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5 Posts authored by: jlucas element14 Team
the element14 Global SpotlightGerman Engineering at a GlanceWe Are Makers ...
Five reasons to study in GermanyFive of the best | Projects ...Texas Instruments in Germany


Texas InstrumentsA global leader in semiconductor design and manufacturing, Texas Instruments has had a significant presence in Germany for over fifty years. Of particular significance is their association with the city of Freising, where they first started producing diodes at their Kepserstrasseplant in 1966, and where they now act as one of the major employers in the region. We asked TI Germany's General Manager Andreas Schwaiger about why Germany has played such a historically important role in the success of Texas Instruments.


For a quintessentially American company, Texas Instruments has a notably strong presence in Germany. How and why has this become the case?


TI has a long established history in Germany, being present and manufacturing here for more than 50 years. Industrial and Automotive are key markets for TI as they offer strong growth potential, and Germany is at the center of this.


When did TI first establish a presence in Germany?

Our presence in Germany began in Darmstadt in 1961, followed by the 1966 purchase of our Kepserstrasse plant in Freising. In 1969 the first construction of our Haggertystrasse plant, also in Freising, was completed, followed by continuous investment over the years. In 2016 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our presence in Freising.


How important is this presence in Germany to TI’s identity as a whole?

Our Freising site is TI’s EMEA headquarters. It's one of our most important R&D and Innovation sites, and also a key manufacturing location.


What are the factors that continue to make Germany an attractive market for TI to operate in?

Germany is a key market for automotives and industrial. Due to our location in Freising, we also have access to a wealth of new talent from the Munich area.


How has your German presence influenced TI and the products you make?

Our famous MSP430 microcontroller was invented here in 1992. The site also has a long history of innovation in power management.


Why do you think Germany endures as such a powerful engineering hub on the world stage?

This is clearly driven by the importance of the local markets, particularly Industrial and Automotive, coupled with the fact that many of the leading companies in these segments - from large corporations to SMEs - are located here.


How does TI in Germany support local talent?

We have a dedicated University Program that supports engineering educators, researchers and students both locally and worldwide. We also offer attractive graduate programs and support local STEM projects and initiatives.


Tell us about your German headquarters. How involved are you in the local community?

TI Freising works closely with local organizations such as St. Klara’s children’s home, Lebenshilfe Freising e.V. (working with disabled in the community), Stadt Jugendpflege (caring for youth in the community), Freiwillige Feuerwehr (voluntary fire brigade). Our “Texins” sport club also ties sporting events and activities with philanthropy, for example with a charity soccer tournament on the occasion of our 50th anniversary. As one of the largest employers in the region, it's very important to us that we're giving back to the local community.


What does the future hold for TI in Germany?

Overall, Germany offers great business opportunities in our key market segments automotive and industrial, and we believe it will continue to do so. We're aware that innovation is key in order to compete in the market. This hunger for innovation is shared by all of our employees, and will continue to drive our future success in the region.


Premier Farnell is a major supplier of Texas Instruments products. You can explore their range here.


For more information about Texas Instruments' history and current activities, visit their official website.

the element14 Global SpotlightGerman Engineering at a GlanceWe Are Makers ...
Five reasons to study in GermanyFive of the best | Projects ...Texas Instruments in Germany


element14 community members from Germany, Austria and Switzerland include several of our most active and creative contributors, applying their unique skills to our Design Challenges and developing their own personal projects using the technology and innovations we regularly feature.


Here are five of our favourite projects by our German-speaking members.


Skier Impact Monitor by Hendrik Lipka

Skier Impact Monitor


As part of our Sudden Impact Wearables Design Challenge, member hlipka took inspiration from his son's love of skiing to develop a piece of wearable tech that measures impact forces and calculates Head Injury Criterion (HIC), in order to flag up any falls or injuries that may be cause for concern. The device was also designed to be suitable for use in a wide range of other situations in which a head injury might occur, and the data collected using the wearable would be automatically sent to the parent's phone to allow for a rapid response that could make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.


Mayer Makes Maker Blog by Clemens Mayer



The German speaking regions have a thriving maker scene that often gets overlooked compared to their English language counterparts. Austrian contributor mayermakes has recently launched the first ever Maker Vlog in the German language, featuring news and discussions on key talking points in electronics and electrical engineers, while also showcasing his own projects and product reviews. He also provides English subtitles on many of his videos for the benefit of non-German speakers.


