From spin-off to company - transferring from research to praxis

28 August 2020
Innovations Kontakt Stelle Hamburg - initiator and supporter at interface between science and industry

Slow loading times can prove an annoying, costly headache for both user and operator. However, the impact can be far worse in a crisis when websites cannot cope with a sudden rise in user numbers and crash as a result. That was the case for the Investitionsbank Berlin-Brandenburg (IBB) when its application form for funding went online in March. The servers were unable to cope with the masses and simply crashed. 


From spin-off to company

The Hamburg-based Baqend start-up makes websites faster and safer. The company's "Speed-Kit" is a cloud-based technology solution and accelerates websites by an average of 50 to 300 per cent. "The optimization of a critical website infrastructure is extremely important," said Alois Krtil, a representative of the Innovations Kontakt Stelle Hamburg (IKS) which acts as an interface between science and business. The company has already assisted Baqend, a spin-off of at the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Hamburg, on its way from research to start-up. "Baqend is a good example of successful knowledge transfer. The deep understanding of technology thanks to many years of research is having a significant impact amid corona," Krtil stressed.


Driving innovation across industries

IKS-Team from left to right : Alois Krtil, Katharina Keienburg, Monica Mühlberg and Dr. Florian Vogt

IKS has already backed over 600 projects including several in a technological environment, as well as in business management, design and marketing. "We have set out to drive innovations and bring together companies of all sizes and sectors including start-ups and scientific institutions," said Katharina Keienburg, Knowledge and Technology Consultant at IKS. Science is constantly producing fresh knowledge, but which often goes unused. "We would like to raise awareness of its value," she stressed. Everyone benefits from the projects. "The economy benefits from scientific knowledge and science gains practical know-how and new approaches to further research issues."

Supporting and initiating projects

Apart from its function as a contact point for companies and scientific institutions seeking concrete partners, IKS is an initiator of projects as well. "We have almost ten years of experience and are well able to assess the potential of trends and  developments and bring together suitable players for promising innovations," said Keienburg. Once the right partners have come together, IKS also helps with market entry. "We see ourselves to a certain extent as a guide through the jungle of Hamburg's innovation ecosystem," Keienburg said. "Of course, we cannot provide legal advice, but we do know what funding programmes and support offers are available and which partners can offer the best advice."

Diverse means of funding

Baqend has also benefited from the support infrastructure for start-ups. Dr. Felix Gessert, CEO and co-founder of Baqend, developed the caching algorithms on which the "Speed-Kit" is based as part of his Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg. An "Exist" grant for start-ups through Hamburg's InnoRampUp programme helped him set up the company and switch from research to business thereby transferring knowledge to a business field.


Sources and further information

The Innovations Kontakt Stelle Hamburg (IKS) is backed by commerce and science across Hamburg in close co-operation with ministries as part of the so-called "InnovationsAllianz". The service, implemented by the Chamber of Commerce and Hamburg Innovation GmbH, is free of charge for companies and scientific institutions.

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