Transfer and sustainability

The University’s start-up and technology transfer activities have been based at the MSM since 2015. They are coordinated by the Competence Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IDE) under Professor Volker Breithecker and Professor Esther Winther (of the Faculty of Educational Sciences). The University is currently working on expanding its start-up potential beyond research groups by offering screenings and consultations within the scope of the GUIDE project, based at the Science Support Centre. In 2018, the organisation Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft lauded the IDE’s start-up support programme and the modern methods and formats it employs to promote innovation beyond the narrow framework of traditional transfer. The centre has further launched the EXIST scholarship advice service, design-based innovation workshops, and various EU projects that are co-financed with donated funds from the MSM, such as the InnovationHUB Duisburg-Essen (EFRE InnovationHUB), the Innovations- und Gründungsoffensive Niederrhein (EFRE IGNI) and the Future Champions Accelerator Rhein-Ruhr. Professor Volker Breithecker’s project ’small business management’ (sbm) offers a variety of extensive courses on entrepreneurship and business succession. It is currently in its 22nd year. The sbm project gave rise to the Master of Arts in Innopreneurship, an interdisciplinary and highly successful programme that is unique in Germany. Launched in the 2017/18 winter semester, it incorporates design-based intellectual frameworks and scientific methods for generating start-up concepts. What began as an interdisciplinary degree programme with only 23 students just three years ago attracted more than 100 applications for the current 2020/21 academic year. In the winter semester, 21 eligible, new innopreneurs began their studies.

In the field of sustainability research, a range of projects was launched to study the resource-efficient use of ecologically relevant developments. They include the EU/EFRE project ‘Competence Net Urban Industrial Supply (CONUS)’ with its sub-project on smart logistic grids for the bioeconomy and a project on developing revenue management instruments in car-sharing contexts. Both are overseen by Professor Jochen Gönsch.