Issue 39, June 2013
bulletEntrepreneurship
bulletInterview with Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.
bulletEvent: From University Innovation to the Marketplace
bulletInnovation: KISI - Keyless Home Access Management Platform
bulletGerman Silicon Valley Accelerator Expands to San Francisco
bulletSeeFront Wins German Innovation Award 2013
article1Entrepreneurship
"Entrepreneurs change and shape the world," says Prof. Dietmar Harhoff in this month's GCRI interview. The chairman of Germany's Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI), which advises the government on its innovation policies, will speak at GCRI on June 25, 2013.

From its beginning, GCRI has supported entrepreneurial activities, especially between academia and industry. In addition to a series of events on university-industry collaborations, such as The Tech Campus: A Catalyst for Innovation and Regional Development on April 17, 2013, GCRI has also created an overview of funding opportunities for entrepreneurship in Germany on its website.

The planning for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013, which will take place November 18 - 24, 2013, is already well underway. Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), for example, has recently launched a "StartApp," now available at iTunes and Google Play stores, which provides valuable information for young German start-ups.

This May, the Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, Dr. Philipp Rösler, traveled to San Francisco, CA, to expand the German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA), so that twice as many German IT start-ups will have the opportunity to spend three months in an accelerator program in the U.S. In the meantime, on the East Coast, GCRI and ifridge & Company are currently planning the "Germany to NYC" Innovation Showcase. This series of workshops will take place September 11 - 13. For information, click here.

Prof. Dietmar Harhoff
article2Interview with Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.

Dietmar Harhoff, chairman of Germany's Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI), which advises the government on its innovation policies, is one of the 50 most influential people in the field of Intellectual Property, according to the Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Harhoff discusses the best ways to create and maintain a culture of entrepreneurship at universities, the challenges academics face when trying to commercialize research, and the framework conditions that benefit start-ups. To read the interview, click here.

Prof. Harhoff, who also serves as chairman of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator, is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law where he heads the Munich Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research (MCIER). From 1998 to February of 2013, he was Director of the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, where he continues to hold a professorship.  

He received graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Public Administration (Harvard University) and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A sought after expert, he is also a member of the Economic Advisory Group of the European Commission and the Chairman of The EPO´s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB). Prof. Harhoff's research focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, industrial economics and economic policy.

He will speak at GCRI's From University Innovation to Marketplace event on June 25, 2013.

Innovation stock photo
article3Event: From University Innovation to the Marketplace

June 25, 2013, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Co-Sponsor: Hodgson Russ LLP

University research is a key component of a nation's capacity for innovation. Increasingly, research universities are being seen as sources of innovation that can drive economic development, as opposed to institutions created exclusively for scientific discovery and teaching.

How are universities addressing these competing priorities? Many institutions of higher education have developed successful models for fostering and commercializing their innovations, and regional and national governments have established policies to support such efforts. What are the key lessons to be learned from these models? What are the main factors that support university-industry collaboration? Does a strong focus on commercialization cause other modes of innovation to be neglected?

Dietmar Harhoff and Orin Herskowitz will discuss a variety of models for fostering and commercializing innovation in Germany and the United States on June 25, 2013, at the German Center for Research and Innovation.

Imke Ehlers-Surur will moderate the event and the introduction will be given by Ranjana Kadle. Click here for more information.

KISI Open Door
article4Innovation: KISI - Keyless Home Access Management Platform

KISI is a digital doorman that allows users to provide timed, revocable entry into apartments on an as-needed basis.

Primarily designed for apartment tenants and office spaces which use regular services, such as delivery, dog walking, or cleaning, KISI makes an exchange of keys unnecessary by providing complete building access from a web-based dashboard.  Operated via a smartphone, for example, KISI does not require any rewiring or change of existing hardware and is integrated into a building's intercom system.

To equip a high-rise building with smartphone-based access could cost more than $100,000. Since KISI is cloud-based and its lean system leverages existing infrastructure, these costs can be reduced to a fraction of this amount. This "virtual access network," in addition to already existing access infrastructure, gives KISI users the ability to remotely unlock doors for others or send temporary time-based entry permissions right onto a smartphone. At the same time, KISI also offers a traceable level of security by documenting every transaction and if needed, removing existing access rights. That way the office or apartment manager always knows who has keys and who used them.

The Munich-based start-up, which was founded in October 2012, was presented at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in May 2013. One month prior, KISI won the NYC Next Idea competition of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Columbia University. Pilot projects are currently underway in New York City and Munich. To learn more, please click here.

GSVA Logo
article5German Silicon Valley Accelerator Expands to San Francisco

On May 20, 2013, German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Dr. Philipp Rösler announced the expansion of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA), which will open its second U.S. office in San Francisco, CA. Read the press release, here.

GSVA is a three- to six-month accelerator program for German start-ups in the information and communication technology field. Since its launch in 2012, GSVA has supported 20 companies by providing one-on-one mentoring and other services, such as office space, workshops, networking and pitch events, starter services, marketing and public relations.

According to GSVA chairman, Dietmar Harhoff, "the program has seen a growth in applications of more than 30% for its bi-annual selection process."  

The current group of GSVA participants, which came to Silicon Valley in April 2013, includes Adtelligence, Azeti Networks, Celonis, Fruux, and Mobile Event Guide. Celonis, which provides process business intelligence solutions, has also joined SAP's HANA start-up focus program.

GSVA is already looking forward to the next round of applications. The submission deadline is August 31, 2013. To apply, click here. If you are interested in learning about the difference between entrepreneurial cultures in Germany and the U.S., read E-NNOVATION Germany's November 2012 interview with Oliver Hanisch, who is GSVA's Vice President of Business Development & Operations, here.

For more information on the GSVA, click here.

SeeFront German Innovation Award
article6SeeFront Wins German Innovation Award 2013

The Hamburg-based SeeFront GmbH is the winner of the 2013 German Innovation Award.

The company, whose 3D technology enables users to see natural, brilliant 3D images in real spatial depth without any additional eyewear, was also a Selected Landmark in the nationwide Germany Land of Ideas competition in 2012.

SeeFront develops customer-specific OEM 3D display solutions and licenses its unique technology for the design of autostereoscopic 3D displays. Among SeeFront's customers are renowned companies from the automotive, medical, consumer electronics and entertainment industries, such as Daimler and Sony.

"The German Innovation Award is an incredible achievement for SeeFront. To join the ranks of companies like BMW and Bosch on the shortlist in itself was an honor for us. To actually win the award lends added support to our growth plans," said SeeFront's CEO Christoph Grossmann, who founded the company in 2006.

"3D displays known today have a crucial weakness: Users can view videos and images in high quality only with cumbersome special eyewear. SeeFront has found a convincing answer for this. The possibility of retrofitting displays of different sizes with this technology opens up a range of applications for this invention," said German Innovation Award jury member Dr. Klaus Engel, CEO of Evonik Industries AG.

SeeFront will now take the strategic leap from technology provider and licensor to 3D display manufacturer. SeeFront is also seeking external funding to expand its international business and bring its own 3D monitor product to the market. For more information, click here.

Image: Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Rösler (l.) with SeeFront's Sabine Neumann and Christoph Grossmann at the award ceremony
(Copyright: Thorsten Jochim)

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