In 2022 and 2023, the Bavarian metalworking and electrical employers’ associations bayme vbm are funding the “Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship” program at the University of Passau. As part of the initiative, the university has developed two interdisciplinary, English-language certificates to promote entrepreneurship and digital business ideas on campus, the "Entrepreneurial Pathfinder" and the "Honours Degree" in Entrepreneurship. bayme vbm Managing Director Bertram Brossardt explains: “We are the main sponsors of the program because it inspires students from all faculties about digital technologies and motivates them to take entrepreneurial action during their studies. Last but not least, by awakening the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit early on, we also contribute to securing skilled workers and strengthening Lower Bavaria as a business location.”
The digital approaches of the program are particularly valuable for the association, because the digital competence of the employees ensures that the companies in the Free State remain competitive. Brossardt explains: "In order to keep up internationally, we have to further strengthen and develop our skills in the field of digital technologies. The Passau certificate program starts here in a targeted manner and is therefore the leader in Bavaria. Because of this special educational achievement, it was awarded the German Employer Prize for Education in November 2020.” As part of the current cohort, bayme vbm and the University of Passau have also opened the program to their Ukrainian partner university, the National Wadym Hetman University of Economics (KNEU) in Kyiv, in view of the Russia-Ukraine war. Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler, who supports Ukrainian students and researchers together with other members of the university, reports: “We wanted to give Ukrainian students the opportunity to promote their start-up ideas in their home country. Two teams from KNEU are currently involved in the program. One of them developed the Ukrainian stew borscht as an instant packet soup. The team has now distributed more than 11,000 of these bags to Ukrainian helpers.” A total of 36 students and chairs from all four faculties took part in the support program this year. It is very interdisciplinary and is constantly being further developed.
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