Valencia to host first CDTM Munich facility outside Germany

The public centre for innovation and entrepreneurship is exporting its model, tried and tested on a thousand students over 25 years

The Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) in Munich has reached an agreement with the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), the University of Valencia (UV), the Valencian Regional Government and Valencia City Council to bring its Technology Management programme, the most successful programme offered in its 25 years of existence, to the city of Valencia. This is the centre's first facility outside Germany.

Valencia was one of the candidates when the CDTM began the process of evaluating locations to start its international expansion. In mid-February, the German public institution made its final decision, one that was strongly influenced by the Mediterranean city's entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has seen rapid growth over the last decade.

Technology hub
Designed to turn the city into a technology hub, the Valencia Tech City strategy caught the centre’s attention as it saw this strategy as being “very much in line with the CDTM's long-term strategic objectives, which are basically to promote entrepreneurship and innovation”.

Another major factor was the presence of other stakeholders in this entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as the Startup Valencia Association, “which does a great job of helping entrepreneurs to launch their businesses and organises the Valencia Digital Summit, a fantastic event that we were invited to attend last year, and that clearly showed this positive growth trend”.

Tomorrow's innovators
The Lanzadera innovation hub, based in the Valencia Marina, and the work of investment funds like Plug and Play and other organisations such as Zubi Labs have also been “very important factors in the decision-making process, because we see a very positive growth trend and believe the CDTM can contribute to this growth. We also see the centre consolidating itself as a benchmark for the ecosystem due to the fact that we have 25 years’ experience in training tomorrow’s innovators in Germany”.

The public centre specialises in innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship, and it has become a benchmark thanks to the success of its programmes. Today, its alumni network has over 1,000 members, with many of them setting up their own businesses after their time at the school. With two classes of 25 students each year, the high number of applications makes it a very exclusive programme, with an admission rate of around 5%.

Student merits and abilities
The fact that the organisation is public and not-for-profit means that selection is based on candidates’ merits and abilities. As an initial trial, there will only be 16 students enrolled on its first course in Valencia. A technology trends seminar in the summer and two four-monthly courses in September and February will round off the programme for the first year.

As part of the set-up phase, the CDTM will be investing in operational resources, primarily to get the new headquarters up and running. In addition to moving over a small team from Germany, it has already begun the selection process for ten PhD students, who will form the management team on a pre-doctoral fellowship basis.

Open innovation model
The centre is also looking for local project partners. From startups to large corporations, these are all companies that participate in an open innovation model, and which will pay for their participation in order to contribute to the programme’s economic sustainability.

With the collaboration of professors from many fields of industry, the CDTM aims to position itself within the national innovation ecosystem, with plans to organise and participate in other events in order to achieve this.

Photo: CDTM Munich