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. InnovationLab GmbH owns 11 %. The shareholders are the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT (21%*) and the Universities of Heidelberg (21%*), as well as the companies BASF SE (22%*), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (20%*) and SAP SE (5%*).

*Deviations <1% on request

What are the goals of InnovationLab GmbH?

The goal of iL is to establish a research and development 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 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.
Since its foundation, iL has been working on the development of the future technology printed and organic electronics. With the topic Organic Electronics 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.
Meanwhile, an additional goal of iL is transforming inventions into marketable products. The combination of the own and specific expertise of different partners enables InnovationLab to accompany the entire process of a product "from Lab to Fab". iL is a unique partner for the development and commercialization of processes and systems for printed electronic structures, circuits and devices, taking customers from small volume lab scale printing to pilot line volumes and beyond.

Which principles guide cooperation in InnovationLab GmbH?

One-Hand Solution

With its extensive expertise across multiple domains and state-of-the-art infrastructure, iL assists clients along the entire process of product development. iL consults, develops, and produces as a one-stop shop.


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. Furthermore it accompanies partners along the entire process of a product from laboratory scale to production.
  • 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.