Director of the University Alliance for SMEs, Prof. Dr. Peter Ritzenhoff. With the 7th Berlin Transfer Conference, HAfM is offering a platform to discuss and network with representatives from academia, SMEs and politics.

The program of the 7th Berlin Transfer Conference

The keynote address Social Innovations will be given by Zarah Bruhn, BMBF Commissioner for Social Innovations.

This will be followed by discussion panels on these topics:

  • Social impact – Examples of social responsibility by universities
    Moderation: Prof. Dr. Andreas Wilms, TH Brandenburg and the Board of the University Alliance for SMEs
  • Social entrepreneurship – Potentials for the respective location
    Moderation: Prof. Dr. Peter Ritzenhoff, Hochschule Bremerhaven and University Alliance for SMEs,
  • Polit-Talk – Perspectives and General Conditions
    Moderation: Prof. Dr. Susanne Weissman, Mainz University of Applied Sciences and the Board of the University Alliance for SMEs

To register and to view the official program for the 7th Berlin Transfer Conference, please visit


University Alliance for SMEs

The University Alliance for SMEs is a nationwide alliance of 15 universities of applied sciences that work together to support the transfer of scientific know-how and practical experience. To foster innovation and social responsibility and increase their visibility, HAfM is dedicating itself to this topic at the 7th Berlin Transfer Conference. Since 2016, the potential of applied science and possible innovations as drivers for the regions have been discussed annually at the Transfer Conferences. Representatives from federal, state and local politics and from political institutions hold presentations and discuss current topics on the podium. At the same time, speakers from the business sector from well-known companies provide an insight into their internal and external innovation strategies. In addition, universities of applied sciences present their suggestions for generating ideas with the help of best practice examples.