Think Tank OWL

The Think Tank OWL at the Bielefeld Research + Innovation Campus (BRIC): No idea is too small to become something big

Turning an idea into real practice: As a central contact point, Think Tank OWL brings together small and medium-sized enterprises and research to create long-term innovative cooperations.

Old idea, new approach

The idea is by no means new, and the problem is a familiar one: Small and medium-sized companies often lack the time and personnel to drive their own research work forward. At the same time, there are a large number of interesting research projects on the Bielefeld campus that have great economic potential. For outsiders, however, it is often difficult to get an overview and find the right contact person. This is where the Think Tank OWL at the Bielefeld Research + Innovation Campus (BRIC) comes into play. It aims to remove perceived barriers and be the central point of contact for anyone interested in innovative research collaboration.

Two research institutes, one team

As a cross-university team consisting of employees from the university and the university of applied sciences, Think Tank OWL has an enormous advantage: a direct line to both research institutions. Project manager Campos Silva explains: "We like to describe our job internally as 'piloting'. We accompany the company from the first contact all the way to successful cooperation. In doing so, we know the research landscape of both universities and know exactly whom to contact on which topic and how to set up a successful collaboration - preferably across universities. Throughout the process, we provide advice and assistance until communication works without us. Only then do we disembark." 

Thematically, there are seven fields that Think Tank OWL is focusing on: Biotechnology, Data Science, Health and Care, Materials Research, Artificial Intelligence and Human-Machine Interaction, as well as Smart Products and Services and Societal Changes. This is where the greatest research intersections exist between universities of applied sciences and universities. The opportunity to create innovative products from existing knowledge is therefore enormous.

A win-win situation for company and university

Joint research projects create benefits for both sides: Researchers can investigate new methods and technologies in real-life situations. Companies gain direct access to scientific know-how and the opportunity to develop innovatively. This type of collaboration can be particularly beneficial to small and medium-sized enterprises - especially in challenging times.

Exchange, Events & Networking 

In addition to 1:1 matching, there are various participatory offerings and event formats (e.g. DenkBar & MachBar) to identify research needs at companies, whet the appetite for collaborations and then develop ideas for tailored cooperation together with the universities. Anyone who would like to learn more or develop joint ideas over a (digital) coffee is always welcome to join the DenkBar team.

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