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The Research University Hof asks: Who are the partners of a university?

A university of applied sciences (HAW) does not conduct research alone, but always embedded in its networks. This time, the Forschende Hochschule Hof asks: Who are the partners of an HAW?

Template gelb: wer sind die Partner der Hochschule Hof
Foto: Hochschule Hof

The economy

Application-oriented research means that universities always research hand in hand with the economy. In Upper Franconia, there is a pronounced density of production companies that cover broad sectors ranging from parts for the automotive industry to the region’s textile heritage.

The five research institutes at Hof University work predominantly with partners from small and medium-sized businesses in the region. This means that so-called third-party funds, i.e. money from third parties such as the federal government, the Free State of Bavaria or the EU, have to be acquired, because this is the only way that research can take place at the university at all. Professors thus have the opportunity to work with their scientific staff on problems from industry and to find solutions.

Multipliers and networks in the region

Since there is a broad funding landscape, many companies do not always have a sufficient overview of the funding opportunities for research and development that they could take up together with the scientific institutions in their area – also for their own benefit.

One task of Hof University of Applied Sciences, as the region’s innovation engine, is therefore to create this overview and to inform multipliers such as entrepreneurs:inside and special-purpose associations about the opportunities available to their member companies. Examples of cooperation here include the IT Cluster Upper Franconia, the Wirtschaftsregion Hochfranken e.V. or the Innovation Center Region Kronach. In terms of international networks, HAW Hof is part of the ERNACT network, for example, which carries out projects throughout Europe.

In the area of start-ups, the digital start-up center Einstein1 on the campus of the university is the contact point for employees and students interested in starting a business and arranges contacts with the service providers in its network.

Conferences and symposia

The five research institutes at HAW Hof regularly organize conferences: Examples are the Water Symposium 2022, the Energy Symposium 2023, the Symposium Bioplastics, the IT-Leiter:innen Treffen Hochfranken and the Hof Nonwovens Days and the Hof SpaceDay.

It is also important that our scientists participate in internationally recognized event formats and give lectures. Examples of where you can meet our researchers worldwide can be found at “The Hof University of Applied Sciences on the Road“.

International Networks

It is also important for our scientists to keep their finger on the pulse of research and business. It is important to build bridges between international research and the local region. That’s why some of them are members of international, subject-oriented networks as well as clusters, either as a member, or on the advisory board or board of directors.

Transfer and network projects

In addition, there are also projects that bring existing solutions from science to the people both in the region and throughout Europe. The Digital Regions project and the Europe-wide cooperation network ERNACT are good examples of this. Regional knowledge transfer that brings together industries and specialists can also be found in various projects and networks such as S³Rem or ADerN.


Bavaria’s universities are under the control of the Bavarian Ministry of Science, currently headed by Markus Blume, State Minister for Science and the Arts. For this reason, University President Lehmann often travels to Munich to coordinate his activities. On a regional level, the university frequently receives requests to speak to political parties or to discuss how specific issues should be addressed.


Sponsors from the business world and foundations also finance professorships or facilities needed for university research. An important partner of the university is also the Upper Franconia Foundation, which has made many things possible for us over the years. Among others, the start-up aid for the Institute for Information Systems over several years should be mentioned.

Civil society

Partners from civil society are increasingly finding their place in Hof University’s innovation ecosystem. Interested laymen, friends and families, start-ups and also alumni are increasingly in the focus of the university: the exchange is to become larger, also in order to recognize which needs which actors have, in order to be able to bring the results of the research better into the breadth. Among other things, HAW Hof organizes general transfer formats for the general public, such as the Dies academicus and the Night of the Sciences.

Katrin Müller

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