New Transfer Strategy: More Communication and Closer Cooperation
The University of Bremen has developed a new transfer strategy. The aim is to organize communication, dialog, and cooperation with politics, economy, and society in varying contexts in a closer and more efficient manner. The university will go forward in a target-oriented manner in the future: Specific measures and activities will be carried out in six fields of action.
“We are bursting with ideas. We are developing solutions for the problems of our society. Our scientists are researching both the foundations of existence and current issues. We are educating the experts of tomorrow, who will one day steer the destinies of our society,” says Professor Andreas Breiter, vice president research at the University of Bremen. “As our society is facing bigger challenges all the time, it is important that we link our knowledge and skills even more tightly with daily life than has been done so far – and that we move even closer to the people with our research and teaching – in the end it is their wellbeing that we are acting on behalf of as a university.
Regardless of whether it concerns society, culture, education, politics or economy in our country, without great and efficient knowledge and technology transfer from the higher education institutes and universities to the outside, it will become increasingly more difficult in the frame of global competition to position ourselves. “In order to be a university that is active and successful in terms of transfer, we want to create a culture that is embraced by all university members,” says Dr. Martin Heinlein, head of the UniTransfer transfer office. “In the future, we need to automatically think about and transfer.”
Six Specific Fields of Action
There are six fields of action, in which the university wishes to further develop the transfer concept. In the coming years, the university will
• increase the visibility of transfer and express the appreciation for transfer activities – for example via publications, presentations, open days, and other PR measures;
• strengthen transfer competences and establish support structures – as Uni Bremen Campus GmbH does, for example. Uni Bremen Campus GmbH is a business platform for transfer and makes it possible for university scientists to work corporately with their ideas – without them having to found their own company first;
• combine teaching, studies, and transfer – much like is done with the practical education of economists, who do not only learn subject-specific work during their degree but can also train to become certified derivatives traders;
• promote entrepreneurial culture – as is done by the CAMPUSiDEEN project, which has been discovering, presenting, and honoring new, exciting business ideas every year since 2003;
• intensify the communication with transfer partners – as the Academy of Continuing Education does. In consultation with the IT branch, they offer special training and by doing so, react to the extreme lack of qualified personnel in this sector;
• strengthen the anchoring within the city and region – as the University of Bremen Technology Park has successfully done. The park has developed into a lively “scientific district” in Bremen with over 500 companies.
“There are some very nice examples that show how important the transfer of science into society really is – and how well it functions and how our city residents profit,” says Martin Heinlein. The Geosciences Collection of the University of Bremen, which is well known outside of the state, has been in place since 1994. The collection is the first point of contact in Bremen for anyone who is interested in minerals, stone, and fossils. A closeness to residents has developed thanks to regular lecture series, excellently received open days, and the uncomplicated contact to experts in the field.
Students Help in High School
Another example is the award-winning project by the University of Bremen, in which inclusive lessons at the “Oberschule im Park” high school in Bremen-Oslebshausen are supported with digital media. Students help children in the 5th to 7th grades to produce explanation videos using tablets. “In order to explain something, one must have understood it,” says project leader Professor Karsten D. Wolf. The production of explanation videos is therefore the actual didactical method of communicating knowledge. Both the production and the communication of additional skills are enjoyable.
The start-up culture and the support of spin-off and new companies at the university are to be further strengthened. “The purest form of the transfer concept is turning ideas into marketable products or services and in that way creating one’s own working space and company based on what one has learnt and researched,” says Vice President Breiter.
Start-Up Builds Robot for Retail
A great example of this is the current funding of the Ubica start-up. The four founders come from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI) and are working on an autonomous robot. Using artificial intelligence, it is intended that the robot is in a position to understand the structure of a supermarket or a drugstore and can then stock empty shelves at night. In the frame of the EXIST Business Start-up Grant program, the young company will receive advice and support from UniTransfer at the beginning. “We know how to build and program robots but not how to start your own company,” says Georg Bartels from Ubica. “The support from the university and other funding providers helps us immensely.”
Those who are interested can download the new University of Bremen Transfer Strategy here: http://unihb.eu/Transferstrategie
http://bit.ly/7Faulen (explanation videos by Oberschule Am Park high school and the University of Bremen)
Dr. Martin Heinlein