Aachen e.V.:
The Bottom-Up
Digitalisation Movement


The digitalHUB Aachen e. V. is committed to the digitalisation of the economy and the public sector in the Aachen region. Members are SMEs, industry, start-ups and institutions that support the goals of the association. The digitalHUB Aachen brings together start-ups and IT SMEs (digital “enablers”) with traditional SMEs and industry as users (digital “users”) in the digitalCHURCH to jointly develop and realise new digital business models. This is supported by the region and science (“supporters”). In this way, an euregional “Aachen Area” is being created as a digital innovation land. The digitalisation centre of the digitalHUB Aachen is part of the initiative “Digitale Wirtschaft [Digital Economy] NRW (DWNRW)” and one of six funded centres for the digital economy in NRW.

Verein digitalHUB Aachen Logo

Focus groups

With the instrument of the focus groups, all members have the opportunity to help shape the content of the work of our association. Here, on the one hand, stakeholder-specific questions, requirements and ideas and, on the other hand, overarching, strategic questions are initially discussed. The results of these discussions are then translated by the Executive Board into guidelines for the content-related design of the entire range of services and the purpose of the association. These are then used by the Management Board and the management team as a guideline for the operative business.

Thus, the focus groups within the digitalHUB Aachen e.V. cover different topics and are a central part of our association’s work.

Here we give a short overview of the already existing and active groups of the digitalHUB Aachen e.V.:

focus groups

DWNRW partners

Digital Hub Bonn
Digital Hub Düsseldorf
digital hub münsterland

Cooperation Partners

As the central transfer unit of RWTH Aachen University, the RWTH Innovation GmbH supports students, researchers, inventors and founders. Targeted formats such as innovation sprints and start-up coaching offer start-up teams precisely the support they need to turn innovative ideas into successful business models. Through the further development of the (former) Transfer and Gründerzentrums (TGZ) [Transfer and Business Incubation Centre] and its integration into RWTH Innovation, the range of support for start-ups at RWTH is being further expanded: e.g. through participation formats and new financing options.
Click here for the RWTH Innovation website.

The collaboration with Fujitsu focuses on the areas of Smart City and Mobility. Fujitsu offers solutions in the areas of traffic flow optimisation, intermodal mobility and parking management, for example. These use cases are complemented by “Quantum Inspired Optimisation Services”, which can be used to solve complex optimisation problems such as route calculations. Smart City dashboards with AI applications as well as digital transformation workshops and an idea and innovation management platform are also included.

Through the partnership with the Swedish mobile network supplier and innovation driver Ericsson, the digitalHUB combines the expertise of a global leader in 5G development with the inventive spirit of innovative start-ups. Ericsson’s research and development centre in Germany, the Aachen Eurolab, serves as an interface to the digitalisation and start-up initiative. Here, diverse fields of application for 5G are being developed in cross-industry collaborations.

The collaboration with the “Düren.Digital Network” aims at the digital transformation of the regional economy by networking young founders and established companies. The Düren.Digital Network is a project of WIN.DN, Wirtschaftsförderung [Economic Development] of the City of Düren. It is funded by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the DWNRW initiative and by the City of Düren. More information on the Düren.Digital Network can be found on the WIN.DN website under “Düren.Digital Network”.

The collaboration with the Factory, Europe’s leading innovation hub, opens up an important axis to the start-up capital Berlin for digitalHUB members and users in the Aachen Area. At the same time, it strengthens the new Aachen digital location. When applying for a Factory Membership, this collaboration gives members of the digitalHUB accelerated access to the Berlin Community of Innovators and its more than 300 events a year. The Factory broadcasts selected DIGITAL CHURCH events live to the start-up capital.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the leading auditing firms in Germany with the highest turnover. It supports the digitalHUB Aachen in start-up support and shares exclusive and relevant content from the areas of finance, tax, risk management & compliance and HR. This is firmly anchored, among other things, by the Business Breakfeast, which takes place four times a year.

In the Heinsberg Coworking Space Werkbank, coworkers, digital nomads, freelancers, creative people, start-ups, growth companies and entrepreneurs from the region will find approx. 600 sqm of office space, desk space, advice, contacts, a professional network and access to investment and financing opportunities.

