Wissensstransfer Start

Transfer of knowledge

Picture: Gregor Rynkowski – © Gregor Rynkowski
Picture: Gregor Rynkowski

TU Darmstadt intensively pursues the transfer of knowledge and technology in business and society. It cultivates close liaisons with selected companies and numerous relationships with the public. TU Darmstadt is one of the most dynamic start-up universities in Germany and is characterised by an entrepreneurial culture. Its innovation and start-up centre HIGHEST is an incubator for innovative, creative and entrepreneurial personalities. By the way: Many successful companies have their roots in TU Darmstadt – such as Software AG (IT), Brain AG (biotech), ISRA Vision (robotics and automation) and Akasol (battery systems).


Cooperation with companies

© Stefan Weigelt

Implementing ideas together, finding individually adapted solutions, developing long-term programmes, achieving mutual benefits. TU Darmstadt offers a wide range of industry liaison models with companies.

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Strategic partnerships

With 5 companies – Bosch, Continental, Deutsche Bahn, Merck and Siemens – TU Darmstadt has entered into strategic and thematically broad partnerships. These include joint research projects, such as on machine-learning assistance systems for cars..

TU Darmstadt and the employers' association Hessenmetall, which represents 580 companies with 130,000 employees in Hessen, work closely together. The cooperation with Hessenmetall is intended to reinforce the innovative strength of medium-sized companies in Hesse’s metal and electrical industry. The focus is on IT security, industry 4.0, digitisation, energy efficiency, drive systems, autonomous driving and intelligent materials.

“The cooperation with Hessenmetall fits perfectly into our regional surroundings, which rank among the top metropolitan regions in terms of economic strength, innovative strength, level of qualification and internationality.”


TU-President Hans Jürgen Prömel

© Katrin Binner


Promotion of innovation

© Katrin Binner

Innovations must prove their worth before they reach market maturity; they need special support in the early stages. TU Darmstadt offers a well-coordinated support portfolio.

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Innovation promotion programme “Pioneer Fund”

Together with the ENTEGA NATURpur Institute, TU Darmstadt has launched the “Pioneer Fund” innovation funding programme. It supports the transfer of research results into applications with 600,00 euros annually – for example the development of an active substance against chronic pain, a model for predicting electricity prices or the alternative production of magnets from novel alloys.


“The Pioneer Fund is part of the lively innovation environment at TU Darmstadt. It is a measure that does not wait for application-oriented results to be already available. Rather, it contributes to overcoming the hurdle often referred to as the 'Death Valley' between basic research and application.”


Vice President Professor Dr Mira Mezini

© Katrin Binner
© Felipe Fernandes

Intellectual property management

The patent portfolio of TU Darmstadt now comprises more than 450 patents (including 259 patent families). In 2018, the university recorded more than 70 invention disclosures.

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Start-up centre “HIGHEST”

The HIGHEST Innovation and Start-Up Centre inspires young start-ups and promotes product and business ideas. Many successful companies have their roots in the TU.

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Outstanding start-ups

Young start-ups from the TU Darmstadt environment are causing a stir: These include Alcan (satellite antennas for stable WLAN in vehicles), Wingcopter (transport drone with aircraft characteristics), Tracktics (intelligent management of performance data in professional sports), IT-Seal (cybercrime awareness in companies) or Xelera (high-speed software for Big Data and Internet of Things).

The start-up “NanoWired GmbH” revolutionizes industrial production processes and has received the Hermes Award 2019, endowed with 100,000 euros. The young generation of companies repeatedly wins top prizes in start-up competitions organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs – such as Compredict, which provides sensor technologies for analysing the condition of vehicle parts during operation..

Successful at EXIST

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports particularly demanding, technology-oriented start-ups from universities with the “EXIST-Forschungstransfer” (EXIST Research Transfer) funding programme. TU Darmstadt is among the TOP 5 universities in Germany with the highest number of applications for EXIST start-up grants and EXIST research transfer grants..