innovation Jan 12, 2023

Collaborate to innovate: How to tap into Bavaria’s rich transfer landscape

The transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology between universities, research institutions and businesses is a key success factor in the burgeoning cross-industry innovation ecosystem in Bavaria.

The transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology between universities, research institutions and businesses is a key success factor in the burgeoning cross-industry innovation ecosystem in Bavaria.

Technology transfer and collaboration are crucial for tackling the major challenges of our time. This is why, for example, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) joined forces as part of Bavaria’s hydrogen strategy. Together, they partner with industry in the private sector to pursue further research into hydrogen-based mobility. Subsequently, they will turn their results into real-world applications.  

The extensive transfer landscape in Bavaria also fosters cooperation. It comprises a large number of important players: universities (with transfer offices), technology and start-up centres, clusters, networks and institutions such as Bayern Innovativ or BayStartup  or the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency.

Open-minded exchange and accessibility are underlying principles of this Bavarian transfer scene. In this spirit, the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art funded the technology transfer between universities and SMEs with an additional €70 million this summer. The ecosystem also welcomes international participation to encourage collaboration across borders.

If you are looking to launch a project or seeking partners, here are five points of contact that will point you in the right direction:

1.    University transfer offices

Bavaria is known for its rich academic landscape. It boasts 11 universities, six university hospitals, six academies of fine art and 17 universities of applied sciences. For collaboration with academic researchers, you can contact the respective university’s transfer offices. All these offices work closely together and facilitate connections between businesses and the university’s research groups and professionals. A comprehensive overview of these offices and related contacts is available online.


2.    Transfer Database

If you are in search of expertise on a specific topic, the Transfer Database Baydat-Online, is the right place to go. It helps you find the best contacts with the right expertise at all universities.


3.    Technology Transfer Centres

There are 27 Technology Transfer Centres in Bavaria. They are typically located near a university and provide the opportunity to collaborate on specific applied projects with academic researchers. Some of these centres are dedicated to a specific topic, such as energy (Ruhstorf a.d. Rott or Weihenstephan Triesdorf), new materials (kunststoffcampus bayern), automation (Cham or Nördlingen ) or mobility (Neustadt or Plattling).


4.    Maker spaces and start-up centres

If you are a start-up or young company, then checking out a maker space, digital start-up centre or incubator may be the best option to connect with R&D talent. These spaces are typically also located near or on a university campus and are dedicated to giving young companies a head start. Some of them concentrate on a specific sector, such as the IZB in Martinsried, a hotspot for life sciences that has developed into one of the top 10 renowned biotechnology centres in the world. The Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Taufkirchen is devoted exclusively to innovations for aerospace and security. Get a feel for what it’s like to work in one of these digital start-up centres with this short video.

5.    Clusters and networks

A culture of smart networking was established in Bavaria in 2006 with the so-called “Cluster Initiative Bavaria”. Clusters are networking platforms that bring together local companies, universities, research institutions and independent experts to create a unique hotbed for innovation, backed by the Bavarian government. You can find the relevant cluster for your business here. These clusters are usually affiliated with universities and networks around the globe. They welcome foreign participants as an excellent way to drive innovation across both borders and industries. Many other networks have also emerged in recent years, for topics ranging from artificial intelligence to fin- & insurtech. Download our factsheet to get a comprehensive overview of relevant networks in many future-oriented sectors.


Not sure where to start? Get in touch with our team to identify the right point of contact for you. Bavaria has an extensive cross-industry innovation ecosystem. Collaboration with partners at research and development institutions can give you a head start in putting your business on the path to success.

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