the Next Generation of Mittelstand

A Shared Innovation Ecosystem

Maschinenraum brings together German Mittelstand & family-owned businesses to create desirable futures for generations to come. We aggregate future topics, blend individual experiences and integrate required resources and knowledge to share. We unite German Mittelstand, because we believe in the power of the collective to empower organisations individually.


Awareness & Connections

We create impact by connecting Mittelstand and thought leaders to share new perspectives and adjust to new realities. We offer space to change organisational habits and to work on digital solutions by applying the right methods and routines.


Mindsets & Agendas

We curate formats around future topics to exchange and learn. We provide decision-makers with clarity to understand transformation topics, to find solutions and to make better decisions to drive positive change.


Execution & Collective Actions

We facilitate new projects and cooperations by accelerating implementation of sustainable solutions. We focus on idea validation and offer access to required resources and methods.

Our Members

We create a learning system that thrives on companies opening up and sharing their experiences. Companies benefit from mutual exchange and access to resources, methods, knowledge and infrastructure. Maschinenraum is an initiative by Mittelstand for Mittelstand.

Viessmann LogoFiege LogoKNAUF LogoPhoenix Contact LogoParacelsus Logo

"German family businesses and Mittelstand companies are a pillar of our prosperity. They generate a large proportion of sales and provide well over half of all jobs in Germany. The ability to innovate is also a key factor for the success of these companies. This is not only measured by the number of innovative products, but also by modern manufacturing processes. If you want to be successful in the market tomorrow, you have to invest in digitization today. And it's also about new business models and modern forms of cooperation. This is where the Maschinenraum initiative can set an example." (Photo: Bundesregierung / Denzel)

Dorothee Bär

Minister of State for Digitalisation at the Federal Chancellery

"There is a wind of change blowing through Europe that is presenting medium-sized companies with new challenges. We at Viessmann have recognised that the opportunities that can arise from this are enormous. Elsewhere, however, it is often fear that prevails. It is therefore all the more important that SMEs, as the backbone of the German economy, now shape this change: Not fearful, but courageous. Not passively, but actively. Not alone, but together. And that is exactly what the Maschinenraum stands for. For German Mut instead of German Angst."

Max Viessmann

Co-CEO Viessmann Group

"By joining Maschinenraum, we are now taking the next step and seeking to spar and share best practices with other companies and the Maschinenraum team in order to better and more sustainably master the challenges in cultural and digital change."

Markus Nigg

Product management at Murrelektronik

"We want to dare to think outside the box, get involved in Maschinenraum and work with other medium-sized companies on future topics."

Axel van Lil

Chief Digital Architect, Knipex

"To this end, we have been working with other companies or in associations in our industry for years. Now we are taking the next step in this development and are looking for an exchange in Maschinenraum with companies from outside the industry that have had or are currently having similar experiences in terms of digitalisation. The focus on medium-sized and family businesses, which share many values as like-minded people, makes this possible in a unique way"

Dr. Laura Sasse

CDO of the Dr Sasse Group

"In the Maschinenraum, we network with like-minded people and want to actively show our face. Behind this is the conviction that this is the only way we can drive forward the transformation for us as a company but also with a view to the entire Mittelstand sector. All members are united by this mindset, and all want to make a difference. For the Marantec Company Group, the Maschinenraum therefore forms the ideal ecosystem for establishing and expanding digital business models with the greatest possible impact."

Kerstin Hochmüller

CEO of the Marantec Company Group

"The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier in transportation is environmentally friendly and ensures that climate protection plans can be fulfilled sustainably. In association with our partners, we are now defining the technology standards, can promote greater user acceptance and ultimately also create new job profiles."

Lorenz Maier

Managing Director of MaierKorduletsch

"We are convinced that we can achieve more together. This is also reflected in the purpose of WEPA Group 'Together for a better life'. We joined Maschinenraum to share our own experiences, to benefit from the experiences of others and to initiate joint cooperations in order to boldly shape the future."

Andreas Krengel

Member of the WEPA Group Management Board

"Our customers' tablet presses and capsule filling machines run up to 24 hours a day. User support therefore plays a central role in the development of our digital solutions such as LiveGuide. As a machine builder, we deliver demand-oriented OEM expertise and help our customers worldwide to manufacture their diverse products even more efficiently."

Joachim Dittrich

CEO of Fette Compacting

"Above all the projects we are currently initiating is the question: What does the future generation expect from us? That's why we are looking very closely at the increasing industrial challenges on the customer side, the requirements of young employees, and measures in terms of sustainability, where we are looking for suitable solutions. However, this is a process that not only we are going through, but all companies. For us, it is logical that we join Maschinenraum. This innovation ecosystem allows us to get new impulses, digital trends and recruitment insights, and also opportunity to share our own experience."

