RWTH to Begin Construction of the Largest European Tech Incubator


RWTH Aachen University is very pleased about a favorable decision in the context of the funding program "Startup Centers of Excellence.NRW" offered by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia. This will allow the University to implement its project "Your Venture, Your Way - Leading the Way in Orchestrating Entrepreneurship." Until 2024, the Ministry will be funding six universities with up to 150 million euros in total.

  A group of individuals on a stage Copyright: © Ralph Sondermann NRW Minister Andreas Pinkwart presents the noticification of inclusion in the program “Startup Center of Excellence.NRW” to the RWTH delegation.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Digitization Professor Andreas Pinkwart announced the decision on Thursday, January 17, 2019, in Düsseldorf. Now, Europe's largest fully integrated, so-called technology incubator is to be established in Aachen, Germany. It will be created around the essential core, the “Collective Incubator,” an accelerator program that combines the unique capabilities offered by the greater RWTH community – including the RWTH Aachen Campus entrepreneurs, the six specialist incubators as well as the technology expertise and the entrepreneurial potential of students and researchers. Funding is to begin in May 2019.

"In the context of the current Excellence Initiative, Entrepreneurial Transfer had been anchored as one of RWTH’s core strategies. The associated way of thinking – to act entrepreneurial in all situations – combined with the groundbreaking research results achieved at RWTH, offers immense potential for startups," the Rector of RWTH Aachen, Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, explains. "We also see how committed our students are and are impressed by the wealth of their ideas. This entrepreneurial spirit is what we want to promote with the 'Collective Incubator' in hitherto unprecedented form." We aim to help launch up to 90 business startups annually and, in the long term, create tens of thousands of jobs in North Rhine-Westphalia and the greater Aachen region.


Development of New Prototypes and Products in the Shortest Possible Time

On approximately 3,200 square meters, the "Collective Incubator" will provide space for collaborative work and dialogue between students, researchers and companies. In addition, a 1,000 square meter workshop or laboratory with a focus on metal, electronics, additive manufacturing, wood and textiles is envisaged. This would allow for the development of new prototypes and products in the shortest time span possible.

The Incubator will be well positioned to take advantage of the outstanding environment of research clusters and companies located on the RWTH Aachen Campus. Thus, the incubator can also benefit from the cutting-edge research activity at this University of Excellence, the technologies available there, and the close collaboration with partners in business and industry – 375 companies are currently involved on campus. These partnerships have already resulted in renowned ventures such as StreetScooter and e.GO.

In charge in the coming years will be the liaison association, RWTH Innovation, who aims to tap into all the resources offered by the University and its entire network characterized by technology, expertise, infrastructure, human capital, partnerships, and capital and to make them available to RWTH entrepreneurs as well as other startup teams from all over Germany.

"The aim of the strategy is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and acting and to make it a central part of RWTH culture. No idea, no research result should be lost that has value for the nation’s economic fabric or society. Each startup team is to get the target-oriented support it needs to launch a successful business," Professor Malte Brettel, Vice Rector for Industry and Business Relations, explains. The annual German survey of entrepreneurs, Start-up Monitor, already lists RWTH as one of the best German entrepreneurial universities. This status is now to be expanded further with the new project.

Source: Press and Communications