School:Technische Universität München

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Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is known as the entrepreneurial university in Germany with a focus on excellent research, teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of students.
The TUM provides a wide range of innovative courses and lectures such as “Principles of Entrepreneurship” and “Leadership by motivation” to promote collegiate access to entrepreneurial spirit. Although those events are organized by different faculties, all students are allowed to be part of it.
There are also extracurricular events which are organized by the university itself such as Hackathons, Makeathons, Design sprints, Science hack, etc.

The TUM has founded a scholarship program called “Junge Akademie” [Young Academy] as an extracurricular possibility for motivated students.

With the UnternehmerTUM the Technical University of Munich has its own Center for Innovation and Business Creation. The UnternehmerTUM offers an entrepreneurship scholarship called “Manage&More” to actively support 20 committed students each term faced with challenges from economy and industry.
Moreover the UnternehmerTUM provides a free start-up consulting with fully-founded advice and active practical assistance in all major fields.

The Technical University of Munich grants students a two-term study break to realize their own entrepreneurial vision and even supports applications for external start-up grants like EXIST (a support programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for university-based business start-ups).

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

The Technical University of Munich is subdivided into 15 different faculties. The university encourages the individual faculties to promote innovation in their own specific way. Therefore the TUM installed one “Gründungsbotschafter” [entrepreneurship ambassador] in each faculty who shall sensitize and motivate students and scientists and share important information about entrepreneurship.

The faculties are interconnected through different interdisciplinary institutions such as the Munich Center for Technology in Society, the Center for Digital Technology and Management and the UnternehmerTUM. Those institutions offer numerous events, courses and programs for all students at TUM. An example is the IdeAward where students and scientists may get up to 15.000€ for their university-based start-up.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function

"Cooperation with industry stimulates the education and introduces the future specialists to technically relevant missions." 
– Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President of the Technical University of Munich

The TUM has a specialized institution for technology transfer called the TUM Office for Research and Innovation (TUM ForTe). The TUM ForTe provides different services concerning patents and licenses e.g. personal consulting for investors, information on industrial property rights and the identification of patentable research results. In collaboration with Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH [Bavarian Patent Alliance] the TUM ForTe also provides filling of a patent application by TUM, financing, coordination and monitoring of the patenting process and commercialization of the invention.

With TUMentrepreneurship TUM ForTe supports the student’s applications for public scholarships and sponsorships.

The technology transfer is strongly connected with third-party funds between TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute and different parts of industry.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

The Technical University of Munich traditionally has a close relationship to industry. Therefore the university has installed framework contracts with important companies such as Audi, Siemens and BMW. In the process of collaboration the TUM Office for Research and Innovation (TUM ForTe) is the first point of contact and the central coordinating body for any form of cooperation between the business and research sectors, research funding support and technology transfer at TUM.
Nevertheless chairs and institutes in different faculties also independently get in touch with the industry and develop projects linked to courses. The TUM also allows industry to promote their own programs in the university, so that students may get in touch with the companies. In case the collaboration between students and industry deepens the TUM provides different sample contracts e.g. for internships, final thesis, etc.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

The Technical University of Munich focuses on four core technologies: Medical technology, clean tech, informatics and information and communication technology. Therefore the TUM is engaging with local, national and international development efforts and has partner universities and companies all over the world.
Especially in Germany the TUM accelerates economic development. Each year 70-80 TUM-based high-tech start-ups come into the market. All of the start-ups are high-tech companies and were accompanied from the idea to the final certification.

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