Frequently asked Questions

Why was  InnovationLab GmbH founded?

The Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and neighboring areas are home to many of the world's leading companies in various sectors (chemicals, software, mechanical engineering) and an outstanding range of universities in all academic areas. By founding InnovationLab GmbH as shareholders, these organizations have developed their  cooperation from merely working together selectively and bilaterally into a combined, topic-oriented, equal research platform. This is intended to use joint research activities involving all shareholders along the value chain to turn the results of basic scientific research into marketable products more quickly, while market-related questions and industrial research results provide interesting challenges for science.

Who are the shareholders in InnovationLab GmbH?

InnovationLab GmbH is owned by science and business. The shareholders are the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT (21%*) and the Universities of Heidelberg (21%*), as well as the companies BASF SE (48%*), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (5%*) and SAP SE (5%*).

*Deviations <1% on request

What is the purpose of InnovationLab GmbH?

The purpose of iL is to create a facility in which partners from science and business can carry out joint research in the areas of energy, the environment and health and transform the results of this research into economic value creation.

What are the goals of InnovationLab GmbH?

The goal of iL is to establish a research platform to which the shareholders and their partners both in and outside the region contribute resources and in which they can research together on clearly-defined topic areas. In this, iL undertakes the management of the research platform and brings shareholders and partners together for concrete projects in the iL facilities. In addition, iL works together with them to define topics for further education and training and works with the universities involved to turn these into appropriate programs of stuy, such as new Masters programs, doctoral courses, electronic teaching materials etc. Since its foundation, iL has been working on the development of the future technology organic electronics. It was with this topic that it successfully took part in the excellence cluster competition held by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in 2008. Further areas of research and application in the areas of energy, the environment and health will be opened up based on the results from Organic Electronics.
An additional goal of iL is to develop results which the research partners themselves are not using into marketable products. In this, iL will not be forming its own operative business, but either selling products which arise in this way to partners of starting separate spin-off companies.
The first project of this kind to be based on research results from the University of Heidelberg and Roche Diagnostics GmbH is concerned with the transcutaneous measurement of kidney function.

Which principles guide cooperation in InnovationLab GmbH?


iL serves science and business as a joint platform on which the defined research topics are worked on comprehensively along the entire value chain. In this, knowledge gained from basic research stimulates applications, while the needs of existing applications provide food for more basic research. This allows synergies to be used and skills combined.


The intensive and targeted cooperation between the companies and universities significantly increases the speed with which new technologies and products can be developed, so that technological leadership can be gained or secured.

Strong Partners

The agents cooperating on the iL platform are the international pinnacle, the worldwide leaders in their fields, and contribute their excellence to the joint activities.

How does InnovationLab GmbH help  its shareholders and partners?

  • For business, it created the opportunity to work together with leading scientists in academia to drive forward innovation projects in a way not possible during day-to-day business, and to integrate these back into the company if required.
  • For science, iL allows inventions to be used commercially with the support of industrial partners who have the relevant market knowledge and access.


With its approach, networking science and business in a targeted way, InnovationLab GmbH is supporting the innovational power of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and of Germany, generating a dynamic for innovation and the foundation of new companies, and thus securing growth, jobs and wealth.