Research & Development

The Industry Relations Manager connects researchers at RWTH Aachen University and its surrounding ecosystem with interested companies. We support the entire process from scouting relevant partners to finalizing research contracts to monitoring and reporting during the project. The RWTH ecosystem not only includes RWTH institutes with more than 550 Professors, but also RWTH Start-ups, research facilities like Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Scout - Identifying technologies and competencies at RWTH

The goal of technology scouting is to assess technologies and competencies at RWTH. We identify experts within the University, screen relevant RWTH-IP, explore start-ups with innovative concepts, and pinpoint inventions originating in Aachen.

Services & Portfolio:

  • Identifying technologies and competencies at RWTH and its ecosystem
  • Broad overview of activities in several topics that will be covered over the course of the relationship
  • Provided information may include: relevant research projects in different stages, overview of research groups, networks and RWTH-IP , list of start-ups within chosen topic etc.
  • Support in setting up basic agreements (e.g. NDA) with researchers and founders

Exchange – Get to know our researchers and identify topics for your research projects

Learning Expedition – Get insights into the research landscape of the RWTH

During a Learning Expedition, thematically relevant institutes and chairs are visited on campus. This visit can include a presentation from the institute, an exchange and discussion with the researchers and a tour through the research facilities. We plan and accompany the group of visitors and are available for questions and follow-up meetings. By presenting the infrastructure and talking to the scientists, a company can develop a sense for the research opportunities at RWTH and expands its own network.

Expert Day – Exchange with technology experts 

Intensive exchange with technology experts on a previously defined topic. Through a series of presentations by professors and scientists and the subsequent discussion, companies and their employees gain an in-depth insight into a field of technology. This event can also be performed online.

Ideation Workshop – Defining research projects together 

Researchers from the company and RWTH discuss a specific topic to identify joint research projects. We support in advance with a more precise description of the core challenge and look for suitable institutes that can take on these challenges. The aim of this one-day workshop is to define research questions that can then be further developed in research projects.

Collaborate - Solving innovation challenges with leading researchers

Following a successful technology scouting, we connect with relevant partner(s) and support a first contact with the researchers. The simplest approach to initiate a research project is a bilateral project between the company and an RWTH institute. Defining the project specifics and meeting administrative requirements can be swiftly accomplished.

Throughout this process, we offer a process facilitation including administrative, legal, and bureaucratic support.

Moreover, numerous public funding programs, such as those offered by DFG, BMBF or European union, present opportunities for companies and research institutes to secure funding. 

Services & Portfolio:

  • Matchmaking with our experts for joint research
  • Facilitated access to RWTH Start-ups and the Start-up ecosystem via networking events and personal linkage
  • Access to the research landscape (e.g. infrastructure and research ecosystem)
  • Support in screening publicly-funded projects and support in establishing a consortium to apply for grants
  • Support in setting up a workable legal foundation for cooperations
  • Process facilitation including administrative, legal, and bureaucratic support


Katharina Fränken, M.Sc.
Head of Industry Relations
+49 241 80 96619