Fostering innovation in young enterprises in international context by cooperation of 6 universities, 2 chambers of commerce & public cross-border authority
The Knowledge Alliance Rhine-Waal aims to strengthen the cooperation of entrepreneurs, unis and research institutions on both sides of the German-Dutch border ( It focuses particularly on young research-intensive companies and entrepreneurial students. It supports the development of new products, provides assistance to both entrepreneurs and students and simplifies the search for partners, labs and research institutions on both sides of the border.

The „Pressure Cooker“ carried out as one initiative within the Knowledge Alliance Rhine-Waal focuses on students from both Dutch and German universities who are asked to find innovative solutions to real-life business cases and problem of companies in the region within one day.
The young talents are faced with real-life business cases and problem of businesses for which they have to provide innovative solutions. They learn to organise their work in an efficient manner in an international team. They not only have to overcome language barriers and differences in their professional background, but also have to perform in a limited time frame under pressure. At the end of the day, the young talents have to present their solutions and ideas to a jury in a pitch.

In doing so, both the students receive entrepreneurial skills and coaching, and the companies can identify young talents.

Resources needed

The "Pressure Cooker" initiative used funding from the Project "Knowledge Alliance Rhine-Waal" which had a total Budget of 4.5 mio . €

Evidence of success

- innovative solutions to real-life Business cases and Problems were generated by students & founders
- students received coaching on entrepreneurship to stimulate start-up founding
- successful contacts were made between companies and students / founders with innovative solutions
- start-up founding in students was stimulated and encouraged
- enterprises were able to identify young talents

Potential for learning or transfer

The "Pressure Cooker" Format is a useful way to stimulate entrepreneurship with students/founders, cross-border (business) cooperation, and contacts between companies and students / founders with innovative solutions. Moreover, it is a good way to help businesses find innovative solutions and young talents.

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Main institution
Euregio Rhine-Waal
Köln, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
July 2012
End Date
July 2015


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