Since 2014, the Inno­va­ti­ons­cen­trum Osna­brück (ICO) has offered startups a perfect place to further develop their entre­pre­neu­rial approa­ches. Among the first tenants were iotec GmbH and Bitnamic GmbH. Both compa­nies, toge­ther with the ICO tenant seeda­live GmbH, moved into the new iotec buil­ding in the science park in December 2022. Toge­ther with repre­sen­ta­tives of the Osna­brück Economic Deve­lo­p­ment Corpo­ra­tion (WFO) and the ICO, Mayor Katha­rina Pötter learned about inno­va­tive projects and products on site.

On about 1000 sqm of floor space, spread over three floors, the owners iotec and the two tenants Bitnamic and seeda­live work on advan­cing inno­va­tive busi­ness models. The imme­diate proxi­mity to the univer­sity was a decisive criterion for the choice of loca­tion, says Daniel Mentrup, mana­ging partner of iotec. The culture of short distances is also culti­vated in the buil­ding: Tech­no­lo­gical over­laps are used to bundle compe­ten­cies.


All signs point to inno­va­tion and digi­tiza­tion

iotec supports the auto­ma­tion of a wide variety of processes with smart sensor tech­no­logy, coupled with services related to soft­ware and hard­ware deve­lo­p­ment and the Internet of Things. The port­folio is consis­t­ently problem-oriented: Among other things, the team has deve­loped a sensor-based moni­to­ring and decision support system for inte­grated plant protec­tion in green­house crops, which enables a timely response to pest infe­sta­tions.

Bitnamic has dedi­cated itself to the topic of smart service solu­tions on mobile devices, which are also imple­mented via augmented reality. Bitnamic products are used for trai­ning as well as for support services. This creates oppor­tu­ni­ties for the economy: “Many compa­nies are under-digi­tized, with AR we can develop new, digital busi­ness models,” explains Rolf Behrens, CEO of Bitnamic.

seeda­live is deve­lo­ping a photo­me­tric seed germi­na­tion test that is evaluated using AI. “We want to become the global gold stan­dard for seed viabi­lity,” explains Fran­ziska Gröne, Lab Manager at seeda­live. The target group is agri­cul­ture as well as seed banks, which do essen­tial work in the face of climate emer­gency and biodi­ver­sity crisis.

Thanks to the networ­king acti­vi­ties of the WFO and the seed­house network, seeda­live is already in nego­tia­tions with global players, says Jens Varns­kühler, CEO of seeda­live. iotec is also certain that its entre­pre­neu­rial deve­lo­p­ment has bene­fited enorm­ously from the support in the Osna­brück envi­ron­ment, espe­ci­ally from the ICO.


Shaping the science park for the future

“The three compa­nies are prime examples of the Osna­brück startup ecosystem,” says Thomas Büdden, autho­rized signa­tory of the ICO. The three compa­nies were spun out of the univer­sity context, brought their products to market in a timely manner, and are estab­li­shing their inno­va­tions locally to inter­na­tio­nally. Katha­rina Pötter was impressed by the poten­tial of the mapped auto­ma­tion processes: “We have to set out to counter the shortage of skilled workers. The right solu­tions can be found here.”

“The fact that three ICO startups have found a new home here under one roof in the Science Park and continue to use syner­gies among them­selves here is of course some­thing I am parti­cu­larly pleased about,” says Ingmar Bojes, ICO and WFO mana­ging director. “This shows us that both the ICO concept and the conver­sion in the Science Park are successful and create added value for the Osna­brück economic region.”

The visit to the new company head­quar­ters makes it clear: Here, above all, people are thin­king of the future. Not only in terms of entre­pre­neu­rial visions, but also in terms of further deve­lo­p­ment. After comple­tion, the site will have gene­rous parking spaces with char­ging columns for e‑mobility as well as poten­tial space for two further buil­ding complexes, each with a floor area of 399 square meters. The property that has already been built complies with the GEG effi­ci­ency house stan­dard and features a compre­hen­sive energy concept.