RE:New City Incubator


According to the UN Environment Programme report, the construction and building industry is currently not moving towards the climate target set in Paris, but away from it. In order to reverse this trend, a rapid transition to future technologies is necessary. The aim of the RE:New City project is to offer innovative start-ups that develop technologies in the fields of property technology (PropTech), construction technology (ConTech) and refurbishment of existing buildings the opportunity to test their technology in pilot projects together with practical partners from industry. This is intended to reliably determine possible CO2 savings potential and thus create the foundation for a rapid scaling of the technologies. In the process, key factors influencing the collaboration of start-ups and more mature companies are also to be investigated.

In the current state of research, there are three competing theories here: Resource-based theory (firms enter into collaborations to acquire resources they do not have internally), absorptive capacity theory (firms engage in collaborations to improve their ability to identify, acquire and use new knowledge and technologies), and network theory (firms enter into collaborations to gain access to valuable networks of customers, suppliers and partners). In the use case of start-up and company collaboration in the construction and building industry, the aim here is to contribute to entrepreneurship research in addition to supporting start-ups.

Research questions

  1. How can innovative technologies in the construction and building industry be tested quickly and efficiently in pilot projects in order to determine CO2 savings potential and other parameters?
  2. How can universities, start-ups and established companies work together as efficiently as possible in an innovation network for the construction industry in order to scale up new technologies more quickly than has been the case to date?
  3. Which influencing factors are decisive for the success of a start-up and company collaboration for the actors in the collaboration?

Scientific approach and methods

  1. quantitative calculation of CO2 saving potentials through measurement-based methods, modelling of emissions and calculation of emission factors in the pilot projects. Several common methods for accounting for CO2 reduction in new technologies based on the principles of life cycle analysis (LCA) and greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting will be combined (in particular cradle-to-grave LCA, attributional LCA and consequential LCA).
  2. qualitative accompanying research to evaluate the application of strategic entrepreneurship methods and exploitation strategies in the scaling of technologies between start-ups and established companies. Focus groups and in-depth interviews of the actors involved are planned, which will be evaluated using grounded theory in longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses.

Targeted results

  1. Development of new methods for the evaluation of CO2 saving potentials for start-ups to support new technologies in early development phases.
  2. Contribute to entrepreneurship research by further developing resource-based theory, absorptive capacity theory and network theory in the collaboration processes between start-ups and established companies.
ManagementProf. Dr. Patrick Planing
PartnerFraunhofer IAO
FundingStuttgart city

Stuttgarter Klima‐Innovationsfonds (climate and innovation funds)




Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
Professor+49 711 8926 2903 L127
Innovationsmanager und Startup Coach 007