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About us

The world is constantly changing. With new products and business models, we are rapidly being seduced to change many aspects of our lives and the way we live together. Megatrends are flowing through our society and changing our demands. The established innovation process of many companies is almost overwhelmed and often even buried by an avalanche of new developments and trends. At the same time as the RWTH Aachen Campus, which structures and systematizes the technological knowledge islands of Aachen in a consolidated knowledge map, the INC Invention Center will be created in 2014.


We create world class innovators

We realize a vivid and broad partner network of world-class innovators. Long-term cooperation with companies from the producing industry is the driving force behind our success.


Our idea: To rethink technology and innovation management and thus meet the challenges of a digitalized, rapidly changing world.

At the same time, we see ourselves as a neutral first point of contact when it comes to finding contact persons for specific technological questions on the RWTH Aachen Campus and to putting them in touch with cooperation partners. We are anxious to expand the innovation ecosystem of Aachen in the sense of an Innovation Factory in the future and thus further increase the innovation productivity of many companies. We are conservative in our approach and unconventional in our approach – this is both our claim and our self-image: conservative with regard to the quality of our work, unconventional with regard to the nature of our cooperation and approach. Our project teams consist of employees from the four initiators of the INC Invention Center. Our project managers are highly trained in agile methods and have practical experience and expertise from numerous assignments in industrial projects.


The proximity to the RWTH Aachen and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ensures that we are among the first to be able to put the latest scientific findings into practice – quickly and adaptably. We strengthen companies’ ability to turn their ideas into innovations quickly, efficiently and customer-centered.


We are an association of enthusiastic technology and innovation experts from the Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT and Werkzeugmaschinenlabor der RWTH Aachen. The information managers of KEX Knowledge Exchange AG and the business model specialists of the Time Research Area complete the circle of initiators.
KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG is a professional service provider of technology and market information. The enterprise channels more than 20 years of experience from institutes of different subject areas in Aachen in information research, evaluation and interpretation. Smart knowledge management systems and extensive connections to exclusive information sources as well as to a unique network of experts facilitate effective scanning, scouting and monitoring of technologies and markets. With demand-specific provision of information KEX supports entrepreneurial decisions – from identifying market relevant technologies through observation of markets, competitors and M&A candidates to identifying new markets.

Fraunhofer IPT

The Fraunhofer IPT develops new solutions and optimizes existing ones for the modern manufacturing plant on behalf of its clients. The mission of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT is to carry out application and industry oriented research and development for companies across all manufacturing sectors. The results of our work are immediately and directly implemented within the day-to-day practice of our customers. Our focus extends from automotive suppliers through aerospace, precision mechanics and optical industries to machine tool construction.

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)

The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the RWTH Aachen conducts fundamental research as well as responding to the demands of industry via specialized research and consultation projects and develops innovative, hard-wearing solutions for securing successful company development. The goal – to address and resolve the whole spectrum of production technological questions under one roof- has generated an environment which fosters a broad field of activity, including strategic innovation, production and quality management as well as control, machine, manufacturing and measuring technology.

TIME Research Area

TIME stands for technology, innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship. Members of the research area follow an ambitious teaching and research program with a clear focus on conception, development and commercialization of technological innovation. The mutual goal is to provide scientists, practitioners and students with valuable, empirical findings for questions relating to concept, development, design, commercialization and the continuous optimization of new products, services and business models within established and new organizations. By channeling the expertise and experience of the chairs, the TIME Research Area offers a unique mix of knowledge, global networks and practical application and transfer experience.



Toni Drescher

Executive Center Director

Toni is founder, engineer, consultant and CEO. Worldwide, he finds new approaches, strategies and methods from technology and innovation management and shares his knowledge with the INC Invention Center network. He serves both corporations and medium-sized companies in implementing their innovation strategy.


Team Munich


Dr. Stefan Thomas

Executive Director Munich


Team Hong Kong


Patrick Kabasci

Director Operations Hong Kong



Dr.-Ing. Benny Drescher

Director Technology Hong Kong


Scientific Advisory Board

The members of our Scientific Advisory Board are our sparring partners and signposts. They advise and support the INC Invention Center and impart practice-oriented, leading-edge methods and state-of-the-art knowledge in technology and innovation management. This is how we combine practical business requirements with our research.

Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh

Technology Management

Since 2002, Günther Schuh has held the Chair of Production Systems at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University as well as a member of the Board of Directors and Head of the Technology Management Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT. He is also Director of the Research Institute for Rationalization (FIR eV) at the RWTH Aachen University. Since 2009, he heads the RWTH Aachen Campus.

Research areas: Production Systematics, Innovation Management, Production Management, Corporate Development, Factory Planning.


Prof. Dr. Frank Piller

Innovation Management

Since March 2007, Frank Piller has held the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management at the RWTH Aachen.

Research areas: Interfaces in the innovation process (open innovation and cocreation), management of discontinuous innovations, technology transfer and technology procurement, customer-centered value creation strategy, in particular mass customization.


Prof. Dr. Malte Brettel


Since October 2003, Malte Brettel has held the Chair of economics for engineers and natural scientists and manages the business incubator at RWTH Aachen University. He is also vice rector of RWTH Aachen University.

Research areas: Entrepreneurship, development of new business in young and establishes companies, Entrepreneurial Finance and Controlling, Entrepreneurial Marketing.


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Paluch

Service and Technology Marketing

Stefanie Paluch holds the Chair of Service and Technology Marketing at RWTH Aachen University.

Research areas: Acceptance of technology-intensive services (remote services/smart technologies), marketing of innovative services and new technologies, social media marketing, marketing in a business-to-business context.