FAU welcomes key figures from industry on board

Collage des CxO Councils
The new FAU CxO Council (Images: BDI,DB, Williams Advanced Engineering, FREIBANKER, VED/Anja Rottke, Berliner Krankenhausgesellschaft/Annette Koroll FOTOS)

New CxO Council as interface between academia, industry and society

Top managers from industry and society strengthen links between academia, industry and society, and spur innovation on in the process: That is the idea behind the newly established CxO Council at FAU.

 BDI President Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm, Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke, former member of the board at Deutsche Bahn responsible for digitalization and technology, and Jean-Marc Gales, former member of the board of Group Lotus/Peugeot/Citroën have one thing in common: They belong to the CxO Council that FAU has now established as part of its university strategy. FAU President Dr. Joachim Hornegger explains the idea behind the Council is that “One of the main challenges of our time is to raise awareness at universities for the practical issues faced by industry, the markets and society, at the same time as increasing the speed and effectiveness at which innovative solutions discovered at universities enter into practical application.” He continues, “their careers to date and their close connections to FAU make our CxOs the perfect interface between the two worlds.”

A link between academia and industry

The members of the CxO Council have several tasks. They are actively involved in driving strategic development at FAU and provide an innovative impetus for students and researchers alike. They raise awareness among researchers of the challenges facing industry, and provide inspiration for new research approaches. Their networks are a valuable starting point for encouraging new partnerships and collaborations. Students benefit from the wealth of experience of the CxOs, they gain an insight into organizational processes and can make contacts at the highest level. With their strategic advice, the CxOs help to forge an even closer connection between the theoretical foundations covered by degree programs at university and the practical challenges facing industry, at the same time as encouraging interdisciplinary working. As a highly innovative university, FAU is particularly strong when it comes to spin-offs. Here, as well, the members of the Council can help with their know-how and their networks.

Quality over quantity

The members of the CxO Council are experienced managers from society and industry who have reached a stage in their career that gives them the leeway to cope with the time demands of maintaining such close links to FAU. The CxO Council acts like a framework for a strategic task at the university. The Executive Board agrees the extent of the commitment and type of connection individually with each CxO. Generally speaking, each person has a particular focus that relates to one specific institution or one chair within FAU. Initially, the Council will have six members: As well as Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm, Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke and Jean-Marc Gales, it includes Prof. Dr. Armin Schnettler, former Executive Vice President New Energy Business/Siemens Energy, Prof. Dr. Andrea Grebe, former managing director of Vivantes Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH, and Dr. Christiane Decker, former member of the board of TeamBank AG. It is possible that other CxOs may be included in future, particularly from those areas that are not yet represented by any of the other CxOs. FAU is not actively looking, however. President Hornegger: “Our intention is not to attract as many CxOs as possible to FAU, but rather to inspire personalities that match us and our topics to get involved in the CxO council and spark their enthusiasm for the tasks it covers. We are not actively looking for further members, but are happy to welcome more in future if the situation arises.”

Quotes from some of our CxOs (in alphabetical order)

Dr. Christiane Decker, Partnerin FREIBANKER Unternehmensberatung GmbH
Dr. Christiane Decker (Image: FREIBANKER)

“Knowledge transfer between academia and industry is more relevant than ever in the current unsettled times and key to our companies and society continuing to thrive in future. We, the members of the CxO, hope to contribute to an effective discussion with our combined experience. I am pleased to be involved in expanding this transfer with respect to lifelong learning for the innovation ecosystem at FAU.”

Dr. Christiane Decker

Jean-Marc Gales, Senior Automotive General Manager Williams Advanced Engineering
Jean-Marc Gales (Image: privat)

“In my former position as an international top manager and my current position as a member of the board in companies focusing on “New Energy”, I am impressed by the innovation and diversity of research conducted at FAU. I look forward to contributing my global network and my experience to the CxO Council and to helping FAU expand its applied research in collaboration with industry.”

Jean Marc Gales

Porträt von Prof. Dr. Andrea Grebe Vorstandsmitglied der Berliner Krankenhausgesellschaft
Prof. Dr. Andrea Grebe (Image: Annette Koroll FOTOS)

“For the future of health care, FAU is a shining example of innovation in the context of digital transformation and AI. I am particularly keen to encourage the exchange and transfer of theoretical system knowledge and practical experience from health care as well as interactive discussion with students.”

Prof. Dr. Andrea Grebe

Sabina Jeschke, CEO KI Park e.V. und Co-Founder Quantagonia GmbH
Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke (Image: DB)

“In Germany, there are various hurdles to overcome if you want to change careers between academia and industry, which is why only a few people take this path. The CxO Council closes a significant gap. Involving selected stakeholders from industry in academia encourages FAU’s strategic development and strengthens the transfer of research findings into products of relevance for industry. I am extremely pleased to be able to support the most innovative university in Germany, FAU, in this role in future.”

Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke

Siegfried Russwurm, BDI-Präsident
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm (Image: BDI)

“The close connection between academia and industry is a crucial factor in the success of Germany as an innovative country. ‘My FAU’ has encouraged this interaction ever since my time as a doctoral candidate, and I have felt close to FAU ever since. I hope that I was able and am able to make a small contribution to our strength in applied innovation, now even more so in the CxO network.”

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm

Further information

Communications and Press at FAU
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