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One of the Ruhr innovation centers in the Ruhr region from the front, showing plants in the foreground with the round, modern-looking glass building in the background

Innovation centers Ruhr: for founders

The Ruhr Metropolis stands for strong networking between business and science. Start-ups benefit: The innovation centers in the Ruhr region offer offices, workshops and laboratories at fair prices. Optimal conditions for start-ups to get their own business off the ground.


Focus your business - the right infrastructure is already on board


35 innovation centers with a wide range of equipment in terms of size, transport links and laboratory equipment ensure a wide choice. From short-term rentals to co-working spaces, between offices, workshops and laboratories: founders, start-ups and small companies will find the optimal powerhouse for their needs in the Ruhr region.


Finding the right place for your startup

Filter the Innovation Centers Ruhr interactively and display results that exactly match your needs. You can then find detailed information and contacts for our suggested innovation centers by clicking on your individual recommendations.


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A head start through a strongly networked community

Good architecture and fast fiber-optic Internet are a matter of course. In addition to laboratory equipment for rent and a location suitable for the respective business field, the start-up scene benefits above all from a strong community: an environment full of local support through excellent networking with universities, business development agencies and companies. Powerful places that help you get started!

The Innovation Centers Ruhr do not just stand for themselves - they are networked with an entire region. They support start-ups on their way to discovering the potential of the Ruhr region and thus getting ahead.

Strong focal points in the Ruhr region for your business

The Innovation Centers Ruhr are diverse in their equipment. Therefore, they meet the most diverse requirements and can be drivers for your business, especially in the focus areas:


  • BioTech
  • Co-Working
  • Cybersecurity
  • Health
  • IT
  • Micro and nanotechnology
  • Production-related services
  • Production technology
  • Environmental technology
  • Hydrogen


Benefit from the advantages of the innovation centers in the Ruhr region:


🪴 Flexible Growth

Find the place that lets you grow flexibly.


🪙 Cut Costs

Save money by renting co-working spaces, equipment and labs.


🌍 Modern Infrastructure

Benefit from state-of-the-art infrastructure.


💡 Inspiring Environment

Provide an inspiring environment for your team and guests.


💬 Networks & Exchanges

Exchange ideas with a network of like-minded people over lunch or an after-work beer.


Any Questions?

How many innovation centers are there in the Ruhr Metropolis?


There are currently 29 technology, start-up and innovation centers in our network. There are hardly any innovation centers of this density anywhere else in Europe.


Will I get support for my start-up at the Innovation Centers Ruhr?

Innovation centers are excellently linked with municipal economic development agencies. As a result, help is readily available if you're mulling over your business plan, need a start-up loan, want to give your start-up an injection of venture capital, or need coaching. There are also frequent community offerings on site. From business breakfasts to after-work beers to mistake-sharing nights.


I would like to start up in biotechnology. What does the Ruhr Metropolis offer me?

In the Ruhr Metropolis, you can count on specialized innovation centers in the life science sector at the locations Bochum, Bönen, Dortmund and Witten. You also benefit from the close proximity of the research-strong Ruhr University in Bochum and the Technical University in Dortmund.


Cybersecurity is my focus. What do I need to know?

Bochum is developing into a hotspot for cybersecurity and IT security. G-Data, the Horst Görtz Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, the competence center eurobits e.V. as well as the Max Planck Institute for Cybersecurity offer a secure basis here. In addition to the ZITS innovation center in Bochum, you will also find excellent infrastructure in the Gelsenkirchen Science Park, the Triple Z in Essen and the Dortmund Technology Center.


I have an innovative idea that doesn't come from the university - can I take it to the Innovation Center?

Then you need an office? Almost all locations dedicated to start-ups offer this. If you want to produce something, there is also a combination of office space and workshops at numerous locations. Take a look, for example, at the Gladbeck Innovation Center, the Triple Z in Essen, the EEZ in Bochum or even the Ökozentrum Hamm. There are smart solutions for different space requirements here.


What do the Innovation Centers Ruhr offer for engineers?

For start-ups with engineering ideas, the Innovation Centers Ruhr offer a diverse range of services. Nanotechnology in the MST.factory Dortmund, production technology in the Center for Production Technology in Dortmund, energy efficiency and additive manufacturing in the EEZ Bochum, environmental technology in the TZU Oberhausen or in the Tectrum Duisburg. This is also due to the strong research locations in the region.


Are there special virtual offerings for founders in the Ruhr Metropolis?

In the Ruhr Metropolis you can use Matchmaker.Ruhr to make new B2B contacts, take part in challenges or send requests to other companies. #getconnected! In addition, a regional platform will soon be launched on which you as a founder can book laboratory equipment, technical equipment and laboratories on a short-term rental basis. Numerous universities and colleges in the Ruhr Metropolis as well as the Ruhr Innovation Centers are also involved.

You still have questions about the project and would like to know more about the Innovation Centers Ruhr? You have the choice: Contact our contact persons by phone or ask your questions directly here.


Birthe BruckhoffHead of
Innovations & Knowledge Transfer

Image credit: Judith Büthe fotografie + journalismus on behalf of the Business Metropole Ruhr


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