Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Kristina Tschulik is responsible for the design and further development of Start4Chem. "This step comes just timely for our society", she says.
Martina Havenith is spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence Resolv and one of the initiators of Start4Chem.
Uta Hohn is Vice Rector for Planning and Structure at RUB. She launched the new incubator together with the initiators.
Johannes Peuling is Managing Director of the Bochum Institute of Technology.
Johannes Peuling, Uta Hohn, Kristina Tschulik and Martina Havenith with entrepreneurship advisor Peter-Christian Zinn (from left to right)
Next step: From excellent science to innovative start-ups
Start-up founders in chemistry have a harder life than founders in other fields. The business incubator "Start4Chem", which has just started, aims to help. Conceived by the Excellence Cluster Ruhr Explores Solvation (Resolv), Start4Chem is part of the Start-up Centre NRW, for which the RUB has just received a total state funding of more than 20 million euros.
In its first act, Start4Chem has opened the first course on entrepreneurial skills at RUB on 28 October 2019. The lecture series "From Top-level Research to Top-level Business" deepens various aspects of setting up a company and helps students and doctoral candidates familiarize with the related know-how and necessary steps.
Starting gun for 40 students
The initiators of Start4Chem, Professor Kristina Tschulik and Professor Martina Havenith, launched the new incubator together with Professor Uta Hohn, Vice Rector for Planning and Structure at RUB, and Johannes Peuling, Managing Director of the Bochum Institute of Technology. Among the guests were several RUB professors, representatives of the chemical industry and of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, founders and more than 40 young scientists who have enrolled in the course.
"The Start4Chem start-up incubator is the first milestone towards the innovative Chemistry 4.0 in the region," said Hohn. Chemistry 4.0 describes a new, green chemistry that is sustainable, post-fossil and networked. In this context, start-ups could create faster paths from excellent science to useful applications for society.
Start-up culture with role models
However, as Havenith pointed out, researchers from the natural sciences encounter many difficulties in starting a start-up. While a pc is enough for a computer scientist to start a small company, that’s not the case for a chemist. Natural scientists need much more than a good idea: A dedicated infrastructure, access to a network of related companies, a networked campus, know-how and a new start-up culture with role models.
The idea of Start4Chem took off from discussions in the Ruhr Conference Forum "From Idea to Product", which is moderated by Havenith together with the NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Professor Andreas Pinkwart. "Now that we have achieved excellent research, Resolv wants to become a breeding ground for innovative start-ups", says Havenith.
A timely step for our society
In addition to her work as Head of the Research Group of Electrochemistry and Nanoscale Materials, Kristina Tschulik is responsible for the design and further development of Start4Chem. Her aim is to translate findings from cutting-edge research into industrial applications as quickly as possible. "This step comes just timely for our society! For the first time, with the new course, we offer students from the natural sciences the opportunity to deal with entrepreneurial aspects, to awaken a spirit of entrepreneurship and to familiarize with a third professional opportunity – self-employment", says Tschulik. She explains the background of Start4Chem in a detailed interview:
31 October 2019