The official green light was given for the construction of the Akzelerator.OWL in a symbolic sod-turning ceremony on Thursday, 3 February. The cutting-edge Paderborn University property on the former site of the Barker Barracks is to provide a new home for the start-up scene in Eastern Westphalia-Lippe. Working areas, a maker space, workshops, co-working areas and an office landscape for the members of the technology transfer and business start-up centre of the university (TecUP) are to be created spread over approximately 7,000 m². The construction project, which has received state funding to the tune of EUR 23 million, is geared towards the sustained strengthening of the set-up culture in Paderborn and beyond. The Akzelerator.OWL project is funded by grants from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia using resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014 - 2020 "Investment for Growth and Jobs". The city and university are working hand in hand in the REGIONALE 2022 project. The building inauguration is planned for the coming year.
Professor Andreas Pinkwart, who participated in the event as Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, highlighted the importance of a strong start-up landscape for the region: “With its successful Excellenz start-up centre, Paderborn University is already firmly placed in the top group of the foremost universities for start-ups in Germany. The Akzelerator.OWL will soon add a new top address to the list. It provides the ideal infrastructure for young start-up entrepreneurs to optimally prepare themselves for their chosen path and thus to create more successful university spin-offs. This entrepreneurism will allow Paderborn to further secure its position as shining light of the start-up ecosystem in North Rhine-Westphalia.”
University President Professor Birgitt Riegraf adds: “The combination of top research, the promotion of start-ups and the close cooperation with the business world is setting regional and trans-regional standards. The Akzelerator.OWL is a showcase project not just for the university, but also for the entire region. I am really pleased with this impressive success and warmly thank all those involved.”
Michael Dreier, Mayor of the City of Paderborn, is also proud of the lighthouse project emitting so much radiant power: “The Akzelerator is the initial spark for the development of our new, innovative urban quarter. Once again, Paderborn is demonstrating how much importance it attaches to the “start-up scene” in the future”, said the Mayor of Paderborn. Such hotbeds of technology will give the future-oriented Paderborn quarter in the Driburger Straße decisive impulses and contribute towards actually creating an urban quarter of tomorrow here.
Simone Probst, Vice-President of Paderborn University: “We made the very conscious decision to realise the Akzelerator on the conversion areas. We are grateful to be allowed to make such a significant contribution towards urban development.”
“We are pleased that we are able to implement a true lighthouse project here on behalf of Paderborn University”, stresses René Konrad, Managing Director of the commissioned general contractor LIST Bau Bielefeld.
In future, start-ups, researchers and tutors in TecUP are to work together under one roof. In addition, working areas will be created in cooperation with the start-up incubator garage33. Professor Sebastian Vogt and Professor Rüdiger Kabst, Managing Director and Scientific Head of TecUP respectively, explain: “With the Akzelerator.OWL as next growth phase of our start-up incubator garage33, we are already laying the foundation stone for the structure of a start-up campus OWL”, said Vogt. “Innovative spin-offs from the scientific world make a significant contribution to the growth of business and employment in the region and beyond. The Exzellenz Start-up Center.OWL and the Akzelerator.OWL will create a future-oriented start-up ecosystem in Paderborn”, adds Kabst.
“Spread over 54 hectares, the future-oriented quarter will create a new urban district close to the dome and the university. The establishment of the Akzelerator.OWL provides an excellent development incentive and offers more scope for the growing university and set-up scene in Paderborn. I am pleased that today’s sod-turning ceremony now marks the implementation of this exemplary think tank as part of the REGIONALE project”, emphasises Annette Nothnagel, Head of the REGIONALE 2022 at OWL GmbH. The latter executes the North Rhine-Westphalian structure programme under the heading of “UrbanLand”. The aim is to strengthen the equivalence of living standards in the city and state via innovative and model-like projects. In order to guarantee project quality, all project ideas for Eastern Westphalia-Lippe are subjected to a three-stage qualification process. The Akzelerator.OWL is one of 44 current REGIONALE projects.
Further information can be found at: https://www.tecup.de/start-up-campus-owl/