At the core of the Steinbeis Network there are three defining characteristics that are pivotal to the success of the entire organization: a philosophy of “decentralized operations under a centralized framework,” corresponding flat hierarchies, and the entrepreneurial principle of “businesses within the business.”
Acting as an umbrella organization over the Steinbeis Network is the non-profit Steinbeis Foundation for Economic Development (StW). The guiding principles for the work of the foundation are laid down by an independent Board of Trustees and Committee, which is made up of representatives from trade and industry, science and academia, and the world of politics. The foundation promotes knowledge and technology transfer with a variety of instruments. These include Steinbeis-Edition, the publishing arm of Steinbeis, which issues specialist publications written and edited by our experts, the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute which fosters the transfer by coordinating activities in the context of digital transformation and technology convergence and symposia on current technology and management topics which present current developments. To deliver tangible transfer, the foundation works through individual Steinbeis Enterprises.
Responsibility for all commercial activities involving knowledge and technology transfer, as well as the central Steinbeis framework itself, lies with a Steinbeis subsidiary called Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG für Technologietransfer (StC). It is the StC that has formal responsibility for pulling the reins of the Steinbeis Network, thus accessing know-how and skills from approximately 1,100 independently managed Steinbeis Enterprises (Transfer Centers, Research and Innovation Centers, Consulting Centers and Transfer Institutes).
A variety of organizations work in partnership with the Steinbeis Network, including franchises (with the aim of entering foreign markets), startups and other companies in which Steinbeis holds a stake to promote strategic knowledge and technology transfer.