Dr. Philipp Hoff

Head of Corporate Development and Digital

"Through on-site discussions in the field, we learn how our machines prove themselves in use and what is particularly important to farmers. We also live this principle internally, involving our employees in all important decision-making and development processes."

Michael Horsch

Founder of HORSCH and a farmer

"German SMEs are constantly caught between core business and start-up business, classic product development or agile innovation. Countering these dilemmas requires adaptive, ambidextrous behavior: Creating the space for innovation without neglecting the core business. Maschinenraum offers the right tool for this. It is an innovative ecosystem that makes collaboration on future topics possible and focuses on shared learning. This is the only way for German SMEs to remain future-proof and innovative."

Dr. Gunther Wobser

Managing Director

"We want to be pioneers in digitalization in facility management. Whether in IoT projects, digital platforms or automation and robotics solutions such as autonomous cleaning robots. A long-term cooperation with Maschinenraum opens up new options for us in this regard. We look forward to exchanging ideas with like-minded people."

Philipp Conrads

CEO of Dussmann Service Germany

"Family businesses are characterized by a long-term and sustainable business approach. With its collaborative and resource-saving approach, Maschinenraum embodies just that. That is why we are very pleased to be part of Maschinenraum. Together with the other family-owned companies, we would like to shape the future of Mittelstand and show what innovative power can come from medium-sized companies."

Dr. Ralf Murjahn


"We look forward to continuing our digital journey together with other companies from similar backgrounds and to learning with and from each other. The exchange of experiences enables us to jointly master challenges, both in the development of digital products and the accompanying organizational presentation."

Markus Wernicke

Managing Director of abcfinlab

"Digitalization represents the most promising and at the same time the most important investment opportunity in the coming years, not only in the printing industry but the entire German Mittelstand. The necessity for this was demonstrated to us not least by the Corona crisis. We at APPL saw the crisis as an opportunity and pushed ahead with the transformation process. Together with Maschinenraum, we want to maintain the speed, share our experiences and learn from collaboration with the other companies. We are proud to be part of the innovative ecosystem."

Markus Appl

Managing Director and shareholder, APPL

"NEO66 is LAMY’s innovation unit. Our job is to find, develop and execute innovative, digital or hybrid business models. We are part of Maschinenraum because we are able to meet teams from family-owned and Mittelstand companies that are in a similar situation and face the same challenges. I am looking forward to exchanging with the community and am convinced that we can learn a lot from and with one another. We are all united by one goal: We want to bravely shape the future of Mittelstand."

Christian Wolf

Head of Digital Innovation, NEO66 – a project of C. Josef Lamy GmbH

"Maschinenraum as a co-creation workspace in the startup hub Berlin is the ideal place for us to advance our company building activities in the log-tech area. The agile exchange with other innovative SMEs at Maschinenraum also enables network effects and offers the opportunity to create synergies across industries."

Jens Fiege


“Customer satisfaction, product quality as well as real innovations are always at the center of all our pioneering investment and cooperation decisions. Maschinenraum offers the ideal basis for us to actively shape the future of German SME companies together with other innovators. The active membership is an additional component in our strategy of a long-term successful family business. We consciously enter into an exchange in order to share our experiences in an interdisciplinary manner and also to generate new perspectives."

Bernard Krone

Chairman of the supervisory board of the KRONE Group

"As digitalization has also arrived in the construction industry, Viessmann has taken the initiative in an exemplary fashion, creating space and a network for joint learning and design. As a company with a long tradition, Knauf supports these objectives and wants to be part of this journey of the German Mittelstand."

Jörg Kampmeyer

Managing Partner at Knauf

"We are pleased to be part of the Maschinenraum community and have relocated some of our PHOENIX CONTACT Smart Business GmbH employees to Maschinenraum as another step in growth. The goal is to generate more synergies between the startup ecosystem in Berlin, as well as other SMEs and our core business in order to further expand our competencies for data-centric business models. We greatly benefit from Maschinenraum’s network, which offers us an innovative environment with high flexibility and good impulses."

Frank Stührenberg


"A huge value for our country lies in the cooperation between Mittelstand and startups. The Mittelstand is the backbone of our economy and startups are well on their way of fulfilling this role in future. But even more potential can be tapped if both worlds work together and learn from each other. This is where Maschinenraum comes into play. Mittelstand companies benefit from the speed and self-confidence of startups and startups can learn how to build a sustainable business that provides prosperity and work for entire generations."

