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Up to 30 million euros for planned ‘Excellence Startup Center.NRW’

University of Cologne wins funding to promote startups and spin-offs

The Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf has decided to fund the University of Cologne’s application for an ‘Excellence Startup Center.NRW’. The University can now expect up to 30 million euros in funding over the next five years. In addition to the UoC, five other universities were successful in the competition.
‘This is a great success that we have achieved together’, said a Professor Dr. Axel Freimuth, Rector of the University of Cologne. ‘Now we can take the next big step in our support for startups and innovation.’

Henriette Reker, Mayor of the City of Cologne, says: ‘The jury’s decision to support an Excellence-Startup Cluster at the University of Cologne is at the same time a recognition of our activities to date and an incentive to continue pursuing our strategy of developing Cologne into one of the leading technology, startup and spin-off regions in the heart of Europe. I congratulate the University and the initiators of the proposal on this great success.’

With its GATEWAY Startup Service, the University of Cologne is already pursuing the goal of significantly increasing the number of its startups and spin-offs, and at the same time increasing their professional diversity. Among other things, the focus of the new center will be on life sciences and digital education, but also on the research priorities of the Clusters of Excellence. Another goal is to create a university-wide culture of entrepreneurship as well as awareness among students, scholars and scientists for data science and entrepreneurship – and to equip them with the necessary skills. Last but not least, the communication of activities and successes in the field of transfer and startups will be improved – both internally and externally.

The Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia had called on all state universities to apply for funding in the competition. At the end of November 2018, the University of Cologne submitted its proposal, for which Dr. Rainer Minz (Rector’s Commissioner for Alumni Work, Fundraising und Technology Transfer), Professor Dr. Christian Schwens (Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences) and Marc Kley (GATEWAY Startup Service) were responsible.

Media Enquiries:     
Marc Kley
GATEWAY Startup Service
+49 221 470-6166

Press and Communications Team:
Jürgen Rees
+49 221 470-3107