AixCAPE® e.V. is a not-for-profit consortium with focus on facilitating new technologies and on speeding up innovation transfer in the area of Computer Aided Process Engineering & Plant Technology for Energy and Material Conversion. While universities combine their expertise and resources in the field of methodology research, application-oriented research and software prototype development form the core tasks of AixCAPE®.
The consortium has been founded in 2002 as a spin-off from the Chair of Process Systems Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. Many of the worldwide leading chemical and petrochemical companies are members of the consortium which is in the process of attracting new member companies. AixCAPE® is also actively inviting other leading research universities to join and efficiently promote the transfer of their innovations within the AixCAPE® network together with the member companies.
Members From Academia And Industry
An essential mission of the consortium is to leverage research transfer projects. In the framework of these transfer projects the relevance of new ideas and methods can be enabled and ensured through the close cooperation with the member companies. The projects do not directly aim at commercial exploitation, but rather aim to identify the potential of innovative methods or to adapt and extend software prototypes from research so that they can be used in an industrial environment for the purpose of validation and assessment. In this way, science and research in the field of Computer Aided Process Engineering & Plant Technology for Energy and Material Conversion are supported and the emergence of innovation is promoted.
Moreover, the consortium closes the innovation chain by triggering commercialization of the successful software prototypes, e.g., by establishing a cooperation with a professional partner. The partner takes over the software, further develops it and sustainably provides a commercial product with maintenance, support, service and consulting. Besides established partner companies that already exist at the market AixCAPE® e.V. also focuses on supporting young researchers who have been involved with the prototype development or who are experts in the underlying methodologies to set up a business model and establish their own company.
The innovation pipeline in AixCAPE® from an idea to a commercially available product consists of the following phases:
Phase I: Long-term research
Phase II: Implementation of Phase I prototypes for industrial applications for expert users
Phase III: Commercialization for standard users
AixCAPE® is a bridge between Phase I and Phase III focusing on Phase II and especially on the following missions in the area of Computer Aided Process Engineering & Plant Technology for Energy and Material Conversion:
- Speed-up of research transfer
- innovation asset screening @ universities
- innovation demand screening @ members
- assessment / comparison / benchmarking of different methodologies in order to find possible solutions for industry
- Execution of application-oriented research transfer projects
- Development of prototypical software
- Support of commercialization
- Innovation dissemination
- Forum for scouting modern topics, collecting the status, and providing input on emerging or leapfrogging developments to attract new projects
In order to ensure a constant exchange of experience and information between industry and university, working meetings are regularly organized. These meetings offer the chance for professors and Ph.D. students to present current research activities as well as to start the discussion and to trigger the initiation of new transfer projects within the AixCAPE® consortium.
The transfer projects are continuously supported by AixCAPE® through various activities that help providing knowledge about the functionality, assessment and application potential of new methods and software prototypes to a broad public. This is realized, e.g., via publications, the organization of workshops or the participation in numerous conferences, symposia and expert committees.
Benefits for Members
Early access to new research results and software prototypes and the opportunity to test and validate them in an industrial environment is a major benefit of an AixCAPE® membership. However, it is not the only one. AixCAPE® offers service and consulting in different topics. The members of AixCAPE® can steer research transfer activities significantly and in this way ensure the most promising and most relevant methods and prototypes are made fit for practice. The AixCAPE® meetings offer an ideal platform for networking in the area of Computer Aided Process Engineering & Plant Technology for Energy and Material Conversion as dedicated experts from the member companies and universities meet regularly and discussions are lively and very open. Another interesting aspect for industrial members is the possibility of recruiting new staff from networking with the affiliated universities.