Transfer and Sustainability

The UDE’s startup and technology transfer activities have been grouped at the MSM since 2015 in the IDE, the innovation and entrepreneurship centre headed by Prof. Volker Breit­hecker and Prof. Esther Winther (from the Faculty of Educational Sciences). The IDE “has its particular strengths above all in providing entrepreneurship and startup support, which it does using modern/contemporary methods and formats to promote innovation on a scale that goes beyond transfer in the classic, narrower sense” (Stifterverband, 2018, p. 10, own translation). This has resulted in guidance on EXIST business startup grants, design-based innovation workshops, and also for EU projects cofinanced with donated funds from the MSM, such as the “InnovationHUB Duisburg-Essen (EFRE-InnovationHUB)”, “EFRE IGNI” innovation and startup campaign for the Lower Rhine region, both under the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE/ERDF) and “Future Champions Accelerator Rhein-Ruhr”. Meanwhile, the “small business management (sbm)” project led by Prof. Volker Breithecker is now in its twentieth year and continues to provide a range of comprehensive courses on company startups and succession. Sbm has also been the basis of an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Innopreneurship (MA) as of the winter semester 2017/18. The programme is the only one of its kind in this form nationwide and contains essential elements of design-based thinking processes and scientific methods to generate startup concepts. There were 23 students enrolled on the interdisciplinary programme when it was first launched; in the current winter semester, 25 aspiring entrepreneurs from over 120 applicants have now started their studies.

In the field of sustainability research, a series of projects have dealt with resource-efficient use of ecologically relevant developments. They include the BMBF projects “Service Innovations and Electromobility (DEAL)” (Prof. Gertrud Schmitz, Prof. Margret Borchert) and “Crowdsourcing Charging Services Provided by Private Persons as an Innovative Business Model (CrowdStrom)” (Prof. Margret Borchert). Alongside an externally funded project on concepts for revenue management instruments in car sharing, Prof. Jochen Gönsch is currently working on a research project to examine the extent to which energy storage devices can aid market integration of renewables using innovative methods such as approximate dynamic programming.