Regional Innovation – RWTH Aachen University's role in regional ...

Regional Innovation – RWTH Aachen University's role in regional ...

Regional Innovation

RWTH Aachen University's role in regional

and cross border university networks

Department Technology Transfer and Research Funding

Dr. Regina Oertel, October 20 2006

RWTH Aachen University in Europe

RWTH Aachen University: Euregion Meuse-Rhine

Euregion Meuse Rhine

3 countries (B, NL, DE)

5 regions/cultures

3,9 Million inhabitants

5 universities

RWTH Aachen University: facts and figures

104 under- and postgraduate studies

416 professors

2,100 other academic staff

2,430 non-academic staff

29,500 students

10 (+1) collaborative research centres

6 thematic research groups for phd students

372 Mill. EUR budget (without external funding)

143 Mill. EUR external funding

2 Excellence clusters (German Excellence Initiative)

1 Graduate school (German Excellence Initiative)

RWTH Aachen University: Vision

Need for regional innovation in the Aachen area


Structural change from an coal-mining to

a technology-based region

Elements of succes:

- effective regional cooperation

- regionalised structural policy

- well-develloped domestic market

- exploitation of existing research and

technology potential

Cooperation treaty between:

RWTH Aachen University and Chambre of Commerce

Foundation of 13 technology centres

Launch of Competence Clusters

FounderStartInitiative (GSI):

Five entreprises supported since 2004

RWTH‘s participation in university networks












Regional network of universities, research centres and



to advance the regional innovation by close collaboration

RWTH Aachen:

Technology Transfer, Startups, Patents and Licensensing


Balancing between cooperation and competition

Innovation Alliance NRW

Network of universities in Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW), Germany

Recently founded at the request of the Innovation-Ministery (NRW)


To improve the technology and innovation transfer in NRW

RWTH Aachen:

Member of this Alliance, but focuses on regional transfer (taa)


Different needs and interests between universities and applied

universities (FH‘s)

Aachen-Liège-Maastricht-Hasselt (ALMA)

Meuse-Rhine University cross border network

Founded in 1991 by the ALMA convention


To enhance cooperation in education, research and service to the


RWTH Aachen:

Cooperation on medical technology and life sciences


Linguistic and intercultural barrieres,

different scientific core competences

Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen-Triangle (ELAT)

Triple Helix model:

Interaction between universities, entreprises

and government


European Technology Region of Excellence

Technology Fields:

e.g. automotive, mechatronics, nanotechnology,

life sciences

RWTH Aachen:

Cooperation with universities of technology

Leuven and Eindhoven: benchmarking, masterclass for entrepreneurs


Lack of knowledge about the potential achievement of the other regions

and institutions


Cooperation of five leading European Universities of Technology

Founded 1999 by Imperial College, ETH Zürich, TUDelft and

RWTH Aachen

Cooperation areas:

e.g. joint degrees, EU-lobbying, technology transfer


To comprehend the enormous potential of the partner universities

To motivate the academic staff for collaboration

To disseminate the information within the home-university

To overcome legal diffculties (e.g. joint degrees)

Regional Innovation: Results

Stabilisation of the regional economic development

in the last 30 years 1020 enterprises with

28,500 employees

4,7 billions € business-volume

48% are RWTH Aachen Spin-offs

University-based start up‘s with up to 1,000 employees

351 notices of inventions (2002 2005)

41 Patentapplications (2002 2005) (8 international patents)

Industrial Research meets Scientific Research:

Ford Research Centre

Ericsson Eurolab


European Microsoft Innovation Center

Critical Success Factors

1. Common ground: concrete measurable objectives

2. University well embedded in (eu)regional bodies

3. Knowledge about:

The universities achievement potential

The questions, problems and challenges within the enterprises

4. Complete confidence between the players

5. Networkmanager


1. Limitation of the multitude of structures

2. Role allocation:

The assigment of tasks between the organisations

3. Creation of win-win-situations:

Balance of collaboration and competition

4. Convince university staff to make use of the networks

5. Bridge intercultural differences


Dr. Regina Oertel

RWTH Aachen University

Department 4.0 Technology Transfer and Research Funding

Templergraben 55

52062 Aachen

Phone: 0241 80 94023

Fax: 0241 80 92122


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