Events & Projects

  RWTH Chancellor Manfred Nettekoven speaks on stage in front of camera Copyright: © Stefanie Loos

The initiative has its origins in the international science evening RWTH hosted in 2021 in Berlin to mark its 150th anniversary.



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Building on the takeaways gathered there, RWTH launched other events, such as panel discussions and digital workshops, to give the community the further opportunities it obviously needed to expand on the topic. In the course of these events, we formed the “Next Generation University” initiative. On this page, you can find an overview of all the planned events as well as our previous activities. We look forward to having you join us for one of our upcoming events!


Upcoming Events


Digital Workshop #3 (November 23, 2022, 3-6 pm)

Next Generation University – It´s Time to Rethink… How to Transfer DARPA´s DNA to Europe?

Focussing on the Conceptual Capabilities of Universities: How can we in Europe find an adequate response to the U.S. phenomenon DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)? Can universities here in Germany manage to expand their role as innovation drivers to such an extent that they could be considered a European DARPA equivalent?

As a team of at most 30 university insiders, innovation enthusiasts, and systems experts, we will use this workshop to figure out how we might transfer the autonomy, positive error culture, and radical innovation capability of the American DARPA to the European context. Would you like to join us in this thought experiment? Then we look forward to hearing from you! (Please keep in mind that the number of participants is limited).


Pre-Summits and Final Summit

The ideas generated in the workshops will be edited and made available to the key shapers of the science system (universities, non-university research institutions, policymakers, research-based industry, foundations, and associations). We will advertise the topic to the public and enable further discussion in 2023/24 at two public pre-summits in Berlin and Brussels. The results from all these discussion formats will be presented at the Next Generation University Summit 2024 in Aachen.

  • Pre-Summit #1 (June 13, 2023, Berlin)
  • Pre-Summit #2 (Spring 2024, Brussels)
  • Next Generation University Summit (November 2024, Aachen)

More information about these events will be published here as soon as it is available.


Past Events

Digital Workshop #2 (June 3, 2022)

Next Generation University - It’s Time to Rethink... Translation

Focus: Translating Research Into Entrepreneurial Impact, barriers and success factors. We see translation as the opportunity of our time to work across sectors, faster, more naturally, and, above all, disruptively to solve global challenges. Within this broad concept, we paid particular attention to the following factors in this workshop: Inclusion / networking and communication / information-sharing formats between science, business, and society / incentives and concrete forms of collaboration.

Digital Workshop #1 (December 3, 2021)

Brainstorming Event

At this first digital workshop, we were interested in what experts from universities, foundations, science organizations, and the cultural sector see as the biggest challenges for universities. How self-reflective and willing to change are the players in the science system? What drives them? Given the multitude of challenges within the institutions, but also of a global nature, we wanted to hear assessments: In which areas is it worthwhile for universities to test new things because action at this point promises the greatest possible added value? So, where do we start if we want to build the “Next Generation University”? The workshop thus served as a compass for setting the topics for the following workshops.


Panel Discussion: Online-Series “Talking About....”

1. Edition – “Talking About… How Universities Shape Social Change

2. Edition – “Talking About… How Sustainability Is Driving Innovation

3. Edition – “Talking About… How We Envision the Future of University Teaching


International Science Evening

„The New Fiction of Good Science – in Need of a Paradigm Shift?!“ (May 6, 2021)


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