Micro certificates for small and medium-sized businesses

The Institute for Data and Process Science (IDP) at Landshut University of Applied Sciences is developing a further training offering for small and medium sized companies. The short training courses which are planned have been designed to help smaller companies keep pace in the areas of digitalisation and sustainability.

Rapid further training in companies with the help of certificates which also make it easier to study for a degree? The new project at Landshut University of Applied Sciences makes it possible: under the leadership of Prof. Dr Maren Martens, the Institute for Data and Process Science (IDP) has launched the “Micro Certificate Programme for Digitisation and Sustainability”, or Micro-DiNa for short. It is designed to give company employees in the extended Landshut region the opportunity to gain further qualifications in the area of digitalisation and sustainability as quickly as possible. The project is being funded by the European Social Fund (ESF)/REACT-EU until the end of 2023. The funding volume is approximately 600,000 euros. The goal of the REACT-EU programme is to provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the process of transformation in the areas of digitalisation and sustainability.

Achieving the learning goal in a few one-day training sessions


SMEs often prefer short one-day training sessions – especially now, during the pandemic, when staffing situations are unpredictable. In the scope of the project, in addition to two seminars lasting several days (certificate modules), up to eight different one-day seminars (micro certificates) are to be created. The advantage: the micro degrees, which are not yet widespread in Germany, are an effective opportunity for further education and can also make entry into a degree course easier. “After all, the plan is that under certain conditions, these micro-certificates can also be combined into university certificates and recognised for further qualifications at universities,” explains Prof. Dr Maren Martens, project manager and deputy director of the Institute for Data and Process Science, as well as head of the degree course in “Digitalisation, Process Optimisation & Management” at Landshut University of Applied Sciences.

The topics available in the modules range from IT security and Industry 4.0 to digital marketing, the marketing of sustainable products and services, sustainability management, recycling and sustainable packaging. “In the subject area of digitalisation, the university certificate programme ‘Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning’ is being planned, as this is a highly topical subject in which SMEs in particular are increasingly required to make progress,” explains Prof. Dr Martens. A university certificate programme on sustainability management is also being conceptualised. “Landshut University of Applied Sciences is also well positioned in this area,” explains Prof. Dr Diana Hehenberger-Risse, an expert in the field of sustainability, energy efficiency and energy, environmental and sustainability management, and responsible for the area of sustainability in the scope of the Micro DiNa project. A close cooperation is also set to be established with the Technical University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden, which is also developing a sustainability programme. “This will allow future learning opportunities to be offered at the respective universities and make the recognition of the certificates easier at the same time,” explains Hehenberger-Risse.

To make the offering more oriented to demand, the project team at Landshut University of Applied Sciences is using questionnaires to ascertain the qualification requirements in digitalisation and sustainability management from the perspective of the companies. The results are then validated through interviews with experts in the area of vocational training and qualification. The result of the work package is a list of continuing education modules for which there is genuine demand on the regional market. The modules will be available to interested individuals and staff at SMEs starting from next year – whether as in-person classes at Landshut University of Applied Sciences, as an in-house seminar at an individual business, or as an e-learning course online.  Attending the courses is free of charge until the end of the project period.
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About the project:
The Institute for Data and Process Science (IDP) at Landshut University of Applied Sciences develops micro certificates (one-day seminars) in the area of digitalisation and sustainability. The target group is employees in small and medium-sized companies as well as interested individuals. The project manager at Landshut University of Applied Sciences is Prof. Dr Maren Martens. The “Micro DiNa” project is being funded by the European Social Fund (ESF)/REACT-EU until the end of 2023. The funding volume is approximately 600,000 euros.

Project name:

Micro-DiNa (Micro Certificate Programme Digitisation and Sustainability)

Overall project management:

Prof. Dr Maren Martens

Funding institution:

Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts

Funding programme:

REACT-EU - Funding Action 19 “Vocational Qualification - Transfer of Knowledge from Universities to Businesses”

Funding amount:

593,648 euros

Provided by:

European Social Fund (ESF)


Picture: Prof. Dr Maren Martens, head of the “Micro Certificate Programme Digitalisation and Sustainability” project at Landshut University of Applied Sciences.