Smart Key Hooks by Christoph Rieder


Smart Key


Our Enchanted Objects Design Challenge tasked members with breathing new life into old household devices using modern IoT technology. Our member crjeder decided to focus on the key hooks that hang in many a domestic hallway, integrating smart technology to provide additional functions including speech messaging, interactive to-do lists and status updates to inform visitors when you're out of the house and when you can be expected to return.


Don't Forget The Windows by Hendrik Lipka

Don't Forget the Windows

Another creative design challenge submission from hlipka, this time using IoT technology to remind homeowners when they've left a window open, preventing potential security risks and also helping to save on heating bills and potentially reduce a home's carbon footprint. The project was submitted as part of our Forget Me Not Design Challenge.


Retro Game Designs by Hartmut Wendt



Retro gaming fanatic hwhardsoft has turned his passion for into an online business with his catalogue of project kits that allow users to build their own versions of classic arcade games using a range of embedded electronics and microcontrollers, including products from Raspberry Pi, Arduino and EnOcean. Using these tools, customers can not only recreate their favourite games from childhood, they can also develop their own creations.


This is just a small selection of the many fantastic projects our German-speaking members have been involved with on the element14 community. If you have a favourite German, Swiss or Austrian community member, maker blog or IoT project, and you think it deserves some extra recognition, let us know in the comments section below.

This is a German-language blog post written by our member mayermakes. You can view an English translation of this piece here.


Germany, Switzerland, Austria


Der Begriff „Maker“ geistert seit einiger Zeit durch die Medien: Es wird von 3D- Druckern, Robotern und offenen Werkstätten berichtet. Wer sind diese Maker und warum schlägt eine in den USA entstandene Bewegung im Herzen Europas so hohe Wellen?


In den Vereinigten Staaten sind Maker bereits Teil des Mainstreams geworden, die Maker Faires sind längst nicht nur Anziehungspunkt für Technikbegeisterte und die Maker selbst, sondern haben sich zu einem lohnenden Ausflugsziel für jedermann gewandelt.

Viele tausend Menschen sehen täglich die neuesten Videos ihrer Helden aus der Maker-Bewegung in sozialen Netzwerken, teilen diese Inhalte mit ihren Freunden und bauen die gezeigten Projekte nicht nur nach, sie entwickeln diese sogar bedeutend weiter. Damit werden sie selbst zu Helden der Maker-Bewegung.
Während in Amerika die Welle, als die diese technikaffine Kultur erscheint, bereits das Land überschwemmt und im Mainstream Einzug gehalten hat, fristet die Maker-Bewegung im Herzen Europas ein (noch) stilles Dasein.


Die Bewohner der deutschsprachigen Länder,praktizieren nicht dieselbe Heldenverehrung wie die Menschen auf der anderen Seite des großen Teiches.

Während in den USA Maker wie Jimmy DiResta und Ben Heck Berühmtheit für ihre atemberaubenden Werke erlangt haben, hört man nur ab und an von den großartigen Projekten, die die regionalen offenen Werkstätten, Makerspaces  und FabLabs produzieren.

In Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz ergibt sich ein gegensätzliches Bild  : Makerspaces und Gemeinschaftsprojekte schießen nun mit einiger zeitlicher Verzögerung wie Pilze aus dem Boden und bieten ihren Mitgliedern Raum für Kreativität. Die bekanntesten Beispiele heimischer Erfindungen stammen aus diesen gemeinschaftlichen Organisationen und nur ganz wenige stellen sich dem Abenteuer ein Maker zu sein auf eigene Faust.

Diejenigen, die als Erste den Schritt aus dem Bastelkeller an die Öffentlichkeit gewagt haben, konzentrierten sich auf den einzigen Markt für ihre multimedialen Inhalte, den es damals (Anfang der 2000er) gab, nämlich englischsprachige Foren, Webseiten und Youtube.


Doch Europa, insbesondere Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz, holen den Rückstand in Riesenschritten auf. Allein in Österreich gab es 2016 gleich drei Veranstaltungen der Maker Faire-Reihe und Deutschland steht als Vorreiter mit Events in fast allen Landesteilen als Zentrum der europäischen Maker-Bewegung an vorderster Front.

