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The future begins now!

The program "WE! - Change through innovation in the region "of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports 20 interdisciplinary alliances from all over East Germany in the implementation of innovative approaches to structural change.

In the Southwest Saxony economic region, the BMBF has just selected four initiatives that can each receive up to 15 million euros in funding over the next five years. The future starts now. Here!

We give you a brief overview of the central themes of the four initiatives. Also follow the links for detailed information, video material and much more.


The core of rECOmine is an innovative technology platform that allows environmental and resource technology approaches to be pursued in parallel. In the historic mining region of the Erzgebirge, the combined elimination of environmental pollution and simultaneous development of finely distributed sources of raw materials will be tested. Existing contaminated sites could be understood as sources of raw materials, the use of which can reduce the renovation effort. Ultimately, it is about nothing less than the establishment of a new form of raw material extraction, which can also prevail on the world market.

More information at:

Smart composites ERZgebirge

In order to meet the high demands placed on lightweight construction materials in terms of performance, intelligence and multi-functionality in the future, fiber-reinforced plastics will be equipped with sensors or actuators and upgraded to smart composites. The functionally integrated fiber composite materials are used, for example, in vehicle and machine construction, in medical technology, in construction, in the aerospace industry, in the energy sector and in sports and recreation. An alliance of 136 companies, institutes and research institutes wants to make the area Chemnitz-Zwickau-Erzgebirge a pioneer in this promising field of technology.

More information at:


Smart Rail Connectivity Campus

The initiative uses the unique infrastructure and specific interdisciplinary skills in the region to develop and test novel concepts for digitized, connected, highly automated and sustainable rail traffic. As a competence center with close links to research and development facilities, the "Smart Rail Connectivity Campus" enables local companies to increase their value creation potential with new technologies, products, services and business models.

More information:


Blockchain showcase region Mittweida

Pilot projects in and around Mittweida highlight the possibilities of disruptive blockchain technology, especially in industrial and public application processes. Of particular importance to those responsible is the joint implementation with the regional economy, the networking of regional and supraregional actors as well as the participation of the population. The long-term goal is to create many jobs, including: a. through the establishment or university spin-off of startups.

More information at:

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