Funding programmes provide boost to scientific innovation

“Calls for Transfer” and “Science Scout” boost development of new products and technologies
08 September 2020
Aerial view of HafenCity Oberhafenquartier

The “Science Scout” project supported by Hamburg’s Science, Research, Equality and Districts Authority (BWFGB) is bundling innovative research projects from Hamburg’s universities on a new online platform and opening it up to the public. Interested parties from business, society and culture will in this way be able to access the diverse expertise of the scientists and academics rapidly and easily, and be able to make contact with them. The research projects from the funding line “Calls for Transfer” are also included. Since 2018, a total of 54 university projects have been supported and further developed with up to 30,000 euros each in the context of this successful transfer funding programme. The aim is to smooth the path to the practical application for transfer-relevant ideas and inventions from the research environment. To date, 12 funding plans have been concluded and evaluated.

One million in additional funding resources from the Science Authority

“The transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology is an important task for Hamburg’s universities, alongside research and teaching, and a significant motor for the city’s future viability,” in the view of Senator for Science Katharina Fegebank. “The funding programmes “Calls for Transfer” and “Science Scout” make a major contribution to new ideas for setting up businesses and to helping technological innovations find their way from the universities into the economy.” The BWFGB will make one million euros available in additional funding with the intention of continuing the two successful funding programmes “Calls for Transfer” and “Science Scout”. 

Calls for Transfer: Transfer of knowledge and technology

The project “Calls for Transfer” (C4T), under the trusteeship of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), provides support to scientists and academics in pursuing the goal of sustainably boosting and further developing transfer-relevant ideas, along with economically viable concepts from the world of research, in order to smooth the path to practical application for creative solutions. Hamburg scientists and academics are given the opportunity twice a year in open-theme Calls to make application for funding for their creative transfer ideas in a non-bureaucratic procedure. In this, Hamburg Innovation (HI) is on hand as project coordinator to support the researchers.

Science Scout: Making science transparent

With respect to the transfer of knowledge and technology, digital transformation not only means transparency, but also a simplified step towards dialogue: “Science Scout” is a new science databank with a search function. The idea behind it is to simplify the frequently laborious quest for the latest research results. The right contacts at Hamburg’s universities can in this way be found rapidly for the most varied project ideas. And: Science is made more intelligible to business and society by means of the professionally compiled expert profiles, along with the research results and their contexts. In this way, Hamburg’s varied university landscape as a whole becomes more transparent.

Innovation Scouts gather ideas directly on location in laboratories and workshops

These so-called “Innovation Scouts” have been doing the rounds of Hamburg’s public universities for some time now. They go directly into laboratories and workshops, and to the professors, in the quest for transfer-relevant ideas. The knowledge compiled and processed for the online platform Science Scout” is based on interviews conducted in person that often bring together theoretical research and the possibility of practical implementation in the near term.