After a construction period of two years, the Munich Urban Colab officially opened its doors in the heart of Munich. This globally unique initiative for smart city solutions, spearheaded by UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading center for business creation, and the City of Munich, brings together a wide range of forces under one roof.
Munich, June 28, 2021. After a construction period of two years, the Munich Urban Colab officially opened its doors in the heart of Munich. This globally unique initiative for smart city solutions, spearheaded by UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading center for business creation, and the City of Munich, brings together a wide range of forces under one roof: Here, startups, established companies, creatives across disciplines and sectors and cultural workers work side by side on sustainable solutions for a livable city of the future, and in collaboration with the city administration and citizens. Susanne Klatten, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of UnternehmerTUM, Dieter Reiter, Munich’s Mayor, Thomas F. Hofmann, President of the Technical University of Munich, Roland Weigert, Bavarian State Secretary, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, all spoke at the hybrid opening event. The Munich Urban Colab is a contributing partner of the EU Commission’s New European Bauhaus initiative.
The future is urban: Already today, one out of every two persons lives in a city – with an upward tendency. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to address issues of urban living, mobility and public space. Sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanization have enormous economic potential and this must be promoted even more effectively in Munich: The Munich Urban Colab, created by UnternehmerTUM together with the City of Munich, now provides a new, central location for the innovation and startup scene and creative industries. The building was designed to attract startups, brilliant minds, innovative companies and scientific research projects from all around the world and bring them together to find answers to urban challenges. The building’s users will benefit from UnternehmerTUM’s many years of experience in initiating startups along with providing access to the city administration, direct exchange with technology and business experts, venture capital firms and dialog with citizens.
A unique selling point: active involvement of the Bavarian state capital, the City of Munich
Every day, the state capital of Munich faces the challenge of making life in this vibrant city worthwhile for everyone. To achieve this, the most diverse perspectives of an urban society of companies and citizens across generations and life experiences must be taken into account. The city administration is present as a contact partner at the Colab with its own offices and co-working spaces. At the same time, the city administration also brings its own challenges and projects to the Munich Urban Colab and makes the best possible use of this lively network to develop technological as well as environmentally and socially compatible solution concepts with innovative approaches.
This includes the Munich City Lab of the Department of Labor and Economic Affairs with its innovative business development, a branch of the InnovationLab, and the IT Department’s WerkSTADT. In addition, the Mobility Lab of SWM/MVG is dedicated to future urban mobility issues. The agile possibilities provided by the Munich Urban Colab are open to the entire city administration. Projects with other departments are already in the planning. This creates a creative exchange between the city administration and the activities of the Munich Urban Colab.
A city of the future that’s livable, future-proof and efficient
Susanne Klatten, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of UnternehmerTUM says: "In the Munich Urban Colab, togetherness is lived. City, research, business and citizens united. The architecture of the building deliberately radiates transparency. We invite all Munich residents to visit us; to have a drink in the café, to take a look at the workshops. We are building prototypes in the middle of the city. We want to show that people can use our developments. And invite people to participate. Liveable, sustainable cities need concepts in which citizens can participate.”
Dieter Reiter, Mayor of the City of Munich, comments: “With its special university and corporate landscape, Munich is ideally suited to an innovation location such as the Munich Urban Colab. Munich is a technology-oriented city with a lively startup scene and offers an urban charm that’s second to none. We’re creating the very best conditions here for developing sustainable solutions for the city of the future – and to the benefit of our citizens.” Clemens Baumgärtner, Head of Labor and Economic Affairs at the state capital, adds: “With the Munich Urban Colab, we’ve not only created an impressive location. The new forms of interdisciplinary cooperation with the active participation of the City of Munich are unique. I’m delighted that we’re working with UnternehmerTUM to implement this unique approach to innovative business development. This offers Munich the opportunity to take a pioneering role in the development of smart city solutions.”
Open architecture and transparency
The Colab building provides the ideal setting for interdisciplinary collaboration: Within its site area of 3,600 square meters, more than 11,000 square meters of usable space were created, consisting of offices, co-working spaces, event and seminar rooms and the high-tech prototype workshop MakerSpace. A café, two winter gardens and a sports and fitness room provide good balance for all the work being done. The construction costs of approximately 30 million euros as well as the operating costs have been borne by UnternehmerTUM, while the land has been provided by the state capital on an emphyteutic lease. The Munich Urban Colab offers a great deal of transparency and significant free space – ideal conditions for supporting the emergence of innovations. The bright and open spatial structure invites lively communication.
Future topics relevant for smart cities, such as construction, climate protection, sustainability and mobility, are being addressed in the Colab through programs and initiatives by UnternehmerTUM, the state capital and the Technical University of Munich. These include the Digital Hub Mobility, Smarter Together, BEFIVE and appliedAI. The state capital offers users direct access to the entire city family, the municipal utilities and MVG, as well as other associated companies. Research is also being carried out on the topic of the city of the future in collaboration with the Munich University of Applied Sciences. In general, the Munich Urban Colab aims to open up to universities, colleges and stakeholders working on smart city solutions. The Munich Urban Colab provides rooms equipped with state-of-the-art media technology for events for 3 to 300 people. Members can choose between fixed and flexible workspaces or rent entire offices. The first partner companies on site include BMW, Infineon, SAP and Siemens.
New European Bauhaus
To meet its ambitious goals, the Munich Urban Colab has joined the EU Commission’s New European Bauhaus initiative, an ecological, economic and cultural project that aims to bring together design, sustainability, accessibility and investment. The New European Bauhaus seeks practical answers to the question of how contemporary life can be aligned with nature. As such, it also aims to contribute to the European Green Deal whose goal is to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050. EU President Ursula von der Leyen, who attended the opening virtually, considers that the Munich Urban Colab plays a major role in implementing the goals and visions of the Bauhaus initiative and will moor central European values well for the long term through sustainable technological innovations and open discourse.
UnternehmerTUM – Europe’s leading Center for Innovation and Business Creation
UnternehmerTUM is a unique platform for the development of innovations. UnternehmerTUM actively identifies innovative technologies and initiates new business through the systematic networking of talents, technologies, capital and customers. UnternehmerTUM offers founders and startups a complete service from the initial idea to IPO. A team of over 300 experienced entrepreneurs, including scientists and investors, supports start-ups with business creation, market entry and financing – also with venture capital. For established companies, a team of experienced consultants offers access to the UnternehmerTUM ecosystem. UnternehmerTUM has many years of expertise in the development of innovation strategies and the implementation of technology-driven business ideas. Founded in 2002 by the entrepreneur Susanne Klatten, the non-profit UnternehmerTUM gGmbH is the leading center for innovation and business creation in Europe with more than 80 high-growth technology start-ups every year - including Celonis, Konux, Lilium and Isar Aerospace.