Der deutschsprachige Raum bildet einen potentiellen Kundenstock von über 100 Millionen Menschen, die theoretisch alle einmal Maker sein könnten.

Besonders im Alpenraum gibt es eine lange Tradition an Bastlern, die seit vielen Jahren selbst Geräte entwickeln und einen großen Teil zur technischen Entwicklung beigetragen haben.

Auch aktuell wird zum Beispiel die FPV-Racing Szene im Herzen Europas am stärksten vorangetrieben.

Junge Menschen experimentieren wieder mit alten fast ausgestorbenen Handwerkstechniken um die von ihnen erdachten Produkte selbst anzufertigen.

Die Radiobastler der Nachkriegszeit haben den Weg geebnet und nun ist es an der Zeit die mitteleuropäische Maker-Bewegung aus ihren Bastelkellern und vor den Vorhang zu holen.

Derzeit bleiben noch viel zu viele großartige Projekte in den Werkstätten verborgen, denn es braucht Mut, Courage und Begeisterung, um sich der Öffentlichkeit als Maker zu stellen.


Langsam aber sicher erkennen Elektronik- und Werkzeughersteller das Potential, das in den deutschsprachigen Regionen der Welt liegt und fördern Maker und Makerspaces.

Doch um den Schritt in den Mainstream zu machen und die Maker-Kultur  tief im Bewusstsein der Menschen zu verankern, braucht es Helden und Vorbilder.

Maker, die nichts unversucht lassen, eine Idee zu verwirklichen, Frauen und Männer, die unermüdlich nach der Lösung für alltägliche Probleme suchen und Kinder, die von klein auf spielerisch an Elektronik, Technik und Handwerk herangeführt werden, bilden das Fundament für eine Gesellschaft, in der das kreative Erschaffen von Dingen zentrales Element wird.

Nur wenige Maker produzieren derzeit genau auf die deutschsprachige Community zugeschnittene Online-Inhalte, denn schneller Erfolg ist am Anfang einer Bewegung nicht die Regel.
Es ist ein steiniger Weg seine Werke und Ideen einem Publikum überhaupt zugänglich zu machen. Doch wer jetzt den Mut fasst und Teil der Generation wird, die Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz verhilft die nächste Stufe in der Verbreitung der Maker-Kultur zu erklimmen, der kann selbst einer der Helden werden, die die Bewegung in Europa braucht.


Maker zu sein bedeutet, die Entwicklung und die Herstellung von Produkten und Ideen wieder zu demokratisieren. Gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum galten die technischen Berufe für Aussenstehende lange Zeit als verschlossene und elitäre Gemeinschaft, die die mühsamen Versuche von Hobbybastlern nur belächeln konnten. Die Öffnung von Hard- und Software und Konzepte wie Arduino geben Durchnittsbürgern mächtige Werkzeuge in die Hand, die ihnen ähnliche Möglichkeiten eröffnen wie professionelle Hard- und Software Entwickler.


Die Zusammenarbeit von Profis und Makern treibt die Entwicklung neuartiger Produkte schneller und variantenreicher voran als je zuvor. Völlig neuartige Konzepte entstehen Tag für Tag überall auf der Welt und sind nur fähig regionale Probleme zu lösen, weil sie von den Menschen vor Ort erdacht werden. Es ist daher unumgänglich regionale Inhalte in der Landessprache anzubieten, um Sprachbarrieren einzureissen, Wissen uneingeschränkt zu vermitteln und die Mitglieder der Makerbewegung möglichst eng zu vernetzen. Maker Faires und Repair-Cafés bieten Anläße um sich zu treffen, aber für den kreativen Austausch ist Zeit und Raum erforderlich, daher sind die Vereine, Gemeinschaften und offenen Werkstätten  besonderes wichtige Institutionen.


Einzelne Maker sind oft Spezialisten in ihrer Lieblingsdiziplin. Sie werden zu Experten, die von der weltweiten Maker-Gemeinde um Rat gefragt werden. Es gibt aber auch Generalisten, die versuchen ein möglichst breites Spektrum an Projekten abzudecken. Sie werden zu Botschaftern der Bewegung nach Aussen und Innen.


In sehr vielen deutschen Städten gibt es schon jetzt dutzende Treffpunkte und gemeinschaftlich genutzte Räumlichkeiten. In Ost-Österreich entstehen laufend neue Vereine und der Veranstaltungskalender füllt sich zusehens. Auch in der Schweiz beginnt sich die Szene nun mit rasantem Tempo zu organisieren. Die Menschen besinnen sich  zurück auf Werte die Generation vor ihnen wichtig waren:  Dinge selbst zu erschaffen und miteinander zu teilen.


Und auch in einem Keller in Österreich sitzt ein enthusiastischer Maker und schreibt diesen Text angetrieben durch die Motivation, dass Profis die Maker in Zukunft als Partner sehen und mit ihnen gemeinsam die Welt verändern.


Über den Autor:

Clemens Mayer ist Maker aus Österreich, berichtet über seine Projekte und verbreitet online Nachrichten von und über Maker aus dem deutschsprachigen Raum.

Twitter: @mayermakes

Instagram: @mayermakes

the element14 Global SpotlightGerman Engineering at a GlanceWe Are Makers ...
Five reasons to study in GermanyFive of the best | Projects ...Texas Instruments in Germany


This is a translation of a German-language blog post written by our member mayermakes. To read the original text, please click here.


Germany, Switzerland, Austria

The term “maker” has been ubiquitous in the tech media for some time – in relation to 3D printers, robots, open workshops and more. But who are these makers, and why is the movement in the heart of Europe gaining such traction?


In the United States, makers have already become part of the mainstream. Events such as Maker Faires have long been not only a meeting point for technology and the makers themselves, but have also become major attractions for everyone.


Every day, thousands of people watch the latest videos by famous faces from the maker movement, sharing this content via social media and following in their footsteps to develop their own projects and gaining a following of their own.


While in America this wave of technology-conscious culture has long since entered the mainstream, the maker movement at the heart of Europe has had a quieter existence. The inhabitants of the German-speaking countries do not practice the same kind of hero worship often demonstrated by people on the other side of the Atlantic, and while US makers like Jimmy DiResta and Ben Heck have gained fame for their breathtaking works, the exciting projects being produced at regional open workshops, Makerspaces and FabLabs only gain mainstream exposure from time to time.


However, a contrasting picture is starting to emerge in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Makerspaces and community projects are now sprouting like fungi, offering their members ample room for creativity. Many of the best-known examples of recent domestic inventions have come from these collaborative organisations, and very few makers in the region now imagine themselves to be working in isolation.


In the early 2000’s, many of those who took the first step out of the workshop and started presenting their work to the public concentrated on the only market for their multimedia content that existed at the time – namely English language forums, websites and platforms such as YouTube.


But European communities – particularly those in the German-speaking countries – are now beginning to close the gap. In Austria alone, there were three “Maker Faire” events held in 2016, while Germany is seen as a country at the forefront of the European maker movement, with events taking place all over the country.


The German-speaking regions consist of a potential customer base of more than 100 million people, all of whom could theoretically be one-time makers. Particularly in the Alpine region, there is a long tradition of hobbyists who have developed their own machines over many years, contributing significantly to technical development.


To give a more modern example, the FPV racing scene at the heart of Europe is one of the most advanced in the world. Young people are experimenting again with old, almost extinct craftsmanship techniques to improve their product designs.


At the moment there are still too many great projects hidden in the workshops, because of the amount of courage and enthusiasm required to succeed as a maker working with the public.  Slowly but surely, electronics and tool manufacturers are recognising the potential that lies in the German-speaking regions of the world and are actively promoting local makers and makerspaces.


But in order to anchor maker culture deeply in the consciousness of the mainstream, the scene requires heroes and role models comparable to their American counterparts. Makers who leave nothing untried in order to realise an idea, women and men who are tirelessly searching for solutions to everyday problems, and children who are drawn to electronics, technology and craftsmanship from a small age. These people form the foundation for a society in which creative design forms a central element.


At the moment, only a few makers are producing online content specifically tailored for the German-language community. Makers face a rocky road in order to make their works and ideas accessible to any audience at all, let alone a non-English speaking one. But whoever now has the courage to become part of the generation that takes Germany, Austria and Switzerland to the next stage in the spread of maker culture could become exactly the kind of hero figure the central European movement is still searching for.


