A delighted Dr Udo Scheuer, Head of the Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (ZWT) at the university, commented that "this new ranking shows that our commitment has been worthwhile". Even without EXIST funding from the federal government, H-BRS ranks very highly and can rightly consider itself a "role model university". This is all the more pleasing since universities of applied sciences appear far less frequently at the top of the rankings than traditional universities, as the authors of the study point out.
Since it was founded in 1995, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University has helped to develop many successful company founders in a variety of sectors. These have primarily have become established in the Cologne-Bonn region, creating many jobs in the process. They generate innovation and belong to the large H-BRS network with regional companies. A great deal of importance is attached to this networking in what is now the third "Startup Radar" report – and H-BRS has a strong tradition in this area.
BusinessCampus Rhein-Sieg GmbH, in which H-BRS is a shareholder together with the Rhein-Sieg district and the Kreissparkasse Köln, has so far provided support to over 100 nascent companies in the Startup Centre on campus. The new Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SMEs (CENTIM) also bolsters the areas of startup training and research.
The indicators, that the "Startup Radar" is based upon are the foothold, raising awareness, support of the founding activities and the foundings themselves. It is especially the last part H-BRS excels at with "commendable performances". The great number of documented foundings as well as the success at funding competitions are proof of a lively founding culture at the university.
President Hartmut Ihne points out the potential for development: "For many years the university has developed a highly appreciated and functional instrument case for teaching, research and the realisation of foundings. In 2015 the expertise was further enhanced by the creation of the SME and funding oriented institute CENTIM.
Overall the universities in the top group have drawn closer together in the latest survey. H-BRS has improved in every criterion since 2013.
In 2016, 67 out of 91 medium-sized state and private universities took part. Across all sizes of university, there were 194 participants, amounting to around 50 per cent. If we look at the number of students at the universities taking part, this figure actually corresponds to 66 per cent of the university landscape.
On the basis of the current "Startup Radar" report, the Stifterverband believes that there is generally even more potential for improvement amongst the universities of applied sciences and proposes that the federal government's EXIST programme also be tailored to them. So far, the programme has disproportionately benefited the traditional universities.