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Issue 73, Summer Semester 2022

"Innovations emerge at the interfaces between diverse networks."

Deepa Gautam-Nigge still has fond memories of her student days in Aachen in the nineties. After her first attempt at studying civil engineering at Aachen University of Applied Sciences, she finally switched to Business Administration at RWTH Aachen University, majoring in technology and innovation management (TIM), operations research and industrial logistics. Back then, she sat in the lectures on TIM with just ten other people in her main course of studies. Her time as a student assistant at the Research Institute for Rationalization - FIR for short in German - was particularly formative: "My entire professional career came out of that," says Gautam-Nigge. Directly after her studies, she took on her first job at Trovarit AG, a start-up that was spun off from the FIR.

In 2006, she was employed by SAP, then by Microsoft, before returning to SAP in 2017 to set up the SAP Next-Gen Innovation Network in Munich. This network of universities, start-ups, corporations, and investors is all about idea generation and the development of innovative technologies, business models, and also the next generation of entrepreneurs. She is now Senior Director M&A in Corporate Development at SAP.

As a "Nepalese Rhinelander" - as she herself puts it - Deepa Gautam-Nigge feels very much at home in Munich. However, many connections to Aachen, especially to the FIR and to RWTH, still remain. She is currently working as an editor on a book in which RWTH professors Günter Schuh and Malte Brettel are also involved as authors. In an interview, she comments in particular on the topic of innovation, because that is what she learned about "from scratch" 25 years ago during her studies at RWTH.

Other Topics:

  • Spektrum: RWTH and the Uniklinik help in Ukraine - trucks bring medicines, medical equipment, and bandages to the war zone
  • Science & Business: Circular Economy Made in Aachen - RWTH Aachen University brings together all its expertise on the circular economy in the Center for Circular Economy (CCE)
  • Öcher Leben: How hydrogen moves the region - The Hydrogen Hub Aachen picks up speed

and much more.

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