University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 069/2022 - 06 May 2022

University of Bayreuth receives millions in funding from the "Innovative University" programme

Between 2023 and 2028, the University of Bayreuth will receive substantial additional funding from the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria to establish and expand transfer structures and measures. With its project "RIA - Regional Innovation Architecture for Transformative Change", it was able to prevail in the nationwide competition for funding from the "Innovative University" programme. The role of the University of Bayreuth as an innovation driver and central hub in the regional innovation system is thus honored and manifested.

The university, the city of Bayreuth in the background and hills of the Franconian Forest - the entire region will benefit significantly from the new funding.

The goal of RIA is to establish an effective transfer network with regional partners from science, business and society that creates sustainable innovation impulses for the Upper Franconian region through modern innovation labs and co-creative transfer projects. Open innovation processes are to be characteristic of this network. "They make it possible to pilot, evaluate and expand new and targeted transfer structures and activities in interdisciplinary collaboration," says Dr. Petra Beermann, Director of Transfer and Innovation at the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Bayreuth and co-author of the successful application.

The overall goal is to bring technological, social as well as ecological innovations into implementation with this new, open, inter- and transdisciplinary way of working. "Especially this integrative view of the necessary innovation in and for society is, in my view, a perfect mix to tackle the solution of societal challenges. Once again, the University of Bayreuth lives up to its guiding principle of interdisciplinarity in this project," says Prof. Dr. Susanne Tittlbach, Vice President for Digitalization, Innovation and Sustainability.

This funding will once again give a real boost to the transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology at the University of Bayreuth and joint innovation activities with the region.

President of the University of Bayreuth Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible

RIA is the University of Bayreuth's proposal to push transfer in the region. University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible explains the role of the University of Bayreuth in this: "We are not 'just' an educational institution or an ivory tower of research. We conduct research on the issues of society and for society. We bring people from all over the world to the region. That makes a difference. But that shouldn't stop at the campus boundary: We clearly see it as our task to bring scientific knowledge, methods, and also international interaction to the region. The funding from the Innovative University will give another real boost to the transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology at the University of Bayreuth and joint innovation activities with the region."

Open Innovation Lab – the Idea behind RIA

The "lab idea" is the overriding principle: several "labs" are to be created in which ideas and measures are developed on an interdisciplinary basis: university labs, company labs and pop-up city labs, which will be linked together in the "Open Innovation Lab". The "Open Innovation Lab" will be the central, living transfer hub that brings together actors from science, business and society and initiates and methodically accompanies joint, innovative transfer projects. It will be affiliated with the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Bayreuth and thus benefit from its structures, competencies and network, so that a long-term effect is achieved in both directions. Already existing company innovation labs at medium-sized companies have declared their involvement and cooperation in the relevant sub-projects. The offer of the Open Innovation Lab will be supplemented by so-called Pop-Up City Labs, which will be set up on an ad hoc basis. In cooperation with the project partners, free-standing premises in Bayreuth will be used.

Students, scientists, start-ups, regional companies and interested parties come together here and have free access to the premises and the offered formats. The focus here is on knowledge exchange and collaboration between the participating actors. The Open Innovation Lab promises short distances and a creative environment that jointly improves transfer and facilitates access to the current state of science.

The Competition

In an expert-led competitive process, the independent selection committee of the "Innovative University" funding initiative has selected a total of 55 universities for funding in 16 individual and 13 collaborative projects for the second funding round of the federal-state initiative. These include 39 universities of applied sciences, three colleges of art and music, and 13 universities and "Hochschulen für angewandte Wissenschaften" (HAW). Four projects from Bavaria were considered: In addition to Bayreuth, projects from the HFF in Munich, the HAW Coburg and a joint project between the Catholic University of Eichstätt and the TH Ingolstadt. A total of 165 universities applied.

In a press release, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Chairwoman of the Joint Science Conference (GWK) and Federal Minister of Education and Research, explained: "Our universities of applied sciences, as well as the small and medium-sized universities, are engines of innovation for our country because they are firmly anchored in the region. With the Innovative University funding initiative, we are providing very targeted support for their strengths."

According to GWK, funding is scheduled to begin in early 2023. Funding of up to two million euros per year is budgeted for applications from individual universities for a funding period of up to five years. In total, the federal and state governments will provide up to 285 million € for this funding round; the funding will be shared 90:10 by the federal government and the respective state in which the university is located.

The federal-state initiative to promote the research-based transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology - "Innovative University" - was adopted by the heads of the federal and state governments in summer 2016. It is intended to promote the innovation potential of universities of applied sciences and small and medium-sized universities in particular. It is intended to support universities in raising their profile in transfer and innovation, which, in addition to research and teaching, is also referred to as the "third mission" of universities, and to strengthen their strategic role in the regional innovation system. Further information on the funding initiative:

Petra Beermann

Dr. Petra BeermannDirector Transfer and Innovation of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-4720

Portraitbild von Anja Maria Meister

Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921 / 55-5300