Universität Bielefeld

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European Leading-Edge Technology in OstWestfalenLippe

OstWestfalenLippe is to become a centre for leading-edge technology in the areas of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, automation, IT and car component supply through a cross-industry development strategy.

it’s owl stands for Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe.

The aim of the leading-edge cluster is to improve the intelligence of technical systems to make them more user friendly. No distinction is made, then, whether the area is in domestic appliances, production, trade or transport. Also, an energy efficient approach to resources is fundamental. 


The Leading-Edge Cluster Competition - More Innovation. More Growth. More Employment

The Leading-Edge Cluster Competition is part of the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy 2020. In five strategic fields of action– climate/energy, health/nutrition, mobility, security, and communication – the initiative aims to improve the quality of life as well as drawing on potential for value creation, opening up future markets, creating qualified jobs and encouraging talent.

The Leading-Edge Competition is a central component of the High-Tech Strategy - a medium-term and sustainable cooperation initiative between companies, research institutes and other organisations.

it’s owl is one of 15 leading-edge clusters in Germany awarded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The Strategy of it's owl

24 core companies, 78 associated companies, 24 engineering and consulting companies, 6 universities, 10 competence centres and 30 economy-oriented organisations  are the actors of the cluster it’s OWL [in German]. Together they implement in various cooperations technological innovation, amounting to a total of five cross-sector projects and 34 innovation projects as well as eight projects on sustainability.

Universities in it's owl

The main coordinators of the cross-sector projects are Bielefeld University and Paderborn University, the University of Applied Sciences East Westphalen-Lippe and the University of Hamm-Lippstadt, the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences(FHDW) as well as competence centres affiliated to universities.

The Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC and  CoR-Lab of Bielefeld University, which is funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia bring their know how and research expertise in the areas of human-machine interaction, industrial automation, self-optimisation and robotics to a total of 13 collaborative projects within the cluster strategy. In addition to that, the Institute of Science and Technology Studies IWT and the Chair of Innovation and Technology Management are involved in two other projects.

“The transfer of our research to companies in the region will be greater and faster due to the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research(BMBF). Also, applied research in our university will receive greater encouragement. Furthermore, companies get to know sooner about new research themes which are of importance to their respective branch“, says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Rektor of Bielefeld University.

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It's OWL News

Dates and events relating to Intelligent Technical Systems and Industry 4.0. (in German)