Press releases

Miele and TU Dortmund promote start-up teams with new business models for sustainability

Gütersloh/Dortmund, January 25, 2023 No. 009/2023
  • Programme puts wind in the sails of budding talent with promising ideas

  • Application period runs until February 5, 2023

The battle against climate change counts among the biggest challenges of our day and age. Miele is acutely aware of this and is working on developing solutions which go easy on natural resources and the environment in a bid to contribute towards a better future. But how can sustainability be converted into business models? How are meaningful ideas best put into practice? Miele and TU concept GmbH, a subsidiary of the Technical University Dortmund (TU Dortmund), have instigated a programme for the up-and coming generation in businesses in order to provide answers to these questions – the 'tu.CREATE x Miele Challenge 2023'.

The 8-week challenge kicks off on February 27 and runs until April 23. The deadline for applications is February 5. During the project phase, participants will work on five different sustainability projects. These include climate-friendly and safe cooking, energy-efficient construction and transparent CO2 certificates. Prior subject knowledge is not required. Junior talents will be presented with the necessary project information and methodology at the beginning of the programme. Furthermore, they will have the support of coaches during the challenge to allow them to focus on developing, testing and implementing their ideas.

'We take the climate cares, above all of the younger generation, very seriously indeed and understand that we can only solve the massive climate issues of our day by working together. For us, the objective of this challenge is therefore to whet the appetite of young persons for business models which focus on a sustainable economy', says Sven Schneider, Director of Future Business Design with Miele.

'This joint programme with Miele shows how transfer and cooperation activities create added value for students at the TU Dortmund. Practice-centric business model development offers students the opportunity to scent the air of a start-up during their studies and to put their theoretical knowledge of methods into practice. Furthermore, the whole topic of sustainability addresses social challenges and also reflects the sustainability strategy of the TU Dortmund, formulated and passed in 2021', claims Dr. Ronald Kriedel, Managing Director of TU concept GmbH.

From a strategic perspective, the Future Business Design Team specifies topics, contributes practical experience and soft skills and enables participants to forge valuable contacts in the business world. The allowances for the placements are funded by TU Dortmund.

The programme is digital. At the kick-off event and on 'Celebration Day' at the end of the programme phase, all participants will gather in person at the TU Dortmund.

Overview: The five project ideas

  1. Development of a safe and climate-friendly cooker to prevent deaths caused by noxious gases when cooking indoors, reduction of CO2 emissions and forest clearance in threshold countries ('Solar cooking 2.0):
  2. Development and optimisation of incentive structures, including for instance more flexible electricity tariffs, with the objective of making sustainable energy more attractive to consumers ('Demand shaping').
  3. Development of a product which allows home owners to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by linking HVAC and domestic appliances on the basis of a smart energy bus standard ('Energy bus').
  4. Design of a business model for even greater transparency with respect to CO2 certificates ('CO2 Trust').
  5. Sustainable construction made simple – thanks to easily accessible and affordable advice and planning using a digital platform ('Sustain Home').

For further information on applications: here.


About TU Concept GmbH: TU concept GmbH is a subsidiary of the Technical University Dortmund and, alongside the Centre for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) and the Stiftung Dortmunder Hochschulen start-up, a key pillar in promoting the creation of new companies and the transfer of knowledge. The aim is to sustainably support and bolster the economy and sciences by promoting collaboration and transfer between universities, research institutes and industry.

About Miele: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2021 business year amounted to around € 4.84 bn. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 22,300, of which approx. 11,200 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.

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Sven Schneider, Director of Future Business Design at Miele, explains start-up processes to budding talent at the TU Dortmund. (Photo: TU Dortmund)

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Dr. Ronald Kriedel, Managing Director of TU concept GmbH, presenting to students at the TU Dortmund. (Photo: TU Dortmund)

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