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The ifi has successfully finished the project ”S2B Initiative Middle Class” - 02/04/2014

In the period from February 2011 to January 2014, 24 cooperation projects have been effectively set up.

The aim of the concept “Science-to-Business-Initiative Middle Class” was to go new ways in terms of knowledge and technology transfer on behalf of the regional business development WiN Emscher-Lippe, to test these measures in practice and to improve them with regard to sustainability. In particular, the demand orientation is supposed to be increased in all activities and the actors coming from the fields of science and business are enabled to engage themselves more actively in transfer processes. Contributing to the conducted “face-to-face-activities”, the various information and communication processes have been supported by the interactive web platform “Innovation Portal Emscher-Lippe”. 

The basis for a target-oriented support of the knowledge and technology transfer is threefold:

  • The identification and characterisation of relevant actors in the regional innovation system
  • The modelling and analysis of the crucial processes
  • The selection and adaptation of useful tips, tools and methods for innovation management.

Information and guidelines extracted from the study have been converted into, among others, step-by-step instructions, short video sequences and wiki-contributions ordered by topic. In affiliation with the “Fa. Freiwild Kommunikation”, the overall concept was realised as “Innovation Portal Emscher-Lippe”, an open innovation platform. Companies, scientists, students and intermediaries have grown for the first time independent from their prior knowledge, for instance when it comes to an adequate form of describing problems, technologies or approaches. The opportunity to create networks with other innovators according to topics leads to new innovation stimuli in an organized learning process.

In total, there have been more than 300 potential innovators that were directly contacted during the project period, which led to 24 cooperation initiatives. In addition, supra-regional networking has been partially fostered as well. The range includes

  • students who are looking for jobs after graduation,
  • companies interested in innovation or professionals playing with the idea of self-employment,
  • scientists that wish new applications of high-performance technology and are looking for practice partners or competence development programmes in order to foster their sustainability
  • intermediaries engaged in the international discourse about “Healthy Diet” and
  • medium-sized companies that require a market analysis about tomorrow’s potential fields of business, a higher degree of publicity in regional university for the next generation of trainees and help in coping with innovation

The proof-of-concept for a procedurally and methodologically sound, technologically equipped and demand-led orientation towards regional knowledge and technology transfer was provided within the framework of this project. Moreover, the Innovation Portal Emscher-Lippe was awarded the Innovation Prize-IT by the Initiative Middle Class 2013 in the category “Web 2.0 and Social” and thus belongs to the top group of over 4,900 applications registered.