"Networking is my strength"

The new IFC Innovation Manager

Regina Storz-Irion took up her new position as Innovation Manager of the Tuttlingen Innovation and Research Centre (IFC) of Furtwangen University on 1 October 2018. The building on Katharinenstraße in Tuttlingen offers both facilities and opportunities for scientists, companies and start-ups to network and realize innovative ideas. Joint projects in the area of application-oriented research and technology transfer will provide initatives to strengthen and renew the economic region.

"I've worked as a development engineer in various sectors," says Regina Storz-Irion. "Over the years I've noticed that I enjoy working with other people and that networking is one of my strengths." Regina Storz-Irion is not new to the University: since 2014 she has been an adjunct lecturer, initially on the Tuttlingen Campus, and since 2015 also on the Schwenningen Campus.

"As an innovation manager I see myself as the contact person for those both inside and outside the University: for professors, for students who want to become self-employed, and for industry. I want to be the hub of the network to make sure that the right people meet each other." She knows Tuttlingen and the region well. "In Tuttlingen there are a lot of people with good ideas who can only develop them further by networking with suitable partners. I want to show them how they can realize these ideas profitably in a team and how they can get help to do so."

The IFC has ambitious aims. By the end of 2021 it should already be generating a profit of  €1.5m. "We'll achieve that if we become attractive for industry in the region with professors of the University who are willing to carry out research, and if we manage to get young people who want to start up their own businesses to come to the IFC," Regina Storz-Irion is sure. Together with the scientific director of the IFC, Prof. Dr. Martin Haimerl, in the next few weeks she will be developing concepts for various events. Her first impression of her co-workers at IFC is extremely positive: "The spirit is there, we're all ready to go."

About Regina Storz-Irion
Regina Storz-Irion was born in Tuttlingen and studied mechanical engineering in Stuttgart – as one of 3 women among a couple of hundred men: "That wasn't easy at first," she laughs. From 2004 she ran an engineering consultancy for the medical technology, bio-technology and pharmaceutical industry. Before that she was a managing partner of a medical technology firm in Tuttlingen for 17 years. She feels connected to Tuttlingen and wants to stay in the area.

She is married with 2 grown-up daughters.

The IFC
The IFC offers scientists, businesses and start-ups access to the research and development facilities of Furtwangen University. It promotes technology and knowledge transfer between the business and the academic communities in joint projects and initiatives. The IFC will work in the core growth area of medical technology in cooperation with the innovation and transfer partnership CoHMed (Connected Health in Medical Mountains) and the cluster organisation Medical Mountains. The overall aim is to strengthen and renew every important sector in the region.
 
As the owner, the town of Tuttlingen has rented out the building on the corner of Katharinenstraße/Stockacher Straße to Furtwangen University since 1 July, 2018. The approximately 2,700 m² building houses labs, offices and function rooms used for networking between the University and businesses. The construction costs of €11.37m were jointly covered by the European Union (€4.55m), the State of Baden-Württemberg (€1.82m) and the Town and Region of Tuttlingen (€2.5m each). The University Campus Tuttlingen Funding Association supported the furnishing of the IFC with around €300,000.