Get to know– Iris Wilhelmi

What is digitalHUB aachen?

The digitalHUB Aachen Association is committed to digitalising the economy and the public sector of the Aachen region. Members are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), multinational companies, start-ups and institutions, which support the goals of our association. In digitalHUB Aachen, start-ups and SMEs (digital “enabler”) develop new digital business models as users (digital “users”) together with classical medium-sized businesses and industry. This is supported by the region and science (“supporter”). In this way, an “Aachen Area” is created as a digital innovation territory.

Our performance portfolio is based on three pillars: workspace, matchmaking as well as consulting and training. We have aligned our specific service offerings to the digital users and enablers based on their different maturity levels, thus pursuing the goal of realizing more collaborations, joint ventures, digital foundations and digital business models in the Aachen Area.

Design is more than the purely external shape and color design of an object. It also determines the function of an object and the interaction with the user.

How did you become the managing director of digitalHUB aachen?

Digitalisation changes the gameplay of our everyday activities. It leads to enormous changes in economy and society,as well as work, consumption, cooperation and communication. And even more important compared to all previous transformations, in the context of digitalisation only the fastest will survive. The winners will be those who open up new markets early and quickly set their own standards. Digitalisation not only means optimizing processes and increasing efficiency through industry 4.0, but also the development of data-driven services and business models. As an expert for technology-oriented startups at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Aachen, it was very clear to me that we had to act quickly. With our regional potential we have the power to put the Aachen area on the digital map. As the deputy managing director of the GründerRegion Aachen, I have been involved in the development of the digitalHUB Aachen right from the start. Therefore I was very proud when the board of the digitalHUB Aachen e.V. consisting of Dr. Oliver Grün, President of BITMi e.V and CEO of GRÜN Software AG, Prof. Malte Brettel, Vice President of RWTH Aachen and Michael F. Bayer, CEO, IHK Aachen, had appointed me to the management at the founding meeting on 25th July 2016.

What makes the digitalHUB aachen unique?

The digital HUB Aachen is a strong coalition of business, science and politics and thus realizes a unique bottom-up digitalisation movement in the Aachen Area with currently over 160 members. The Aachen Area offers a university region with a global prestige and many clever minds, a broadly based  mid-sized sector, many world market leaders who understand their customers, a strong IT sector with 75% more IT jobs than the average of North Rhine-Westphalia, a technology-oriented startup scene and a border triangle with international contacts to countries that motivate companies to settle.

Are you connected to the design scene of the Euregio?
As a founding expert, I have always been in contact with various designers of the Designmetropole Aachen in recent years and had the pleasure to accompany  some of them during their business development. Within the digitalHUB Aachen ecosystem, we are proud to count on the Designmetropole Aachen as a supporter member of the digitalHUB Aachen.

What is the purpose of design?
Design is more than the purely external shape and color design of an object. It also determines the function of an object and the interaction with the user. Through the design process, among others, the influence on the function, usability and service life of a product or software is particularly relevant. This also applies to digitalproducts. The success of a software, an app or a platform depends at least as much on its well-designed usability as in the case of industrially manufactured products.

Your favourite spots in the Euregio?
Sure, the DIGITAL CHURCH, what else? ? No, seriously, it is a wonderful inspiring place.

What is your motivation to participate in hello designer tour?

I see great promise in the cooperation with the Designmetropole Aachen. Design thinking is based on the assumption that problems are better solved if people from different disciplines in a creativity-promoting environment work together to jointly develop a question. In this process they consider the needs and motivations of people and then develop concepts. From my point of view, the work with designer is an important success factor for the concept of the digitalHUB Aachen. For this reason, together with the Designmetropole Aachen, we developed the “Design Speed Thinking” workshop, which we will be holding for the first time at the DIGITAL CHURCH as part of the hello designer tour on October 10th.