Interdisciplinary Management Factory Project House – IMF


The goal of the newly create "Interdisciplinary Management Factory" (IMF) project house is to support the transformation of the School of Business and Economics into an internationally competitive institution for interdisciplinary, technology-oriented research.

The IMF is expanding on the success of the IMP project house from the first phase of the Excellence Initiative. This included the faculty's research program within the Institutional Strategy I.

The following goals were attained between 2007 and 2011:

  • IMP contributed to the implementation of interdisciplinary projects, completed by 80 percent of the faculty's involved researchers with colleagues from engineering and the natural sciences. Many of the projects have already been turned into larger projects financed by external partners. The acquired external funding for the faculty amounts to almost half of the national average for the discipline.
  • The faculty has increase its visibility internationally. The was a result of strengthened participation at international conferences, as well as the face that almost 80 percent of the publications were written in English.
  • The faculty has four research areas defined to address global challenges. This has led to improved collaboration within the faculty.
  • The excellence of the teachng was recognized through a AACSB accreditation. This will further increase the visibility of the faculty and the attractiveness for international students.

The faculty was structured into four research areas as a result of the first phase of the Excellence Initiative. These research areas shape the faculty's teaching and research:

  1. Energy, Mobility and Environment (EME)
  2. Managerial and Organizational Economics (MOE)
  3. Operations Research and Management (ORM)
  4. Technology, Innovation, Marketing & Entrepreneurship (TIME)

The results of the previous funding period are now being implemented into the four interdisciplinary labs:

  IMF research areas diagram
  1. Sustainable Prosumer Lab
  2. Business & Behavioural Metrics Lab
  3. Business Analytics Lab
  4. Management Technologies

The labs are expected to offer strong incentives for leading researchers to be active as a standing member in the corresponding area or as a visiting researcher. They are searching for collaboration with other faculties and units, for example with E.ON Energy Research Center, JARA, and the Production Technology Excellence cluster.

All of the labs share the following characteristics and success metrics:

  • The labs apply for funds allocated through competitions. All projects touch upon collaboration with other RWTH Aachen faculties or outstanding international institutions.
  • A new research professorship is being established in each lab, which will determine crucial stimuli in each lab. The professorships will use a collective infrastructure (IMF office).
  • Criteria for the success of a lab include professional publications, the acquisition of research fellowships, attractiveness for (international) visiting researchers, and recognition within the discipline. At least two labs are expected to have attained international visibility and be able to be turned into an integrated interdisciplinary institute at the end of the funding period.

Pathfinder Projects

The IMF Project House is currently funding three so-called pathfinder projects:

MOE - Start-up Funding for a "Business and Behavioral Metrics Lab"

EME - Energy, Mobility and Environment

ORM - Health Care Logistics