Innenhof des Stammgeländes der TUM

The entrepreneurial university – institutional strategy from 2006-2012

With its institutional strategy “TUM.The Entrepreneurial University,” TUM joined the league of Universities of Excellence in 2006. Thinking and acting with an entrepreneurial spirit means taking responsibility, both for oneself and the institution, shaping a strong corporate identity, stepping up to the competition, targeting high-risk research goals, and building and empowering networks. Thinking and acting like an entrepreneurial university also involves encouraging, valuing and maximizing talent. An “entrepreneurial university” cannot be described as a commercial enterprise. In stark contrast to traditional, bureaucratic university models, it is, however, a science-driven enterprise. It aims for research excellence, a competitive position and an international footprint. In pursuing these aims, TUM’s vision is to add value to society.

Institute for Advanced Study

The TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS) was the cornerstone of the 2006 institutional strategy. It has set international standards for scientific excellence, inspiring and encouraging next-generation scientists and bolstering the university as a whole. Its basic aim is to provide a neutral, cross-generational, international environment for industry and academia where creativity can flourish. The TUM-IAS believes that dedicating time, freedom and resources dedicated to a high-risk research agenda is the best way to achieve advances in science and technology. The members of the TUM-IAS have already achieved success in major research initiatives like TUM•Energy, to name but one. This interdisciplinary research network of excellence is part of the Munich School of Engineering.

Services for researchers

An end-to-end talent development service stretching along the entire academic career path, focusing on up-and-coming talent and elite international scientists, has inspired a new quality culture. Service teams support our researchers in a number of ways, including applications for third-party funds, the use of intellectual property, and career planning. Establishing a best practice throughout Germany, the Munich Dual Career Office helps the families of newly arrived academics settle in to their new lives in Munich and its environs.

Gender & diversity

TUM is aware that research and competitive success hinges on the ability to build a diverse, international academic community where women and talents of all ages are encouraged to excel. As much as 10 percent of the funding for the 2006 institutional strategy was used to raise gender and diversity awareness. Fast forward to 2012, and this time around TUM has made “Talents in Diversity” the centerpiece of its institutional strategy.

Long-term investments

To increase its maneuverability as an entrepreneurial university, TUM has systematically broadened its financial footing. Efforts here have concentrated on fundraising, research initiatives with academic and industry partners that build or strengthen TUM’s image, and international research alliances. The generosity of alumni, patrons and the corporate world has made several new initiatives possible, such as the TUM University Foundation (2010), which currently holds over €20 million in funds at its disposal.

Inspiring students, integrating alumni

TUM’s foundation benefactors include many alumni. The alumni network currently has 40,000 members from every corner of the globe. The TUM Emeriti of Excellence play an active or advisory role in university life. The first link in the school–university–work value chain are the pupils attending highschools and vocational schools. In a network including over 150 school partnerships, the TUM Otto von Taube-Kolleg for highly talented elite high-school pupils, the school research center Berchtesgadener Land and TUMLab at the Deutsches Museum, young people are given an early introduction to the world of technology. A new academic department, the TUM School of Education (2009), is defining new standards for teacher training and education research in the German higher education sector.

Key success factors from 2006-2012 

Here are some key figures demonstrating the transformational benefits of the Excellence Initiative. These figures show that TUM has strengthened its international, gender, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial performance.

  • TUM has 4 Humboldt Professorships – the highest endowed international research prize in Germany.
  • TUM has successfully coordinated 9 out of 10 initiatives for German Research Foundation Collaborative Research Centers.
  • TUM’s third-party research funding has increased from €147.4 million (2005) to €260 million (2011).
  • The proportion of women professors at TUM has increased from 8 percent (2005) to 14 percent (2011).
  • TUM appointed 12 professors from abroad in 2011; compared with 4 in 2005.
  • TUM scientists and students have created more than 120 startups since 2006.
  • TUM is the leading German university in the “Academic Ranking of World Universities” (Shanghai Ranking), placing 47 overall.