Christian Miele

Chairman of the German Startups Association

"Family businesses are by far the majority of all companies in Germany and provide most jobs in important sectors. However, digitization poses challenges for companies regardless of size and industry due to changing markets, but at the same time offers enormous opportunities for innovation, new products and solutions. The key to this is collaboration - within one's own organization, across industries and even generations. Maschinenraum offers the ideal framework for this: through exchange and networking between established SMEs, young companies and tech-savvy experts."

Robert Reisch

CEO Alfons W. Gentner Verlag

"As a future-oriented company, Digital Spine re-interprets the role of vertical mobility in the digital transformation of buildings. We are absolutely delighted to be part of Maschinenraum’s interactive innovation ecosystem as it enables us to positively shape the future of German Mittelstand together with other family companies and to further expand our individual initiatives in the field of digitalization."

Simon Vestner

Founder and CEO, Digital Spine GmbH

"German family-owned companies stand for values, cohesion, long-term orientation and regional responsibility. As medium-sized companies and startups meet at eye level, their competencies and strengths complement each other. Modern companies can only meet the challenges of the present and the future through cooperation and openness; the individual company no longer has all the skills and technologies needed to be competitive in highly innovative sectors. With Maschinenraum, a platform that turns experiences and entrepreneurial curiosity into competitive advantages is born. I am pleased that this opens up another new path for SMEs of tomorrow."

Prof. Dieter Kempf

President of the BDI

"The Paracelsus-Kliniken see themselves as home to a distinct social culture. This credo also applies to Maschinenraum. Here, Mittelstand companies can learn from each other and use the power of the collective to support each other, thus avoiding mistakes and enabling scaling that works. Together, we can build our own ecosystem. Maschinenraum helps us on this journey by setting the right course and giving us the necessary guidance."

Fabian Pritzel

CTO Paracelsus-Kliniken

"The most urgent problems of our time require a new culture of cooperation in the economy and society. As the engine of the German economy, small and medium-sized enterprises can become the pace-setter of this change and shape it proactively. This is exactly what the Maschinenraum stands for. For cooperation, co-creation and innovation in German medium-sized businesses. As a shared innovation platform, it enables small and medium-sized companies to understand the future and to shape it boldly."

Tobias Rappers

Managing Director Maschinenraum

"With Maschinenraum and our newly founded Corporate Innovation Lab 'port F', we pursue the goal of making the plastics industry fit for the future and for the cycle. We want to make a difference - in the Feddersen Group, in the plastics industry, in our society."

Christian Gref

Director Corporate Innovation Lab

"As sustainable as our vision and our business model are, we also want to develop sustainably as a company. In order to achieve this, we are currently focusing on the topics of digitalisation and recruiting. We are accordingly looking forward to the impulses from Maschinenraum and especially to the exchange with medium-sized companies and other family businesses that have already successfully mastered challenges in precisely this area."

Alexander Maak

Head of Business Development und Innovation & Project Management

Changes on product and end-customer levels mean that processes have to be redefined and digitalised. And this is exactly where we rely on the exchange with Maschinenraum and its members – and also want to give something back and let other companies share in our experiences and learnings.

Stefan Jörgens

Director Research & Development

Strategy Circle

The Maschinenraum Strategy Circle brings together decision-makers, executives and other relevant contacts and experts from Maschinenraum member companies to discuss issues and challenges relating to corporate strategy and purpose

Communications Circle

Maschinenraum Communications Circle brings together decision-makers, managers and other relevant contacts and experts from Maschinenraum member companies to discuss issues and challenges relating to corporate communications.

Leadership & Culture Circle

With the launch of the new Circle Leadership & Culture, we bring together all relevant contacts and experts from Maschinenraum member companies to exchange ideas on this topic for the first time

Recruitment Circle

The Maschinenraum Recruitment Circle brings together recruiting forces of German Mittelstand and family businesses

Innovation Management Circle

For the first time we bring together participants with different expertise: those responsible for innovation in the core businesses and experts in validating new ideas

Listen to our podcast!

Our podcast "Alles neu...? Aus dem Maschinenraum" is the interview podcast for German Mittelstand – together with Capital magazine, we talk to thought leaders and makers about what drives them.

Maschinenraum Stories

What topics do our Members work on? What is their perspective on innovation in German Mittelstand? In our Stories, we introduce our Member companies and the people behind them

Media Studio

We offer a range of digital event services – from webcasting and streaming to integrating social media into your live event – whatever your requirements are, we can seamlessly take your event online and extend its reach to engage a wider audience.

User Centricity

In our program on User Centricity, we examine all aspects of customer-centric corporate cultures and offer formats to get started right away.

Work from Maschinenraum

We believe that innovation needs space to foster impactful work. On 4.500 m², our co-innovation floors offer fully-equipped studios and open-space desks to enable collaborative and focused work alike.

Our News

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