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Launch of TUClab

Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts mandates three million euros in funding for start-ups at Chemnitz University of Technology

On behalf of the Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the Sächsische Aufbaubank – Förderbank (SAB) will provide funding support for start-up activities at Chemnitz University of Technology. Over an initial period of three years, one million euros will be available annually. A portion of the funding will be used to establish an advisory and mentoring structure at Chemnitz University – referred to as the TUClab. Other funding will be available for investments in companies. The SAB and Chemnitz University have signed a grant agreement. The entrepreneurs who will receive funding for their projects will be selected based on an annual competition. The application and selection phase for the first competition will begin on August 1, 2018. 

Saxony’s Minister of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Dr. Eva-Maria Stange, explains the reasoning for the funding mandate: “Chemnitz and the university here represent an active entrepreneurial culture. Therefore, we intend to continue to support further development of start-up companies in the region. Researchers and university members often need advice and seed capital in order to take advantage of the commercial potential of their acquired knowledge and the technologies they develop. I would like to thank the SAB for developing this funding program using their bank’s capital. This kind of measure is immensely important to the efforts to keep our higher-education institutions’ developments, knowledge and technologies in the state and to enable their cross-over into the regional economy. Funding spin-off companies is one of the most fundamentally important transfer areas at all higher-education institutions.”

Gudrun Wojahn, Manager of the Credit Department of the SAB, sees this initiative to fund start-ups based around a technically-oriented university as an important aspect of fulfilling the SAB’s funding duties mandated by the Free State of Saxony.  She explains: “We want to enable young entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities for the future. The SAB is providing support to innovative founders using the bank’s own capital and offering them new avenues to realize their business ideas. In the process, we are guaranteeing the direct transfer of knowledge from teaching and research into the economy. Not only will the university benefit from a better connection between the economic and research sectors, but the city and the entire region around Chemnitz will profit as well.”

Chemnitz University President, Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, explains the primary goal of the TUClab: “Chemnitz University already has a successful start-up network in SAXEED. Now the TUClab will serve to supplement their activities in important and innovative ways. I am grateful for the energetic and forward-thinking support that the State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts and the SAB have provided to start-up activities at Chemnitz University.”

Barbara Ludwig, Mayor of Chemnitz, praises the effects of the funding program on the city: “With the establishment of the TUClab, we have put into place another valuable building block in the foundation of a diverse and vital start-up culture in our city. This building block is significant and deliberately takes start-ups from the core research competencies of our university into consideration. By prioritizing the areas of materials and smart systems, resource-efficient production as well as lightweight structures and humans and technology, the focus is placed on start-ups that are oriented towards the rich industrial tradition in our region and at the same time address relevant and highly-innovative topics.  I am very pleased with this development and I would like to thank all those involved in promoting and supporting this project.”

University members who are planning a spin-off company and would like more information about funding modalities can contact Chemnitz University directly: Dr. Susann Köhler, Assistant in the Office of the University President (specialized in Knowledge and Technology Transfer), Tel.: +49 371 531-34326, E-mail:

(Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Matthias Fejes

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