GEElab Europe

GEElab Europe Boo Games
FROM: City of Karlsruhe, DE
KEYWORDS: internationalization, global market, R&D, technology transfer, mobility of researchers and talents,
DURATION: 2010-running
FUNDING: Regional funds
FOCUS: Game sector
GEElab Europe is a R&D lab on gaming, the EU branch of the GEELAB of RMIT (Melbourne University). It has been established in Karlsruhe thanks to a research and development agreement between the City of Karlsruhe and the RMIT.
Over the last few years, Karlsruhe has become the centre of the games industry in Baden-Württemberg. Germany’s biggest games producer, GAMEFORGE, is based in Karlsruhe, with some 450 people working in its headquarters. The business location has brought forth other highly promising companies in recent years. KR3M.MEDIA and FLAREGAMES, the new company of the ex-GAMEFORGE founder Hening Kersting, are two agencies that presented highly acclaimed new developments in spring 2012, that are on a steady course for growth.
Both the City of Karlsruhe and the RMIT aim to expand research and development cooperation as well as economic relations between the parties. With the establishment of the GEElab Europe located at the main site of game developers in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a beacon for the industry shall be established in a field which will ensures the long-term competitiveness through close interaction between research and industry and thus contribute to a process of innovation of products and services.
Among actions, beside the R&D activities, it is worth mentioning
• the establishment of a Special Interest Group on the subject of “Game Thinking” in collaboration with RMIT
• PHD programmes
• a mobility program for young talents between Karlsruhe and Melbourne
• incubation spaces and facilities
• exchange and transfer of research results and competence (lectures, for example)
• a joint yearly event in the form of a symposium, named BIZPLAY (
The GEELab is part of a more general local development strategy: in fact, it contributes actively to the Karlsruhe Smarter City Initiative, as a partner in one of the fields of action identified in the Roadmapping process 2025, which is the strategic guideline for the next 15 years city development.
• fostering R&D, technology transfer through internationalization
• promotion of the City of Karlsruhe as special location for creative industries and games development at national and EU level
• influencing the regional policy development in the coming years, by strengthening the awareness of economic potential of the game industry
• open new markets for games companies
• internationalization of the local games industry
• transfer of gaming rules and knowledge into other segments
• R&D, technology transfer and innovation in the digital game sector
• market internationalization
• cross sector development of the game business: gamification and serious/ applied game sector
• visibility and increased awareness about the digital game sector potential

The most important need that this practice meets is the enhancement of technology transfer and knowledge between different sectors as industry and research. The example shows how Economic Development, research and industry and learn and benefit from a cooperation on policy level as well as on product level and in the communication and approach to the city population.
This approach seems to be a promising way to raise the awareness and make innovation possible.
Before this experiment there was no connection between the educational system and the videogame sector. The project has created the missing link between research institutions and companies, trying also to develop new products. This type of incubation is not so much aimed at creating new start up but it is, above all, an incubator of new ideas. In particular, the idea is to apply the gamification to content and areas where not been
OWNER OF THE PRACTICE: Cultural and Creative Industries Office Karlsruhe / GeeLab RMIT University Melbourne
REFERENCE PERSONS: Mr. Dirk Metzger,; Prof. Dr. Steffen P. Walz,