Net­work for Rail In­nov­a­tions: State pro­motes Rail­Cam­pus OWL

Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst presents notification worth more than 700,000 Euros

Power to rail: This is what the RailCampus OWL stands for as a modern research location in Minden, where business and science jointly develop intelligent systems for automated rail transport through to market maturity. Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst has now presented the initiators of the innovation network in Ostwestfalen-Lippe with a grant of around 709,000 Euros.

"Modern transport policy is the best climate protection. That's why Germany must become a country of railroads again," said Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst. "We are capitalising on the opportunities offered by digitisation to create more capacity, greater reliability, higher efficiency and more climate protection for better, safer and cleaner mobility. The state is pleased to support RailCampus OWL, which further strengthens the innovative power of Ostwestfalen-Lippe with its many companies and research institutions. Investment in the future!”

New technologies for rail freight transport are being developed at RailCampus OWL. These include, for example, the automation and digitisation of process flows and freight car technology. New courses of study will train specialists and managers for a new technological era in rail transport.

The project is being initiated by Bielefeld University, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Paderborn University and the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences (TH OWL). Participants from business include Deutsche Bahn with DB Systemtechnik and DB Cargo as well as Harting and Wago. The town of Minden and the district of Minden-Lübbecke are also among the project partners. DB Systemtechnik is making parts of the site and buildings in Minden available to RailCampus OWL.

"Deutsche Bahn sees great opportunities in the RailCampus project," says Hans Peter Lang, Chairman of the Management Board of DB Systemtechnik and CTO of Deutsche Bahn AG. "We can contribute our know-how, get students excited about rail and thus attract the young talents that are so important to us. We want to generate innovation momentum – and do so in the immediate vicinity of Minden station. Laboratories, offices and classrooms will be built on the DB Systemtechnik site in order to radically accelerate automation and digitisation in the rail sector. This is why Deutsche Bahn is supporting the RailCampus to the best of its ability."

Professor Dr. Stefan Witte, member of the initiator group and Vice-President for Research and Technology Transfer at TH OWL: "In the interaction between science and business, new cooperations and a unique ecosystem for innovations in rail transport are being created at RailCampus OWL. Research and technology transfer take on a new quality in the context of railroads, and the future students in the bachelor's and master's degree programmes will be integrated into an ideal professional environment. We are very pleased to receive the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia – now the development of RailCampus OWL can move forward at full speed."

"Universities, business, the town and the district are working hand in hand on this lighthouse project with a nationwide impact in order to bring innovations for the future of mobility onto the rails in the middle of the town of Minden with the best infrastructural conditions," says Annette Nothnagel, Head of REGIONALE 2022 at OWL GmbH. "I am pleased that RailCampus OWL is a REGIONALE 2022 project because it strengthens North Rhine-Westphalia as a location for innovation and expertise nationwide. It actively contributes to urban development in OWL and gives Minden an additional boost, not only because it attracts young people to the town, but also because it strengthens the region's skilled workforce overall."

The campus will be part of the German Centre for Future Mobility (DZM), which will be headquartered in Munich and have additional locations throughout Germany. The site in Minden is one of four satellite locations. To begin with, the initial funding is provided by the state, with the aim of facilitating a smooth transition into the structure of the nationwide DZM.

Photo (VM Sarah Jonek): "Modern transport policy is the best climate protection": NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst supports RailCampus OWL with more than 700,000 euros in funding.
Photo (VM Sarah Jonek): "Germany must become a country of railroads again", NRW Minister of Transport Hendrik Wüst hands over the funding notification for 700,000 euros to Prof. Stefan Witte, member of the initiators' group of RailCampus OWL and Vice-President for Research and Technology Transfer at TH OWL.
Photo (VM Sarah Jonek): NRW Minister of Transport Hendrik Wüst hands over the funding notification for 700,000 Euros for RailCampus OWL (1st row from left: Dr. Lars Müller (DB Systemtechnik), Prof. Stefan Witte (Initiators' Group of RailCampus OWL and Vice-President for Research and Technology Transfer at TH OWL), Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Schramm-Wölk (Chairwoman Campus OWL and President of FH Bielefeld), Prof. Dr. Birgitt Riegraf (President University of Paderborn), Hendrik Wüst (Minister of Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia), Annette Nothnagel (Head of REGIONALE at OstWestfalenLippe GmbH).