The SüdniedersachsenInnovationsCampus (South Lower Saxony Innovation Campus, SNIC) is a unique network that links science, business and municipalities. Its goal is to accelerate innovation dynamics in the southern regions of the German Federal State of Lower Saxony. In pursuit of its mission, the SNIC makes relevant findings from research accessible to regional companies. Current issues relating to the economy are carried over into the field of science where innovative solutions can be further developed. By bridging universities with industry and linking actors with stakeholders in the municipalities and chambers of commerce, SNIC is the first network to enable the great potential of the knowledge region to be exploited and put into practice. Multiple synergies are created for all partners involved in this innovation-driving venture.
SNIC’s activities build upon the experiences and competencies already in existence on a local level. Synergistic effects are created, whilst duplicated structures are avoided. Available knowledge offerings are expanded or transferred to other regions, whilst the actors involved are linked together. As a result, the entire region is empowered to participate in innovative projects and events. By making local expertise, skills and existing services available to an extended circle of regional stakeholders, SNIC helps promote effective use of the region’s resources.
The four universities in the region — Georg-August University of Göttingen, HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, PFH Private University of Applied Sciences Göttingen and Clausthal University of Technology — are joined by SNIC with the districts of Göttingen, Goslar, Holzminden and Northeim. The city of Göttingen itself with its economic development schemes, the Chamber of Handcrafts of Hildesheim Lower Saxony and the Southern Lower Saxony Foundation “SüdniedersachsenStiftung” all contribute as well. Under the umbrella of Hannover’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the SNIC main office is supported by 21 partners from the business sector who are interested in driving innovation.
SNIC primarily focuses on the transfer of knowledge: technology consultants travel throughout the region to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) identify and implement innovative projects in cooperation with scientific institutions or other companies. Alongside this, SNIC’s innovation scouts scour regional universities for practical and applicable research findings. In this way, SNIC ensures that companies are kept well informed about the latest advances and discoveries in research and science.
Ancient auditorium of the University of Göttingen. Foto: Uni Göttingen
HAWK location at Haarmannplatz in Holzminden. Foto: HAWK
Main building of the Clausthal University of Technology. Foto: TU Clausthal
The PFH Plaza at Private University of Applied Sciences Göttingen. Foto: PFH Göttingen
The companies, in turn, provide university graduates with knowledge relating to innovation and how to start up businesses. This knowledge transfer is aimed at strengthening entrepreneurial dynamics in Southern Lower Saxony. The curricula offered by the Innovation Academy ranges from a comprehensive start-up qualification programme with workshops on entrepreneurship, an intrapreneurship education and Master’s degree programme in Innovation Management. Start-up consulting, including crowdfunding advice which helps start-ups establish new contacts and secure financing, is also provided. The SNIC pre-incubator provides entrepreneurs founding a start-up with the necessary infrastructure in a building where they can work round the clock free-of-charge to turn their business ideas into reality.
Beyond this, SNIC is committed to addressing the shortage of skilled and qualified professionals afflicting Southern Lower Saxony. At low-threshold events, students, doctoral candidates and business owners have the opportunity to become acquainted with each other and build collaborative networks. The economy benefits from field trips to businesses: when future specialists visit companies, employers can position themselves in a way that attracts up-and-coming qualified professionals. On the other hand, prospective university graduates gain a feel for their entry and career opportunities at the relevant companies. On top of this, SNIC supports students and companies in drafting application-related theses for final exam projects.
The founding team "Siteghost" in the SNIC pre-incubator. Foto: Peter Heller
View of the plenum at the InnovationsForum in Holzminden. Foto: SNIC
Information exchange at the job and career fair "PraxisBörse". Foto: SNIC
Presentation of the health glasses at the eHealth Lounge. Foto: Peter Heller