Association committees

General Meeting

The highest body of the association is the General Meeting. Each full member has one vote. The General Meeting elects the Management Board and the members of the Executive Committee and can also dismiss them. Furthermore, it is responsible, among other things, for the approval of the budget and the discharge of the Executive Committee and the Management Board and decides on amendments to the Statutes. It meets at least once a year.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the digitalHUB Aachen defines the direction of the association’s work and integrates the results of the focus groups. It also decides on spin-offs, for example industry incubators. The Executive Committee works on an honorary basis and consists of all board representatives, one representative of each initiator of the digitalHUB Aachen e. V. Furthermore, the spokespersons of the focus groups and – upon proposal of the Management Board – selected personalities are members of the Executive Committee:

Management Board

The honorary Management Board of the digitalHUB consists of Dr. Oliver Grün (Managing Director of GRÜN Software AG), Michael F. Bayer (Managing Director of the CCI Aachen) and Prof. Dr. Malte Brettel (Prorector of RWTH Aachen University). It is chaired by Dr Oliver Grün. He is also responsible for personnel policy and appoints the management. The current Managing Director is Iris Wilhelmi (MBA).

Among other things, the Management Board carries out the resolutions of the General Assembly, decides on partnerships and the admission and exclusion of members as well as the formation of new focus groups.


Our members are players in digitalisation and users of their solutions. We show the success stories of

• users from SMEs and industry, who are tackling the challenges of their own digital transformation with strong partners from our portfolio,
IT SMEs, who are driving digitalisation in the Aachen Area with their solutions and
digital start-ups with innovative and disruptive business models.

Furthermore, our support members and many other supporters make a decisive contribution to the Aachen Area becoming a digital innovation land through their diverse commitment.

Sustaining member

The supporting members form an essential financial pillar of the association. As sponsors, main or general sponsors, they make a valuable contribution to the successful work of the digitalHUB.

Our main sponsors have each donated a scholarship for start-ups in 2018: One FlexDesk each in the DIGITAL CHURCH and the accompanying membership in the start-up community for one year.

Our general sponsor:

The main sponsors are:

Enablers from the IT SME sector

The IT sector with its high innovation potential is one of the strongest economic sectors in the city-region of Aachen. In the city of Aachen alone, 81 percent more people work in this sector than in the NRW state average. Numerous “hidden champions”, world market leaders in their field, are located in the Aachen Area.

The IT SME sector has a classically flat corporate structure. Therefore, these companies are particularly well suited as a bridge between start-ups and the economy and represent ideal cooperation partners for industry and digital start-ups.

Here we introduce you to successful grownups in the Aachen Area:

Success stories

Enabler Start-ups

According to Entrepreneurship Analysen IKT.NRW, the start-up ecosystem of the Aachen Area is among the top 3 in NRW, along with Cologne and Düsseldorf. The reasons for this are the regional strength in knowledge transfer, the positive creativity, innovation and start-up climate as well as the heterogeneous environment. Since the 1980s, more than 1,600 technology-oriented start-ups have emerged in the Aachen region. The region has 13 technology, service and start-up centres. In the digitalHUB alone, more than 100 digital start-ups are involved with digital products or services.

Here you can find successful start-ups from the Aachen Area:

Success stories

Users (users from industry and small and medium-sized enterprises)

Traditionally, the Aachen region is characterised by small and medium-sized businesses. This applies to the many service and technology companies, but also to the manufacturing industry. There are numerous “hidden champions”, especially in the food industry and mechanical engineering. The heterogeneity of the region and the university landscape with RWTH Aachen University as one of the world’s top 100 universities and FH Aachen as one of the ten largest universities of applied sciences in Germany offer ideal conditions for innovation, knowledge transfer and mutual exchange.

Here you can learn about success stories from small and medium-sized businesses in our region:

Success stories

Supporters from politics and science as well as investors

Supporters from politics (city, municipalities, state, federal government), science, management consultants and investors support the digital transformation in the Aachen Area through numerous target group-specific offers or events in the Digital Church. They often provide experienced specialised trainers, coaches or mentors.

Research activities of the Aachen universities and the close cooperation with the Transfer- und Gründungszentrum [Transfer and Business Incubation Centre] of the RWTH Aachen University (TGZ) also provide valuable impulses for the work of the digitalHUB and its members.

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