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Funding to be Continued for Innovation Contact Point

Hamburg Senate, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, and institutes of higher eduction agree on long-term financing of Hamburg's Innovations Kontakt Stelle (IKS)

To increase the networking of science and business, the Hamburg Senate teamed up with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and local universities to implement the Innovations Kontakt Stelle (IKS) as central interface in 2011. Since then, the pilot project has proven itself as an effective instrument, with 230 co-operations supported. A key topic of the more than 1,000 talks by IKS’ team was the knowledge and technology transfer.

Permanent Funding Agreed

Following a successful testing period, permanent funding for IKS has now been agreed by the Hamburg Minister of the Economy, Transport, and Innovation, the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research, and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, with the Senate and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Hamburg each covering half of the cost. On occasion of the agreement signed at city hall on Tuesday, Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation, said: “Competitive advantages can only be achieved through constant innovation and its successful implementation. This requires a high level of research and development effort. Our aim is to combine the existing knowledge across all sectors, industries and research institutions. This is the only way a site can effectively pursue a sustainable development. IKS will greatly contribute to the success of this process, also in long-term.

Alliances Needed for Success

Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Hamburg Minister of Science and Research, added: “Scientists need alliances to turn research results into social applications or marketable products – regardless of whether they work at universities, non-university research institutes, or R&D units of companies. While networking, they can develop solutions for the social challenger we will encounter, and new ideas for products and services. Here, the IKS makes a valuable contribution. I am pleased that we can offer a long-term perspective to the IKS.”

Great Chances for SMEs

“For small and medium businesses, it is often difficult to discover the potential of science for themselves and to find a suitable co-operation partner,” says Fritz Horst Melsheimer, President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. So far, Hamburg lacked a transparent, neutral and business-oriented point of contact not attached to any particular school or university that met the needs of both sides, e.g. industry and academia. “The IKS fills this gap and thus boosts Hamburg as a location of innovation”, Melsheimer continued.

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