Eric is head of the VDMA Competence Center Future Business, a think tank that identifies and harnesses relevant trends for the machinery industry. The trend scout and roadmapping expert joined the VDMA in 2000 and established several spin-offs from the electronics production segment, including those for flat-panel displays, photovoltaics and battery production. He founded VDMA Startup-Machine in 2017 to match German Mittelstand companies with young entrepreneurs and increase awareness for startup culture. As a physicist, he has a broad technical background. Beyond that, he is strongly involved in social, economic, ecological and policy trend foresight. He gained own startup-experience with the setup of a display company in 2002.