Start of the "Cross Innovation Lab - NiederRhein" project
New ideas for companies
In cooperation with Ruhr-West University of Applied Sciences, Agrobusiness Niederrhein e.V., Mobile Communication Cluster e.V. and Coduct GmbH, Rhine-Waal University is starting the joint project "Cross Innovation Lab - NiederRhein" at its Kamp-Lintfort campus.
The aim of the project, led by Professor Dr. Karsten Nebe, Professor of Usability Engineering and Digital Manufacturing, and Professor Dr.-Ing Rolf Becker, Professor of Physics with a focus on sensor technology and mechatronics, is to counteract the low or decreasing trend towards innovation in medium-sized companies. To improve the situation, a new methodological approach for a regional system is to be developed.
"Particularly in times of crisis, which we have all experienced in recent months, it is most important for companies to be able to act and react flexibly, to pursue new approaches and thus, if possible, to be able to open up new business fields at short notice. This ensures competitiveness and secures jobs", says Professor Nebe.
The project is mainly based on stimulating regional actors by taking part in the idea generation and implementation processes. The methods will be developed in several stages on the basis of time-limited projects until the end of March 2023, the results of which will be vivid demonstrators. The FabLabs of Rhine-Waal and Ruhr-West universities which are involved in the implementation are ideal places for inspiration, creative exchange and practical implementation. Regional partners contribute to the interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach by offering their networks and professional expertise.
"We have already started by developing a solution to one of the problems we had to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In cooperation with the St. Bernhard-Hospital Kamp-Lintfort and the Lower Rhine District Association of the German Red Cross (DRK), we developed facial visors for medical personnel, which were ready for use within a short time thanks to the participation of all stakeholders," reports Professor Nebe.
The potential regional participants - universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, business representatives, employment agencies, schools, practitioners and citizens - are supposed to be networked in practical workshops and encouraged to participate. The project aims at finding solutions by exchanging transdisciplinary knowledge and skills cross innovation). The jointly generated knowledge as well as the demonstrators will be shared as an open source.
The topics of the innovation projects are based on the guidelines of the Operational Programme OP ERDF NRW, the Innovation Strategy NRW, the Digital Strategy NRW, and the regional development strategy ZIKON 2020 for the Lower Rhine region. The joint project "Cross Innovation Lab - Lower Rhine" has a total volume of around 2.3 million euros.
Professor Nebe emphasizes: "Anyone who wants to participate can do so. We hope for a lively participation of many actors in the region and for a creative exchange. The expertise, ideas and suggestions of all those involved are a key component for the success of the project".
This project is supported from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF).