TUM-IAS Start-up Fund
Start-Up Projects

The TUM-IAS Start-up Fund is mostly dedicated to fostering the exploration of new scientific or technological topics by members of TUM Research groups, who want to explore new areas with the possibility of generating Fellowships in the future.

The Fund is not intended for supporting regular seminars or conferences. Exploratory workshops are mostly by invitation and aim at engaging an international community of researchers to spend a few days in Munich in both formal and informal presentations and discussions on new ideas and developments.

This special fund is limited, and potential organizers will typically have to arrange for additional funding through other means.

The contribution to such an event will be in the order of € 4000, to be negotiated with the TUM-IAS management team.

TUM-IAS will also provide some services towards the organization of the event and the use of the TUM-IAS building and facilities.

The TUM-IAS management team shall be happy to provide prospective organizers with further information.

In some very special cases TUM-IAS can provide additional start-up funding to its Fellows to allow them the establishment of their research environment and/or preparation of major grant proposals.

In view of the limited available funds, it is imperative that this is done in arrangement with the TUM-IAS management team.


Cradle to Cradle®: Prof. Michael Braungart (EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH) and Prof. Werner Lang (TUM Institute of Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building).

At TUM the group´s research members work on two projects:

Hakuna Matata - Cradle to Cradle inspired building in east Africa
The UNO predicts that, given current conditions, in the 21st century the majority of population increase will occur in developing countries.

The population in these parts of the world will increase from 5.4 to 7.9 billion people. In order to prevent and preempt rural depopulation and the explosion of urban centers, it has to be a primary goal of this century to make rural spaces more attractive, primarily but not exclusively through raising rural standards of living and creating attractive, fulfillingjob prospects.

A growing population as well as new infrastructure and production facilities necessary for positive rural development demands the construction of new, and the refurbishment of existing, buildings.

These developments have already become apparent through the immense growth rates in the building sector of developing countries around the world.

The biggest challenge for these countries to tackle now is to shape the expansion of the built environment in such a way that its constructionis socially and environmentally acceptable, and, further, to choose materials that do not get lost as ‘waste’ after their use phase in the building has ended, nor that endanger functioning ecosystems through unsound sourcing.

The innovative design concept Cradle to Cradle® applied to architecture has the potential to result in buildings that – their primary function of providing a living space for humans aside – are able to provide a net-positive impact on the realms of society, ecology, and economy.

This design concept retains the natural capital assets utilized for construction as recyclable building materials, instead of producing a liability at the point of their disposal.

This positive ambition is highly compatible with the aims of the Hakuna Matata Project, which seeks to provide orphans and elderly women in the region around Meru/Isiolo, Kenya with a long-term perspective for the future.

During the winter semester 2013/2014 tutors of the Institute of Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building (ENPB) and the Cradle to Cradle work group have been working with this year’s ENPB architecture design master class towards designing a cradle to cradle inspired school and clinic for the Hakuna Matata Project.

The buildings in the complex have been designed as plus-energy buildings with additional ecosystem services, such as the provision of clean drinking water for the occupants throughout the year, including the long dry season, and the continuous cycling of nutrients through the system.

The only building materials chosen were those with little impact on the surrounding ecosystems, were locally available, and which can go back into the biological cycle after their use phase without negatively impacting biological systems.

The buildings were designed to have the biggest positive environmental footprint as possible, functioning themselves like ecological systems where synergies and added-value for the surrounding environment (human and ecological) were optimized.

In 2014 an excursion is planned during which students will research the sourcing of building materials and get to know the building site and the local culture, partake in a stakeholder dialogue to identify the best design, and initiate an exchange on cradle to cradle inspired building with their counterparts at the University of Nairobi.

During the summer semester of 2014, the chosen design will be finished to the stage of execution. In parallel, efforts will be undertaken to raise the necessary funds by the end of the year to have the project realized in March 2015.

Building Integrated Greenhouses (BIG)
Air quality in public buildings has often been a topic in the news.

High occupation of small rooms combined with bad ventilation creates a bad work and learning environment: Research has shown that focus and performance of occupants can be reduced by as much as 20%.

For comparison, on pig farms more budget is available per pig for ventilation than per person in schools.

In cities the indoor air quality is often negatively influenced by the surroundings.

Busy roads are amain cause of high concentrations of, among other things, NOX, CO2, and fine dust.

Additionally, in school classrooms and office meeting rooms relatively high occupation levels lead to high concentrations of CO2, resulting in the previously mentioned drops in performance.

Computers and other equipment and furniture can also contribute to the pollution of indoor air. The Building Integrated Greenhouse (BIG) concept is a greenhouse on top of a school in China that – combined with a green double facade and interior solutions – acts as a lung in heavily polluted cities.

In nature many plants have specialized in metabolizing unwanted polluting substances; most plants even grow faster in higher concentrations of CO2.

Besides the filtration of air, research is done on how specific plant species or other organisms can improve the work or learning environment.

The BIG research focuses on how this can all be implemented in buildings as effectively as possible.

The research has shown there is great potential for symbiosis between greenhouses and buildings ingeneral, not just in the field of climate control, but also in household energy: for example in heat exchange and storage, and nutrient cycles (‘waste is food’).

As an illustration, the greenhouse has anabundance of heat in spring and autumn, which can be used to preheat the building.

The project won aprestigious award at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.The project is a multidisciplinary cooperative effort between TUM, TU Delft, Utrecht University, Wageningen University, and Priva – a Dutch company specialized in climate and process control of greenhouses.

The project is now in the process of acquiring a substantial subsidy for further tests and prototyping.

Workshop Advances in Photovoltaics and Photocatalysis (July 21/22, 2011):
Prof. Paolo Lugli (Institute for Nanoelectronics, TUM-IAS Host).