Stimulating region-wide innovation

A new ‘innovation incubator’ is taking up residence in the German state of Lower Saxony. Its focus is strengthening regional competitiveness, creating and safeguarding permanent jobs through economic growth, and developing region-wide capacity for innovation and social knowledge.

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Based in Lüneburg University, the incubator will assist business start-ups regionally. It will also support economy-linked research and transfer projects, and work closely with industry and science bodies.

Harnessing knowledge and expertise

An EU co-financed Convergence region project, the innovation incubator is hosted by Leuphana University Lüneburg. Its main aim is to create new jobs and enhance the innovative economic development of the region, channelled through the university’s own programmes and structures.

Specific goals include stepping up research, development and training, developing regional and sectoral cooperation structures, and boosting industrial innovation capacity and technology-oriented businesses. This will be done through 16 matched sub-measures.

Several sub-measures concentrate on increasing regional research capacities. Among these is a push to develop ‘competence tandems’ for network and knowledge transfer. The tandems will involve international science collaborations and have an interdisciplinary approach.

For regional networking, five sub-measures aim to create and safeguard jobs in knowledge-intensive sectors. These include business start-ups, e-learning, and creative-economy projects. Workforce qualification and university education for future specialists will also be enhanced.

The university will also acquire new facilities for integrated research. An environment-friendly building will be constructed on campus, featuring an innovation and research centre, a professional school, and a graduate school.

Perpetuating new networks

The incubator will benefit Lüneburg in numerous ways, especially in terms of the region’s innovation capacity. It should also increase the attractiveness of the region for highly educated and qualified people.

More than 190 permanent direct jobs will be created during the implementation phase and almost 50 during the operational phase. A further aim is to continue any networks and collaborations set up, after the project ends.

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