Education Offensive in Software Cluster
According to information provided by Fraunhofer ISI, more than 450,000 new jobs shall be created in the software and IT service industry in Germany by 2030. The “Software Cluster Software Innovations for the Digital Enterprise”, winner of the German government’s “Spitzencluster” (cluster of excellence) competition in January of this year, will therefore systematically evolve its education programs in the upcoming years.
In addition, specific educational focus areas shall teach professional knowledge that will be indispensable in the “European Silicon Valley”, as the cluster region is also called, in the future. This includes, for example, the study programs “International Master Software Engineering for Embedded Systems” or the PhD program “Emergent Software”. Already today, the “Software Cluster” around Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, and Walldorf is Europe’s largest software cluster. According to Truffle Capital, companies in the software cluster region are generating 50 percent of the revenues of the one hundred leading European software providers.
In 2010, as in years past, several hundreds of thousands of young people are in search of an open apprenticeship position or a suitable place at university. In addition to personal interests and talents, the question of what the future opportunities are in the envisioned job plays an ever increasing role. The IT industry as a growth sector is particularly interesting. One example is the “Software Cluster Software Innovations for the Digital Enterprise“ – a conglomerate of companies, universities, and research institutions centered around Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, and Walldorf – which plans to significantly increase educational opportunities in the upcoming years. This refers both to apprenticeships for IT specialists and to dual study programs with a high degree of specialization. The job perspectives are already considered excellent today. The high growth rates in the software industry are expected to remain stable in the next years as well – a fact that will also have an impact on the job market. The Fraunhofer Institute ISI, for instance, predicts more than 450,000 new jobs in the software and IT service industry in Germany by the year 2030. Even today, the ICT industry association BITKOM is complaining about a lack of professionals and 20,000 vacancies.
The “Software Cluster” will thus continue to systematically develop its educational programs in the upcoming years. In January, the cluster won the “Spitzencluster“ (cluster of excellence) competition of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and, as a cluster of excellence, now receives public funding in the amount of approximately 40 million euros. Industry and research will invest the same amount from their side. These funds are intended not least for educating the next generation of professionals: As of now, the cluster partners are already planning to provide education in the area of information technology for approximately 9,500 people until 2015. Thanks to winning the cluster of excellence competition, plans call for educating another 5,000 specialized professionals. The “Software Cluster“ will offer slots for 400 apprentices, 400 bachelor students, 200 master students, 800 diploma students, and 100 PhD students annually. Specific education foci will guarantee that the candidates are taught professional knowledge and skills that will be indispensable in the “European Silicon Valley“, as the cluster region is also called, in the future. This includes, for example, the study programs “International Master Software Engineering for Embedded Systems“ or the PhD program “Emergent Software“.
The education programs will be offered by a wide variety of providers in cooperation with the cluster’s excellence graduate school: Young talents can benefit both from universities – such as TU Kaiserslautern – and from companies such as SAP in Walldorf, Software AG in Darmstadt, and IDS Scheer AG, a company in the Saarland that is part of the Software AG corporation. In addition, institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are part of the “Spitzencluster”. Overall, more than 350 institutions, including numerous small and medium-sized companies, are integrated into the “Software Cluster“.
Even today, the cluster is already called the Silicon Valley of Europe. At the beginning of the year, Truffle Capital published its study “Truffle 100 European Clusters", which ranks the 42 European regions that play an important role in the software industry. According to this ranking, the companies in the software cluster region generate 50 percent of the worldwide revenues of the one hundred leading European software companies. The Software Cluster is thus ranked no. 1 on the list, ahead of the regions Paris and London.
Manager, Software Cluster Coordination Office
Phone: +49 6151 16-70821
Vice President Corporate Communications Software AG
Phone: +49 6151 92-1146
Software Cluster “Software Innovations for the Digital Enterprise”
The Goals: Digital enterprises operate in highly flexible, Internet-based enterprise networks and dynamically align their business models and processes with these: All data about processes, equipment, and resources from the real world of the enterprise are available for planning, controlling, and optimization purposes at any time, dependent neither on time nor on location. The goal of the software cluster is to enable the transformation of an enterprise into a completely digital enterprise, where ICT is the essential driver for product and process innovations. Studies predict 430,000 new jobs for the software industry in Germany by the year 2030. Some of the other goals of the software cluster include the training of 5,000 specialists within 5 years, the founding of 30 companies in the core area of the cluster, and the settlement of leading foreign companies in the cluster region. On the basis of current figures, this would lead to investments of at least €300 million.
The Way: In six projects, the software cluster will develop concepts, technologies, and business processes for emergent software – an innovation leap in the area of enterprise software, which is one of the most important areas of the German economy. Emergent software dynamically and flexibly combines a multitude of components from different manufacturers in order to fulfill the highly complex requirements of digital enterprises. The realization of the cluster’s goals will require joint efforts by industry and science as well as cross-organizational collaboration within the software cluster.
The Region: The software cluster is distributed across the centers Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, and Walldorf.
Strategy Board: DFKI - German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, IDS Scheer AG, IMC information multimedia communication AG, intelligent views gmbh, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), proALPHA Software AG, SAP AG, Seeburger AG, Software AG, Technische Universität Darmstadt (CASED)
Industry & regional IT networks: CAS Software AG, Competence Center Computer Science, ConWeaver GmbH, Corisecio GmbH, CyberForum e.V., 1&1 Internet AG, EUROSEC GmbH, IHK Darmstadt Service GmbH, Insiders Technologies GmbH, John Deere Werke Mannheim, KOBIL Systems GmbH, mineway GmbH, Netbiscuits GmbH, Ontoprise GmbH, SIEDA GmbH, Sirrix AG, STI Software Technologie Initiative Kaiserslautern e.V., Technologie-Initiative smartFactory KL e.V.
Research & development: DFKI - Innovative Retail Laboratory, Research Center for Information Technology at the University of Karlsruhe, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern, Saarland University
Project Duration: 5 years (start 07/10 - end 05/15)
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), total volume over 80 million euros.
Central Contact Person:
Manager, Software Cluster Coordination Office
Phone: +49 6151 16-70821
Fax: +49 6151 16-70921
Website: www.software-cluster.org or www.software-cluster.com