23 April 2024   //   10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Rebuilding Ukraine: new opportunities through digital transformation

After over 10 years of war and 2 years of Russian full-scale invasion, Ukraine is facing more than ever before the challenge of reconstruction. The use of digital technologies offers great opportunities in this regard: to make public and private sectors more efficient and productive through automated and semi-automated processes. Modern and networked production facilities provide data in real time, which increases productivity and reduces downtime. Overall, production is becoming more efficient, flexible and resilient. 

European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) play a crucial role in the EU when it comes to green and digital transformation. They provide opportunities for testing of new technologies, acquiring digital skills, access to finance and finding new partnership opportunities. With support of the European Commission and the German Development Cooperation agency GIZ EDIHs will start their operations in Ukraine in late 2024. They will join a network of more than 150 EDIHs – out of which 17 are based in Germany – covering a variety of sectors and technologies relevant for Ukrainian, but also European businesses and public entities. Covering the entirety of Ukraine, the EDIHs will provide support and services aimed at the digital and green transformation of local public and private sector entities, thereby becoming an important pillar of Ukraine’s’ reconstruction. 

One of the EDIHs will potentially be established in Kharkiv. Its task will be to drive forward the digital and green transformation of important economic sectors in the eastern part of Ukraine and thereby support the operation and modernization of the local economy. The EDIH candidate plans to address in particular Ukrainian SMEs in the agricultural, energy and manufacturing sectors. 

The Fraunhofer IFF was commissioned by the GIZ project “Digital Transformation of SMEs in Eastern Partnership Countries (DT4SME)” to provide structural support for the digital transformation in the Kharkiv area.


Agenda – Tuesday, 23 April 2024


10:30 a.m.


Kay Matzner,  Project Director “Enabling Kharkiv EDIH”, Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF


10:40 a.m.

Words of Welcome

Valeriya Ionan, Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine


10:50 a.m.

Words of Welcome

Ihor Terekhov, Mayor of Kharkiv


11:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote

Olga Novytska, Consul, Consulate General of Ukraine in Hamburg


11:20 a.m.

Digital Transformation of SMEs in Eastern Partnerships Countries

Felix Kullmann, Technical Advisor, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


11:30 a.m.

EDIH network and its support to digitalisation and resilience

Malgorzata Nikowska, Head of Unit – Digital Transformation of Industries, European Commission – DG CONNECT


11:40 a.m.

European Digital Innovation Hub Kharkiv – Overview and appraisal

Dr. Lina Smovziuk, International R&D projects manager, National Aerospace University “KhAI“


12:00 noon

Automation: Modern production and an opportunity to successfully address the shortage of skilled workers

Gregor Spieker, Channel Development Manager, Teradyne Robotics (Germany) GmbH


12:20 p.m.

Opportunities of the Kharkiv production site

Kyrylo Chikiriakin, First Deputy Director, Office of Reforms, Kharkiv City Council


12:40 p.m.

Digital Technologies and their importance for the reconstruction of Ukraine

Zero Engineering Robotics in Production

Franz Valdiek, Robot Systems, Research Associate, Service and Industrial Robots 

Drone swarm-based autonomous landmine detection

Hon.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Richter, Production Metrology and Digital, Assistance Systems, Group Leader Digital Logistics Technologies


01:20 p.m.

Reform proposals to improve Ukraine as an investment location

Garry Poluschkin, Project Manager Ukraine, German Economic Team


01:40 p.m.

Panel discussion:  Capacitating and Internationalization of SMEs Sector in Ukraine


    Kay Matzner,



    Olga Shapoval, Executive Director of Kharkiv IT Cluster, Coordinator of Kharkiv EDIH consortium

    Kyrylo Chikiriakin, First Deputy Director, Office of Reforms, Kharkiv City Council


    Fabian Marckstadt, Monitor Deloitte, European Lead Partner Future of Ukraine

    Ralf Lowack, Head of Component, international cooperation programme “ReACT4UA“, GIZ GmbH

    02:30 p.m.

    Overview and closing remarks

    Kay Matzner,  Project Director “Enabling Kharkiv DIH”, Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF

    Networking & exchange over a light snack