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Intellectual property (IP) in the form of property rights such as patents is, besides unprotected know-how, a basis for innovation projects with subsequent revenues for KIT. Thus, the key figures around IP are a signal for the creativity and innovative power of an institution. However, they must also be considered in interaction with other influencing factors, such as the annual patent budget or the strategic focus of an institution.


In 2023, KIT registered 38 patent applications. A rather high share of about 65 percent of the patent portfolio at KIT is already exploited in license or R&D contracts. Of the remaining 35 percent, a part is again tied up in publicly funded project applications as background.





The "free" property rights offer open opportunities for future cooperation between KIT and companies. For these technology offers, partners from industry are sought for joint further development under the theme RESEARCH TO BUSINESS.


KIT's revenues and return flows from license agreements are just as volatile as the numbers of invention disclosures, ongoing innovation projects or start-ups. In order to increase license-based revenues and also those from industrial projects, KIT developed an overarching innovation strategy as part of its umbrella strategy KIT 2025. The measures and instruments defined therein are to be successively introduced and strengthened in the coming years.


2023, KIT has concluded 41 new license and transfer agreements, and the total portfolio of IP contracts at the end of the year amounts to 458 agreements. This figure does not include sales of IP rights or other transfers under research and development collaboration or contract agreements. This contract portfolio generates revenues across a broad spectrum - from smaller amounts to several 100,000 Euros per year. Basis for the figures on this page: KIT innovation figures according to the Agreement Report of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers on the Agreement for Research and Innovation.


KIT bundles its activities in the field of start-up promotion in the KIT-Gründerschmiede. The declared goals are to awaken and strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit among employees and students as well as to activate existing potentials and to develop them further - through a variety of opportunities - into successful spin-offs. To this end, new services and event formats are continuously developed, tested and optimized and numerous local and national network partners are integrated into the work. The positive effects of start-up support lead, among other things, to the fact that KIT is considered one of the flagship universities for start-up support and was able to report a record number of 50 start-ups in 2019.


The corporate investment task anchored in innovation management is being successively developed. The ongoing professionalization of investment management is aimed at expanding the number and support of investments in young companies and optimizing the services provided as part of a portfolio company.

*Basis for the figures: Annual financial statements of KIT 2019-2023.

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