Start-ups enrich the Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center

A photo of the three founders of the start-up ichó talking to the inHaus director Wolfgang Gröting
© Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center
The three founders of the start-up ichó with the inHaus director Wolfgang Gröting

An interactive gaming table, a dementia ball, or video glasses – the Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center in Duisburg is increasingly focusing on the cooperation with innovative start-up companies. Especially in the topic area of connected healthcare, a main focus of the inHaus research activities, there have already been some interesting and successful cooperations. Particularly Dutch start-ups provide new impulses.

A lot has happened at the inHaus-Center since ichó systems became a part of the inHaus partner network as the first start-up company in April 2018. By now, the inHaus-Center is cooperating with nine start-ups in total – with a rising tendency. “As an innovation and cooperation platform, the collaboration with start-ups is essential and incredibly valuable. Especially young companies from the health and care sector fit perfectly into the inHaus-Center”, explains inHaus director Wolfgang Gröting. “I’m convinced that we are on the right track and I look eagerly to the future – hopefully, there are more interesting, innovative company founders that want to take the next step with us.”

Cooperative research and development work

The joint use of the inHaus laboratories within the cooperation leads to an even more direct and intense exchange. The partners immediately work hand in hand on the development of innovative products and concepts. “That is incredibly inspiring and helps all sides eventually“, says Wolfgang Gröting. The company founders profit from the enormous technical and scientific know-how, the spatial possibilities or the network of industrial and other research facilities. At the same time the inHaus-Center receives new momentum from the experiences and insights that the young companies have gathered. With this perfect complement all partners can grow and, ideally, new long lasting partnerships can be developed. The best example for this well working cooperation model is ichó systems. The young start-up from Duisburg has developed an interactive dementia ball and has been growing increasingly lately: “Since the beginning of the cooperation with the inHaus-Center we have made a lot of progress – that applies both to the product and the company ’ichó’. We receive a lot of support on a technical-scientific level as well as from the network itself. The inHaus-Center is the ideal place for us”, explains ichó director Steffen Preuß.

New impulses from Dutch start-ups

A variety of new, young inHaus partners come from the Netherlands. This includes De BeleefTV, Qwiek or Anne4Care, which are all part of our partner network. That is no surprise to Wolfgang Gröting: “Our neighboring country tends to be further advanced and more open than we are in Germany regarding technologies in the healthcare area – especially nursing care. We want to get parts of this Dutch innovation power to Germany. I hope for new, fresh impulses for the German health and care sector.” At the same time the cooperation with the inHaus-Center is supposed to facilitate the access to the German market for the young entrepreneurs from the neighboring country. Other start-up companies from the Netherlands are Bike Labyrinth, Beter door Beeld und Relaxmaker. In addition to ichó systems, Allton and Erlebnisraum Gesundheit are German start-ups that are on board in Duisburg, too.

Apart from the start-up companies, there have also been many new industrial partners added to the inHaus partner network, for example Sonepar Deutschland GmbH. You can find further information and an overview of all inHaus partners at


The Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center in Duisburg is a unique innovation workshop. Several Fraunhofer Institutes and numerous economic partners carry out cooperative research and development work in the creative think tank. They develop, test and demonstrate innovative systems and products in practical application laboratories. People and their needs are always in the center and the focus is primarily on the areas of Smart Home and Connected Healthcare.