Entrepreneurial transfer has been explicitly anchored in the current Excellence Strategy. This represents a steady and mutual exchange of ideas, knowledge, technology, and people at the University, with partner organizations, as well as business and society.
The well-established interaction of technology scouting and consulting structures resulted in RWTH being ranked the third best university for start-ups in the 2018 German Start-up Monitor.
This integrative approach now serves as a blueprint for the development of Europe's largest incubator.
The associated concept is aimed at
1. entrepreneurial thinking and acting becoming a key component of the University’s culture,
2. no idea and no research result getting lost for transfer to the economy and society, and
3. each start-up receiving the targeted support it needs to be successful start-up.
According to the vision Your Venture, Your Way - RWTH Aachen: Leading the Way in Orchestrating Entrepreneurship, the unique resources of RWTH and the entire RWTH environment (technology, expertise, infrastructure, human capital, cooperation partners, and capital) will be made available for start-up teams from RWTH and even all over Germany in the coming years.
The Collective Incubator is the new entrepreneurship hub that spans 3,200 square meters. It will be frequented by over 1,000 students each day and form the lively core of the campus. Start-up support will be managed centrally there: teams will be able to access start-up advising and crucial resources from RWTH and its external partners.
Each team will be offered the individual support it needs for its specific development. To make this possible, partners with proven expertise, such as Fraunhofer Venture or digitalHUB Aachen are involved in the consulting process.
This integrative approach will transform the whole University into the largest and best equipped technical incubator in Europe.
The Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia supports the implementation of this concept and the pursuit of various fields of action in the funding measure Excellence Start-up Center.NRW.
RWTH Innovation Entrepreneurship Center
In order to support students and scientists interested in starting their own business, RWTH Aachen University established the Entrepreneurship Center in 2000.
As part of the regional entrepreneurship initiative "GründerRegion Aachen," the Entrepreneurship Center supported not only the start-up culture at RWTH Aachen University but also students and scientists interested in setting up their own business with a comprehensive advisory service.
To further boost the entrepreneurial scene at the University, a Chair of Entrepreneurship, the Chair of Business Administration and Sciences for Engineers and Natural Scientists, headed by Professor Malte Brettel, was established in 2003.
In the last few years, several crucial initiatives for developing entrepreneurial culture at RWTH have emerged from the close collaboration between the Entrepreneurship Center and the Chair of Entrepreneurship, or Innovation and Entrepreneurship group.
Since 2018, all the services formerly offered by the Entrepreneurship Center have been provided by the new RWTH Innovation Entrepreneurship Center – a cooperation between the newly founded RWTH Innovation GmbH and the Chair of Entrepreneurship.
For more information about the Center for Entrepreneurship's services, please refer to the RWTH Innovation website.