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Entrepreneurship Center at the Garching campus
The Entrepreneurship Center on the Garching campus offers a single space for all of TUM's entrepreneurship activities. (Photo: Eckert / TUM)
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Economic Minister presents innovation center for digitalization of mobilityUnternehmerTUM declared a Digital Hub

UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at TUM, has been declared Digital Hub Mobility by German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel. UnternehmerTUM is thus one of the first five regional innovation centers chosen by the German Federal Government to bring start-ups, established companies, science, and investors together and drive digitalization progress in important business sectors.

Economic Minister Gabriel presented the first Digital Hubs at the National IT Summit in Saarbrücken. In particular these "digital ecosystems" are intended to promote partnerships among start-ups, established companies, and science in order to boost the digital transformation. On an international basis they are also intended to actively encourage founding entrepreneurs, expert talent and investors to locate in Germany. The prerequisites for selection as a Digital Hub include among other things an existing start-up community and excellent research and educational institutions in the respective region under consideration. Mobility and digital technologies are among TUM's research focus areas.

Each Digital Hub is dedicated to a separate industry sector. UnternehmerTUM has been chosen to cover the area of networked mobility and is collaborating with Germany's Digital Association Bitkom and the Bavarian Digitalization Center (Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern). Other founding partners are Audi, BMW, Daimler, and IBM. The Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs is supporting the Hub with approximately 500,000 euros.

Training program for managers, developers and designers

In addition to their current activities, UnternehmerTUM and its partners are planning a training program, experimental platforms and new events: Each year at the "Digital Product School" more than 100 product managers, software developers, designers and artificial intelligence specialists will develop digital products in practically-oriented projects using new agile development methods. This training program will take place at IBM's new Watson Internet of Things Center. TUM researchers will participate in the program as scientific advisors.

The Digital Hub will network existing initiatives at all levels, from municipalities up to the EU, in particular in the context of the topics big data, electromobility, mobility services and autonomous driving. Events such as "Start-Up Pitches", "Demo Days" and "Make Tanks" are intended to lead to joint projects between the mobility industry and IT, software, and web companies.

"Start-ups and established companies profit from one another"

"I am convinced that joint ventures will become increasingly important in the future - and that established companies will necessarily have to come into close contact with start-ups. Both sides benefit from this: established companies from the creativity, high speed, and flexibility of start-ups, and start-ups in turn from the processes and scaling of large companies," said Susanne Klatten, entrepreneur and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of UnternehmerTUM. "With the Digital Hub Initiative, targeted interconnections between classic industry, IT, software and internet companies, start-ups, and science will be systematically expanded and new joint projects initiated."

Ilse Aigner, the Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology, congratulates UnternehmerTUM on its successful application. "Bavaria offers ideal structures for the Mobility Hub. With the Zentrum Digitialisierung.Bayern, the state already has excellent infrastructure in the area of digitalization. The platform "Networked Mobility", in particular, offers many direct points of reference. The award will provide digital transformation in Bavaria with an additional boost." 

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