The KIT Founders’ Forge at GAIN22 in Bonn.
The German Academic International Network (GAIN) is the network for German scientists working in North America. With a diverse program, it provides support in maintaining contacts with German scientific institutions, prepares for a return to Germany as a research location, and helps to articulate interests to political decision-makers.
In 2022, the annual GAIN22 conference was held in Germany for the first time from September 02-04 with about 400 participants. The conference was aimed in particular at scientists conducting research in other European countries and, to some extent, in Asia and Africa. GAIN22 offered information on various career paths, from professorships at universities or universities of applied sciences to science management to moving into the research-based economy or founding a company.
At the “Talent Fair”, which is part of GAIN22, more than 60 institutions from the research sector presented career opportunities in their institutions and facilities and offered vacancies. In addition, the three inviting funding organizations, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), and the German Research Foundation (DFG) provided information about their programs for scientists in early career phases. In order to present KIT as an attractive station on the career path for the target group of scientists, Ms. Janine Maurer from DE Research Funding (FOR) and Ms. Ines Köhler from DE Personnel Development and Professional Training (PEBA) had a booth at the “Talent Fair” and were very pleased about the high demand for their offer.
Why was KIT-Gründerschmiede present at GAIN22? Many new ideas are generated in science and are the basis for innovations in business and society. In addition to the classic career paths in science and research, scientists also have the opportunity to found a company. Spin-offs and start-ups are playing an increasingly important role in transferring ideas and results from science to industry. They modernize the economic structure, contribute to social change and create jobs. In addition, start-ups are an indicator of the relevance of research for society.
For all participants who were thinking about founding a company on the basis of their own scientific work, a workshop was offered for the first time at GAIN22 to exchange ideas with successful founders and to get to know support structures. Dr. Rolf Blattner from KIT-Gründerschmiede took part in the workshop as a speaker and gave the interested scientists a perspective on the various possibilities on the way to founding a company from science. In addition, Ms. Ines Banhardt from Baden-Württemberg International and Thomas Bartel from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg were guests on the podium of the workshop and made the workshop with a very lively discussion an extremely successful offer in the overall program of GAIN22.
Together with the entire team of KIT-Gründerschmiede, we are already looking ahead to the year 2023 after the successful GAIN22 and are looking forward to being there again at GAIN23 to inspire scientists for the topic of “Entrepreneurship as a Career Option”.
BU from left: Thomas Bartel (Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg), Dr. Rolf Blattner (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Ines Banhardt (Baden-Württemberg International GmbH).