chem2biz is a joint initiative of BASF SE, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the city of Ludwigshafen. The project management has been based at the TechnologieZentrum Ludwigshafen am Rhein GmbH (TZL) / Regionales Innovationszentrum Ludwigshafen since 2004. This collaborative effort is aimed at company start-ups and at existing small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the chemicals industry, nanotechnology, new materials, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, environmental technology and process technology.
Powered by the TZL Regionales Innovationszentrum Ludwigshafen. chem2biz contacts at the TZL serve as a contact point for company start-ups and young entrepreneurs from the chemicals-based sectors. Here, they obtain advice and support at their start-up stage on issues such as:
• business plans
• financing and funding instruments
• corporate strategy
• press and PR
• innovation and growth management
• technology transfer
Together with entrepreneurs, the Centre develops solutions for meeting capital requirements. Under certain conditions, funding instruments from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Investment and Economic Development Bank of the Rhineland-Palatinate GmbH (ISB) can be integrated into the financial planning. In addition, information is available on other options for funding and support. Rent-reduced offices, training and meeting rooms and office services can also be provided.
Synergies and Contacts. At TZL events such as the “InnoTreff” (Innovation Meeting), information is provided on current issues for technology companies and contacts with other companies can be made. The Regional Innovation Centre has numerous connections, such as with the W.E.G. WirtschaftsEntwicklungsGesellschaft Ludwigshafen am Rhein mbH (a business development company) and with the IMG Innovations-Management GmbH. It maintains good relations with sector-specific networks, industry associations and institutions such as the Wissensfabrik (Knowledge Factory) and the High-Tech Gründerfonds (Start-up Fund). If desired, companies can be included in chem2biz’ PR work.
chem2biz and the TechnologieZentrum Ludwigshafen are part of the European Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. This region has set itself the aim of becoming one of the most attractive and competitive regions in and is positioning itself as a unique triumvirate of innovative business, brilliant science and extremely high quality of life.
Cross-Innovation. With the right mix of players, innovations can develop or achieve technological breakthroughs, including multi-sectoral and across a range of technology fields.
chem2biz uses this approach to offer a platform in Ludwigshafen for demonstrating the potential for cross-innovation in the chemicals industry, providing incentives for cooperative efforts and considering in which cases chemicals can be effective as enablers for new value and innovation process chains. Cross-innovation is the transfer of solutions to other sectors and the use of innovations in related fields of technology. Ideally, this occurs as part of inter-sectoral cooperation schemes. This may cause new value chains. chem2biz is positioning itself as a theme-oriented competence network.
Cooperative efforts by established companies with start-ups especially make sense if an individual partner is not able to fulfil customer requirements. In the process, the parties have to bear in mind both technical solutions and marketing.
The aims of chem2biz are: improving networking between players, providing incentives for bilateral inter-company negotiations and negotiations with representatives of networks, clusters, institutions, universities and colleges and research centres with a view to providing possible cooperation in new projects and to accelerate ongoing projects. The processes are intended to be interlinked at the edge of technologies.
chem2biz thus helps accelerate chemical-industry-related innovations successfully and rapidly.
As project leader at the Steinbeis Transfer Centre from 1998 to 2005, Michael Hanf worked chiefly on technology-oriented company start-ups, innovation financing, funding, developing business plans, evaluating company and industrial rights and preparing market and technology studies for financial institutes. He has been project manager at the TZL-TechnologieZentrum Ludwigshafen am Rhein GmbH since 2005, authorised company officer with commercial power of attorney at TZL GmbH since February 2009 and managing director of TZL GmbH since January 2011.