19. May 2022 | Magazine:

Commercialising knowledge better: “Unearthing hidden gems” HTIA Smart Mobility: Application submitted for start-up funding programme

This year, the state of Lower Saxony is funding high-tech incubators and accelerators to accelerate the establishment and growth of new high-tech companies. The funding programme has a total volume of 25 million euros. In March 2022, Technische Universität Braunschweig submitted a funding application to establish and operate a high-tech incubator and accelerator Smart Mobility (HTIA Smart Mobility). The decision is expected to be made by the end of June 2022.

The aim of the planned high-tech incubator is to systematically activate the innovation potential at regional universities and research institutions in the field of mobility and to accelerate the growth of the start-ups supported in the programme. The application was prepared by a consortium consisting of the Entrepreneurship Hub (ESH) of TU Braunschweig and the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFF), the Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. (OHLF) and the Innovationsgesellschaft Technische Universität Braunschweig mbH (iTUBS).

“In no other country in the world is the discrepancy between knowledge production and knowledge commercialisation as great as in Germany. The HTIA project aims to unearth the hidden gems in the institutes and introduce them to the market,” says Professor Reza Asghari, head of the Entrepreneurship Hub. Professor Thomas Vietor, NFF Board Spokesperson, emphasises: “With the NFF and the OHLF, we can offer start-ups locations with outstanding research infrastructure and networking opportunities in the field of mobility to develop their high-tech business ideas. The HTIA Smart Mobility thus closes a gap in the funding landscape. Both young companies and the region will be supported in the long term.”

Das Bild zeigt eine Stadtsilouette mit Symbolen rund um die Mobilität

Picture credits: Dagmar Wilgeroth/Entrepreneurship HubAn incubator serves to support start-ups in their initial phase to shape and implement their business model. Until the startup has become independent as a company, it serves as a financier and mentor. The incubator also provides resources such as office space and transportation. The accelerator aims to accelerate the growth of young start-ups.

About the planned “Smart Mobility” high-tech incubator and accelerator

Start-ups in the field of mobility and digitalisation that are about to be founded were able to apply in advance. “Smart Mobility” includes not only mobility in the narrower sense, but also intelligent information and communication technology, which is essential for networking transport systems. The funding projects are organised by the NBank. The funding is granted as a non-repayable grant. It consists of a grant for the implementation of the structure and operation of the HTIA of up to two million euros and start-up project funding totalling up to three million euros.

A jury has selected 17 start-ups to be supported during the planned funding period (July 2022 to December 2024). The co-founders can each receive a monthly stipend for a total of ten months. Founders who have completed their studies can receive 2,000 euros, and founders who have completed vocational training can receive 1,000 euros. In addition, it is planned to grant financial subsidies of up to 100,000 euros in incubation and a maximum of 200,000 euros in acceleration.

In addition, there will be a variety of qualifying support offers, mentoring, coaching and broad networking. The companies will also be supported in recruiting personnel and mobilising venture capital. This will enable the founders to develop their innovative business models better and faster and to launch them on the market. As a central institution in the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg region, HTIA Smart Mobility sees itself as a link between science, business and politics. Synergy effects are to be achieved, which in turn strengthen the competitiveness of the entire economic region.