One of the most important functions of the maker is to democratise the production and development of products and ideas. Particularly in the German-speaking world, the technical professions have for a long time been regarded as a closed and elitist community, in which the tedious efforts of hobbyists were likely to be met with a patronising smile.  Through the opening up of hardware and software, brands like Arduino have been able to provide powerful tools that are accessible to average citizens, offering similar creative possibilities to the hardware and software utilised by professionals.


This new air of collaboration between professionals and makers is helping to make the development of new products faster and more varied than ever before. All over the world, entirely new concepts emerge every day, and regional problems can only be solved because the solutions are devised by local people. It is therefore essential to offer region-specific content in the language of the country, to bring down language barriers, to impart knowledge in a more complete and accessible way, and to connect the members of the maker movement as closely and effectively as possible.


Maker Faires and repair cafes offer opportunities for makers to meet, but time and space are required for the creative exchange to bear fruit. This means that clubs, communities and open workshops operating at a local level and in local languages are of particular importance.


The individual maker is often a specialist in their chosen discipline. Those who establish themselves as experts are often sources of invaluable advice for the worldwide maker community. But there are also generalists who try to cover as broad a range of projects as possible. It is often these figures who become ambassadors of the movement to the outside world.

In many German cities there are already dozens of meeting places and common areas for makers and hobbyists. In Eastern Austria new clubs are constantly being built and the event calendar is filling up. In Switzerland too, the scene is now beginning to establish itself at a rapid pace. People are thinking back to the values that the generation before them held dear – to create things themselves and to share with one another.


Meanwhile, in a cellar in Austria sits the enthusiastic maker who writes this blog, driven by the motivation that someday professionals will see makers as a truly equal partner, and collaborate with them to change the world.


Can non-English language maker scenes ever be truly competitive on the global stage? Share your thoughts in the comments section below...


About the Author:


Clemens Mayer is a maker from Baden, Austria and an active member of the element14 community. You can find updates on his projects and his thoughts on the latest maker news from and about makers in the German-speaking region at his official website and Vlog.

Twitter: @mayermakes

Instagram: @mayermakes

the element14 Global SpotlightGerman Engineering at a GlanceWe Are Makers ...
Five reasons to study in GermanyFive of the best | Projects ...Texas Instruments in Germany


Premier Farnell


At element14 we're proud to be home to a community of over 450,000 engineers, makers and electronics entrepreneurs from all over the world. That’s why we’re starting a new Global Spotlight series to celebrate the reach and diversity of our community. Over the coming months we’ll be shining a spotlight on various regions represented by our membership, taking a look at everything from industry-leading brands to local maker scenes and new innovations coming from the well-established manufacturers and upcoming start-ups; with a particular focus on developments in non-English-speaking regions.


In case you weren’t aware, element14 welcomes input in any language – whether that’s the contents of a blog, a RoadTest review or a Design Challenge project.  Our site uses Google Translate to break down the barriers of language.


Since this is about celebrating the global diversity of our membership, we’re interested in hearing from you on what’s happening in your area.  Whether it’s a new development or boasting about the established industries in your region – we want to know what’s great in your home town or country. There’s so much advancement in the tools and technologies that make electronics more accessible to the beginner or more efficient for manufacturers – and we want to explore it through a local lens.


Share with us below what comes to mind when you think about the electronics scene in your community below.  Are there industries we should investigate and highlight?  A thriving maker community we should interview?  New businesses creating products that address local concerns? We want to know!


  • Articles on the history of the countries engineering, timelines, key facts and figures etc.
  • The history of engineering in the area and the key players of the past
  • Manufacturer spotlights and interviews
  • Local-language blogs and opinion pieces
  • Features on the local maker scene and key events
  • Exclusive RoadTests by Invitation for members from the region
  • Interviews with members of the element14 community from the area.


For our first International Spotlight, we're going to be looking at Germany. Stay tuned for upcoming content including industry spotlights, guest blogs from our German-speaking members and exclusive giveaways.


If you'd like to contribute a blog, interview or feature on your local engineering scene, please feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.