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The practical orientation of the WiSo Faculty and the awareness that our research results should be made usable for society are central components of our Faculty's profile. This attitude is also expressed in our motto "Today's Ideas. Tomorrow's Impact."

"My impact will be to teach the next generation of social scientists that research can be serious fun."

Prof. Dr Lea Ellwardt,
Professor of Sociology and Heisenberg Fellow

Researchers of the University of Cologne and our Faculty continuously generate new knowledge. The term "Third Mission" refers to the mission of the University to make this knowledge available to society and usable by the economy, and at the same time to take up impulses from the non-university world for research and teaching. Interactive knowledge transfer is thus at the heart of all Third Mission activities.

Research transfer, start-up and innovation


Research transfer includes the exploitation of research within the framework of technology and innovation transfer as well as the transfer of knowledge of current research results.

A particularly effective form of the economic exploitation of research results is the establishment of companies. The WiSo Faculty is involved in the field of entrepreneurship in a variety of ways, among others through the Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Mangement at the University of Cologne (Prof. Dr. Christian Schwens). You can find out more about this and about concrete start-ups in connection with our faculty on our website: Entrepreneurship.

The most important channel of knowledge transfer is teaching. The WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne therefore attaches great importance to the fact that teaching in all disciplines refers to current research results and is practice-oriented. The focus of science communication also involves the interested public and stakeholders from all areas of life in the scientific discourse. The WiSo Faculty also cooperates with the Cologne School of Journalism (Kölner Journalistenschule), whose students, for example, have already prepared our research results in a video interview series with professors of our Faculty. You can see some examples of these videos here:  "Business needs more moral" (Bernd Irlenbusch), “Overtreatment is a waste of resources” (Matthias Sutter), "Gay and lesbian family issues" (Karsten Hank).


Examples of cooperation with companies

Cooperation with educational institutions

Lifelong learning and scientific further education


The Czech theologian and pedagogue Comenius was already convinced in the 17th century that "all life is school".

Continuous personal, social and professional training is indispensable today, especially in times of advancing digitalisation. We would like to support lifelong learning with a wide range of offers.

You will find a selection of examples via the links below. You can find information about other offers of the University of Cologne on the portal page of the University: Lifelong learning - offers of the University of Cologne


Social engagement


The mutual exchange with the non-academic world is a constant claim of the University of Cologne (UoC) and the WiSo Faculty. On the one hand, there are the individual members of the university who pursue different types of social commitment:

WiSo students are involved in numerous student initiatives, such as the largest business congress organized by students, "World Business Dialogue". Our scientists in turn are involved in public relations work and Citizen Science projects or advise the media and politics as experts. On the other hand, the university and the WiSo Faculty itself are institutional actors in civil society. Together with other research institutions in Cologne, the UoC is involved in the Cologne Science Round Table for the exchange between urban society and science. In numerous public events, it offers interested citizens the opportunity to participate in scientific and social discussions.

Our alumni network WiSoAlumni also actively involves former WiSo members. Among other things, we offer our students a mentoring programme. Furthermore, the University of Cologne is committed to educational justice. Target group-specific offers such as talent scouting at schools or the advisory work of the association "Erste Generation Promotion e.V." contribute to this.

"Remember that the best managers are not only experts in their fields, but also have strong personalities. Above all, you have to be able to take people with you. As a manager, I have to be able to motivate, moderate and integrate, as well as act empathetically. A good boss builds a strong team by finding the ideal mix of different skills and characters. My advice for your career and professional development is to always show your personality. Don't pretend to be someone that you’re not. Stand up for what you believe in, even when there's resistance. At some point, you’ll be recognized as someone who can withstand the storm. And as soon as a position opens up, the leaders will remember you."

Lutz Meschke,
Deputy Chairman and Member of the Executive Board, Finance and IT - Porsche AG (DAX)

Another example of the social commitment of the WiSo Faculty is the regular participation in the program of the KölnerKinderUni. The KölnerKinderUni was initiated by the University of Cologne in 2003. Today it is offered as a cooperative project by universities and scientific institutions which are united in the so-called Cologne Science Round Table. The events of the KölnerKinderUni are aimed at children aged 8 to 12. As a rule, lectures and workshops are offered, in individual cases also projects that run over a longer period of time.

The WiSo Faculty also offers lectures and lecture series at various locations in the city of Cologne, for example, in the anniversary year 2019 a public lecture series on the topic of "Understanding society - current research from the Institute for Sociology and Social Psychology" ("Gesellschaft verstehen – Aktuelle Forschung aus dem Institut für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie") in order to reach as many non-university guests as possible.