October 14 - 27, 2019

innomake! The first Mannheim Innovation Festival will celebrate its premiere from 14 to 27 October 2019.


Mannheim is known throughout the world for its important inventions and groundbreaking ideas. The bicycle, the car and the tractor all began their triumphal march from Mannheim. That innovation strength continues to this day. Modern Mannheim is home to major global players, a broad range of medium-sized businesses, established traditional companies and an active start-up scene. Together, they are producing significant new products, services and processes that are driving the development of society and the economy. Seen in this light, Mannheim can rightly be described as a city with a long and proud history of innovation.

In recent years, Mannheim-based companies have attracted international attention by presenting innovations such as a bioreactor that grows with its contents and a hearing aid that sits directly on the eardrum. At 7.1%, the start-up rate in Mannheim is above the national average. Almost half of all German patents are registered in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. The underlying economic and infrastructure conditions for future-oriented start-ups and sustainable expansion are ideal for companies of all sizes. With 300 start-ups in eight incubation centres and the structural combination of technology, creative industries and cultural urban development, Mannheim is home to an interdisciplinary, internationally oriented start-up ecosystem that is attracting interest nationwide.


Mannheim blazes a trail in the field of sustainability

However, the challenges of the 21st century, such as digitisation, climate change, protection of our natural resources, migration and urbanisation, are assuming epochal dimensions.

In the future, economic and technical innovations will be assessed much more strongly in terms of social and ecological aspects and will also be integrated into urban development.  Mannheim was the first German city to develop the “Leitbild 2030” mission statement for the implementation of the 17 global sustainable development goals of the United Nations within a broad-based participation process. Stakeholders from the worlds of culture and business are actively challenged by these goals to work together with society to shape the future of the city. Mannheim is also providing innovative impetus for cultural urban development. On top of that, the city was the first in Germany to appoint a night mayor to mediate between revellers, residents and the operators of over 120 clubs, restaurants and bars.


1st Mannheim Innovation Festival “innomake!” runs from 14 to 27 October 2019

The first Mannheim Innovation Festival, “innomake!”, is intended to initiate a new social and economic discourse on the importance of sustainable and future-oriented innovations. The event will bring together companies and institutions as well as the cultural and start-up scene in Mannheim from 14 to 27 October 2019. For two weeks, the focus will be on technical innovations as well as social, cultural and ecological ingenuity. More than 15 events are being staged; not just for a specific specialist audience but also for people who are fundamentally interested in innovation and sustainability.


“people | planet | profit” – Symposium for sustainable innovation provides the festival highlight on 24 October

The highlight of the festival is the interdisciplinary symposium for sustainable innovations “people | planet | profit” on 24 October in the Rosengarten conference centre. Opened by Mannheim’s Lord Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz and a subsequent keynote lecture, the symposium will address the question of how innovations can offer sustainable added value, not just for the economy but also for the environment and society. The symposium will take a look back at the festival’s various programme items and at the same time act as a prelude to the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC), which will be taking place as part of innomake! for the third time from 24 to 26 October. The UTC is an initiative of the World Urban Campaign of the UN Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and functions as an open forum for innovative exchange between urban stakeholders who develop globally transferable solution models for cities.

Free tickets for “people | planet | profit” are available at www.innomake-mannheim.de.


Central festival meeting point and public exhibitions

A great place for spontaneous encounters beyond the scope of the events is Hometownglory, the festival centre located in the Q 6 Q 7 shopping centre. Young brands from the fashion, beauty, jewellery, food & beverages, interior design and art sectors will be presenting their products on the first floor of the centre. Hometownglory will provide an insight into how sustainability and innovation are also reflected in young Mannheim brands. In contrast to a pure product presentation, this is a great place to chat with young entrepreneurs. From Monday to Saturday, all festival participants and visitors are invited to stop by and exchange ideas over fresh drinks and snacks.

The fact that the bicycle, the car and the modern tractor originated in Mannheim is widely known. Throughout the festival, these and many other less well-known innovations made in Mannheim can be discovered in an open-air exhibition in the city centre. There is also an online version of the exhibition at www.innomake-mannheim.de

Another public exhibition that is well worth visiting is being hosted in the C-HUB. To kick off the submission phase for the UNCOVER Design Award 2020, the organisers have come up with something very special. As a short retrospective, so to speak, they will be showcasing the nominations and winners of the UNCOVER Design Awards 2016 and 2018. In total, 34 entries will be on display. The way they are presented is also interesting: each individual entry will be displayed in its entirety on the windowpanes.


Further events for a variety of professional audiences

The wide-ranging festival programme offers numerous other event formats – both established and new – such as input sessions, hackathons and workshops, which aim at various specialist audiences. Already well established is the UX-Day, organised by kuehlhaus AG, which focuses on user experience. High-profile experts from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Adobe have been coming together here for over ten years.

Through the Climathon initiative, the Department of Economic and Structural Development of the City of Mannheim and Hackerstolz e.V. are setting a special challenge. Within a period of just 40 hours, participants will be working in small teams to develop digital answers to urgent questions in the fields of climate protection, the environment and energy technologies.

The International Night Culture Conference (NØK) on cultural urban development is itself an innovation. For the first time ever, a conference will be dedicated to exploring contemporary night culture. Around 30 speakers from Germany and abroad will be discussing aspects such as mobility, urban development, ‘place-making’ and safety in public spaces.


Unique innovation culture and interdisciplinary cooperation

“innomake!” was initiated by Stadtmarketing Mannheim GmbH together with STARTUP MANNHEIM with the aim of bringing to life the diversity and interdisciplinary character of the city with its innovative and creative atmosphere. The “innomake!” programme not only aims to create added value for the city of Mannheim itself, but also to provide inspiration far beyond its boundaries.

After all, what makes Mannheim so special and attractive is its unique and lively culture of innovation. In this city located between the Rhine and Neckar rivers, people come together freely with a hands-on entrepreneurial mentality. This is an absolute plus in today’s world, since the interaction of different disciplines, qualifications and approaches often leads to the best results. One successful example is the collaboration between Mannheim representatives of the music industry and medical technology. In the spring of 2019, this led to a new procedure that brings audio technology into the operating theatre, reducing disturbing noises during operations performed while the patient is awake and improving communication between the medical team and the patient.

Further advantages for future-oriented developments are the numerous research institutes located in Mannheim. These include the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation, the Institute for SME Research, the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, the Centre for European Economic Research, the Central Institute for Mental Health, the University Hospital, the Institute for Medical Technology, the GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences and the Institute for German Language.

You can find detailed programme information at www.innomake-mannheim.de


Recent Posts


We expose high school students to the language, mindset and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to give them a new…