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At the beginning of the year, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT), together with the Lower Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), traditionally provided information about the tax changes coming into force in the new year. Due to the pandemic, the event was held virtually for the first time for member companies of the Lower Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and students of business administration. With over 170 participants, a record was set, reports Prof Dr Ralf Alefs, Professor of Tax Law: “We are particularly pleased that the digital format was immediately well received. This meant that the cooperation between DIT and IHK could be continued very successfully even in these special times.”

The focus of the tax changes was on the tax consequences of the Corona pandemic. Patrick Lerbs, tax consultant at the law firm Dr Kittl and Partner, provided information on the many new individual regulations. For example, the tax incentives for working from home, the tax treatment of the Corona bonus for hospital employees and nursing staff, the temporary reduction in turnover tax and many other Corona-related tax changes were discussed. In addition, the various Corona aid programmes such as the various bridging aids including the current November and December aids for business were an important topic area. Another focus was, among others, tax incentives in the context of electric mobility to support the breakthrough for electric vehicles.


The Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) is getting a renowned professor from the world of business, Professor Dr. Tobias M. Nickel. In his special field of “Organisational Psychology and Diagnostics”, he deals with the diverse applications of psychology in business. From personnel selection, marketing, sales and strategy to communication and change. The focus lies on the experience and behaviour of people in organisations.

Professor Nickel knows what an important role psychology plays in business. After completing his doctorate at the University of Regensburg, he worked in several management consultancy agencies dedicated to psychology, before joining BMW. After participating in the International Trainee Programme there, he was head of various departments, such as technology, sustainability and motorsport communication, global recruiting and marketing communication. Afterwards he was able to apply his expertise from psychology as Head of Marketing and Communication at the DRÄXLMAIER Group.

At DIT, the combination of internationality and down-to-earth mentality particularly appeals to him. This, and his curiosity, have contributed to his decision to take the professional step to DIT. For Professor Nickel the key to success in professional life lies in seeing all the small good decisions that ultimately contribute to success. He is not concerned with external success, but with internal success. That is, the knowledge that one has given everything.
Of course, the theories of Sigmund Freud have influenced Professor Nickel, but besides the famous psychologist, many of his superiors have influenced him on his professional path. From Norbert Reithofer, Hendrik von Kuenheim to Fritz Dräxlmaier, to name but a few. In addition to these personalities, the separation of BMW and Rover, during which Professor Nickel was able to witness and shape the change in organisation and culture at first hand, has had a particular impact on his professional life. Therefore, he knows from his own experience about the positive effects that can be achieved through psychology in business. His goal at DIT is therefore to become active with research projects in business psychology.

He always has an open ear for his students. In his lectures, he relies on a combination of theory and practical experience. He combines the familiar with the new to create the surprising. Outside the lecture hall, Professor Nickel is drawn to nature and his family, when he is not busy doing renovations on his farm or restoring motorbikes.


Since August 2020, four students at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) have been pursuing the vision of developing a vegetable robot for hobby gardeners with their start-up SEPP. SEPP is funded by an EXIST start-up grant from the German government and supervised by the DIT Startup Campus team. The first milestone was the interim presentation to the SEPP start-up network on 15 December 2020. The team presented the results of the business plan preparation as well as the current development status of the prospective start-up.

The team around Andreas Stockinger - Martin Seidl, Martin Leitl and Sandra Eichenseher- was able to realise a first prototype in the last few months thanks to the funding provided. The start-up’s vision is a vegetable robot for Smart Efficient Plant Production (SEPP). The aim is to make it easier for hobby gardeners to grow vegetables in their home gardens by automating the vegetable patch. Thus, even those who previously had little time for gardening can enjoy the benefits of self-sufficiency in vegetables. They were supported in this by their mentor Prof Dr Wolfgang Dorner and the Startup Campus of DIT. By the upcoming gardening season in 2021, the team would like to be able to build a functioning robot. Automated watering and weeding should then be possible outdoors for the first time. The young founders plan to enter the market in spring 2022.