RWTH: Excellence Start-up Center at the RWTH is certified “outstanding performance”.

The NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to continue funding until at least the end of 2024.


The largest fully integrated technology incubator in Europe is to be established in Aachen. This is the declared goal of the project application “Your Venture, Your Way – Leading the Way in Orchestrating Entrepreneurship”, which in 2019 led to RWTH Aachen being one of six universities within the framework of the “Excellence Start-up Center.NRW” funding program. funded by the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Economic Affairs.

A jury of experts appointed by Economics and Digital Minister Professor Andreas Pinkwart has now certified the six Excellence Start-up Centers.NRW as having outstanding performance and recommended that funding be continued until the end of 2024. If the promised follow-up financing from own funds is adhered to, the funding is even to be extended until 2025. Initially, funding was only planned until mid-2024, for which the ministry had made a total of 150 million euros available.

With the funding recommendation, the jury recognizes the work results of the universities. According to figures from the monitoring report of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the total number of start-ups from the six excellence start-up centers rose from 129 to 191 per year from 2019 to 2021, which corresponds to growth of almost 50 percent. By 2024, the six universities want to achieve a total of 238 start-ups per year. In 2021 alone, 101 spin-offs were counted at RWTH, 70 of which were actively supported by ESC programs and funds.

RWTH Aachen relies on a university-wide integrated approach and activities in six fields of action. The RWTH Innovation set up for this purpose supports researchers as a central transfer unit on their way to the spin-off. With the Collective Incubator, a central contact point for students and their initiatives as well as young founders with coworking areas and prototype workshops will be created on almost 4,000 square meters. In addition to coaching programs, start-ups get access to research experts and relevant infrastructure in so-called Expert Hubs. With the use of scouts and start-up consultants as well as new event and teaching formats, the entire university is involved.

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