Let's bridge the gap between theory and practice together

As a leading open innovation incubator, we bring together people, institutions, industries and organizations across all borders. We are united by a common goal: to positively change the world with sustainable and future-proof innovations. That's what drives us. The University Relations Department at ekipa aims to bridge the theory-practice gap and enable academia-industry co-creation and entrepreneurship by building networks at universities to engage students and researchers in innovation programs with political and industry stakeholders.
Trusted by top universities

Our Collaboration Formats

Interdisciplinary and groundbreaking innovation potential unfolds on our innovation platform and in our programs. And this is how it works.
1: Integration into curriculum
Innovation projects are embedded within course curricula, adapted to course contents and structures. ekipa delivers seminars and workshops, helping students develop solutions and skills.
2: Guest lecture
If invited as a guest speaker, ekipa can deliver lectures with different content to students. Contents range from design thinking concepts over pitching to open innovation and “How to startup”.
3: Work assignments
ekipa has developed work assignments designed to guide students through an innovation process in which they take ownership of their own innovation projects.
4: Seminar Series by ekipa
This extracurricular activity, composed of 5-8 seminars, supports students in their skill development through comprising solutions for real-world innovation challenges.
5: Accelerator
Our accelerator product can be integrated into university context. Individual curricula consisting of sprints such as basic start-up law or finance help students found their own companies.
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From the Lecture Hall to the Next Big Thing

In an innovation project between Mainz University of Applied Sciences and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, we were able to connect students with one of the largest newspapers in the Federal Republic. The result? An innovation challenge that not only provided valuable insights into the working world, but also gave the FAZ completely new perspectives.

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A real enrichment: The students benefited from the challenge, which was super prepared by ekipa, and were able to apply their strengths to a real project.
Prof. Julia KühneHochschule Mainz

Turning theory into practice made a success

The HTW Dresden collaborated with ekipa during the fall semester of 2021 to integrate the program Germany 4.0 into the course "business planning". Together with the professors Ronny Baierl and René Thamm, ekipa actively supported the skill and solution development of the third semester bachelor students, delivering design thinking and feedback sessions in a virtual environment. In the end, three teams from the HTW Dresden -more than from any other participating university - were successful with their submitted solutions, venturing further into the finals to work in direct contact with the organizations towards social impact.

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Teaching students not only theoretical expertise, but also directly applying it to real-world issues was the basic idea behind our cooperation with ekipa as part of a curricular integration.
Prof. René ThammHTW Dresden

Universities and ekipa? It's a match!

Within a university cooperation you are part of a global network that wants to shape the world together socially and ecologically, sustainably and economically.
Stability & Structure
Our innovation programs can be integrated on a yearly or semester basis, offering between 3 and 10 organizations with different real-world problems wrapped in comprehensive and compelling cases.
Skill development & empowerment
Working on real-world business cases gives students a voice to change societies and empowers them to take ownership of their innovation projects, actively fostering the development of future skills.
Material support & engagement
A standardized, but individually adjustable document, the “submission template”, determines scope and content of solutions to manage expectations and guide solution development.
Certification of efforts
Students receive certificates for their skill development with respect to design thinking, business modelling, and the MURAL digital co-working software.
Collaboration is key
Generally, IP rights stay with innovators to support putting theory to practice, initiate research projects, co-create the outcome, and build large and relevant networks.
Flexible collaboration formats
Academic alliances are organized in collaboration with professors and academic personnel to flexibly accommodate for universities and students needs.
Networking the future
A key aspect of what we do is bringing people together across contexts, making networking a central aspect of what we do, and providing opportunities to bring theory to practice in multifaceted ways.
Lived diversity & interdiscipliniarity
Diversity and interdiscipliniarity is not only an essential asset for innovation, but also for us as ekipa and will, therefore, always have an influence in our projects.

Running innovation programs & challenges

No matter if company, student, startup or university. There is something for everyone in our innovation formats. Get a more detailed overview of our current projects on our innovation platform.
Deloitte’s Quantum Climate Challenge 2023
Deutschland 4.0
Future Materials
Innovating together, sustaining our future.

Deloitte Quantum.Link invites you to explore quantum computing for materials research by tackling the challenge of simulating materials that filter carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and may help reach the 2°C goal.

"Mehr Digitalisierung wagen“.

The Challenge will be conducted in German.

Auf der Basis von realen Challenges aus Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft gilt es, Lösungen für ein digitaleres Deutschland zu entwickeln. Seid wagemutig: registriert euch auf der Plattform, reicht eure Ideen ein und werdet Teil der digitalen Transformation in Deutschland.

Einreichungsfrist: 23. Januar 2023, 23:59 Uhr

Be a Climate Action Hero

Are you ready to research novel approaches, explore alternative solutions, and create more sustainable concepts?
So, check out our challenges, join us in driving climate action with innovative solutions and become a real climate action hero.

Submission Deadline: February 20, 2023, 11:59 pm CET

Are you ready to discover Future Materials?

Are you ready to research novel approaches, dive into alternative materials and create more sustainable concepts that replace currently used ones?
Check out our platform and Discover Future Materials with us!

Submission Deadline: February 5, 2023 11:59 pm CET

Contact Information

Katharina Heby
Head of University Relations & Innovation Consultant
+31 6 2893 40 30

Should you be interested, please feel free to send a message or request a call with one of our UR managers, who will address your questions and help you develop the right format for your university and specific context.

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