Research centers

Center for Digital Transformation (CDT)

The Center for Digital Transformation (CDT) at TUM Campus Heilbronn was founded in 2019 and researches issues related to digitization and its challenges and opportunities. Our goal is to develop solutions through practice-oriented research and thus generate direct benefits for the economy and society. New findings flow directly into teaching to prepare our students for the tasks of the future.

Data-driven decision making

New technologies, like the Internet of Things, social media, or sensor networks, have enabled to gather and store a huge amount of data. The massive amount and the different formats and sources of data require new methods to extract insights and information out of the data and to use them for decision-making. Further, to support decision-makers, adequate data organization and fast algorithms are necessary for online decision-making under real-time information. At our Center for Digital Transformation, we apply big data analytics, machine learning, and optimization to support decision-making in health care, finance, marketing, and supply chain management. We also renew the methods for specific applications and develop new algorithms and methods which can deal with the uncertainty usually present in data.

Digital platforms

Digital Platforms are important for the commercialization and innovation of digital goods and services. As such, they play a crucial role in the context of digital transformation and are applied in many industries as for example in banking, transportation, or software development. Digital platforms can connect demand and supply of goods and services, as well as people and companies. To be successful, managers need to understand network effects as the inherent challenge, which – in order to be overcome – requires a profound technical and organizational response. At our Center for Digital Transformation, we study new digital business models where competition, as well as other determinants, are taken into account. We develop methods and incentive schemes that help a platform to gain traction among users, suppliers as well as consumers, and we investigate the necessary steps that need to be taken to establish successful platforms in the market.

Impact of digital technologies on business

The development of new technologies has led to a significant change in businesses processes and a reshape of markets. Internet and especially social media have changed the interaction between companies and customers enormously, resulting in new marketing strategies. Sensor technology, cyber-physical systems, distributed ledger technologies, and AI have driven automation in production and transportation, and have also led to new financial services. At our Center for Digital Transformation, we study the improvement of processes, business models, and business ecosystems by the use of a combination of several digital technologies in order to ensure the competitiveness of a company. Further, we investigate the application of virtual reality and augmented reality in the industry as well as in research and teaching.

Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS)

In 2003 the Chair in Entrepreneurial Finance (Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner) and the Chair of Financial Management (Prof. Dr. Christoph Kaserer) jointly founded the Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS). Prof. Dr. Reiner Braun (Chair in Entrepreneurial Finance II) joined in 2015, completing the Scientific Director Team. CEFS is supported by around 20 Scientific Assistants and a Managing Director. Its portfolio also includes an international network of highly renowned scientists and representatives of numerous business fields.  CEFS aims to provide state-of-the-art research and teaching in the fields of entrepreneurial and financial studies. The research focus is on corporate financing and ownership structures in public and private capital markets. Special attention is paid to the analysis of demand for capital by young, innovative companies and the supply of debt and risk capital from banks and institutional investors. Within the scope of its research, CEFS collaborates on a series of projects with selected industry partners, including leading investment companies, consulting firms, and financial intermediaries. CEFS places a special focus on the practical relevance and applicability of its research. It identifies solutions for real-life problems using scientific analyses, in close dialogue with practitioners.

As a recent example, the 2019 study on listed German family firms commissioned by Stiftung Familienunternehmen should be mentioned. An exemplary CEFS project was the development of two indices in collaboration with Deutsche Börse: the German Entrepreneurial Index (GEX, 2005) and the DAXplus® Family (2010). The GEX presents a view of entrepreneurial companies in the prime standard. In 2005 Professor Achleitner and Professor Kaserer received the Initiativpreis of Stiftung Industrieforschung for the development of the GEX. The DAXplus® Family tracks the performance of listed family businesses in the prime standard. In 2010, CEFS received one of the 365 “Orte im Land der Ideen“ (“Places in the country of ideas“) awards for its achievements in research and teaching with practical relevance. CEFS has a number of freely available publications and research studies.

Involved academic departments

Center for Energy Markets (CEM)

The Center for Energy Markets (CEM) at the TUM School of Management conducts a rigorous analysis of the evolution of the energy industry and offers excellent interdisciplinary training of young professionals in this ever emergent field. The focus of research is the analysis of energy prices, investment and trading strategies in the energy sector, as well as policy and regulatory strategies for an efficient energy transition. CEM’s research also includes works on regulated electricity and gas networks as well as asset management in the energy industry. Another research area lies in the area of electromobility.

Research at the CEM has been published, amongst others, in the RAND Journal of Economics, the Journal of the European Economic Association, Operations Research, the European Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of Industrial Economics, Energy Economics, the Energy Journal, Energy Policy, Utilities Policy, Journal of Regulatory Economics. The Center regularly hosts research seminars as well as workshops with policymakers and high-level practitioners from the energy industry.

Center for Life Sciences Management and Policy (CLSMP)

The Center for Life Sciences and Management brings together closely networked specialist sectors such as forestry and agriculture, chemicals, plastics, food & food technology, and plant engineering. It thus builds a bridge between technology, ecology, and economic efficiency. Work takes place at an international level, particularly in the areas of bioeconomy and “closing the loop“. The research encompasses the entire value chain from production to consumption. “Reverse flows“ such as recycling play a crucial role here. Moreover, by effectively combining research and teaching, the Center for Life Sciences and Management ensures that its research findings exert a lasting impact and generate valuable synergies.

Entrepreneurship Research Institute (ERI)

Entrepreneurship is an emerging and important research field in business, economics, and psychology. The goal of the Entrepreneurship Research Institute is to help develop this field and improve our understanding of entrepreneurial individuals and organizations. One part of the research at this center takes a psychological perspective and investigates entrepreneurial cognition and decision making. Our second research stream follows a business perspective and tries to understand the behavior of young organizations and factors that contribute to their success. The ERI team is interdisciplinary and composed of researchers with diverse backgrounds and qualifications, including management, psychology, economics, sociology, and natural sciences.

Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE)

The Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE) was founded in 2020 is located at the TUM Campus Heilbronn. The center comprises the team of Miriam Bird (Director GCFE and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise) and the team of Stefanie Jung (Professor of Corporate Law). The GCFE focuses on the interplay between the “family” and the “enterprise”. In particular, its unique research focus lies in creating a deeper understanding of topics related to strategy, innovation, transgenerational entrepreneurship as well as governance in family enterprises. It is of utmost importance for the GCFE to take an interdisciplinary research approach by incorporating diverse perspectives (e.g. psychological, sociological, economic, and legal) to examine family enterprise behavior. The Center’s research is mostly evidence-based and its goal is to achieve academic excellence while researching highly relevant topics. It is also the Center’s mission not only to create but to disseminate knowledge.