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About us / Institution


and Competence Centre for Popular Music, Music Business and Creative Industries

Pop music is a cultural asset, economic good and source of inspiration. In this spirit, creativity and innovation unite at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. As a university and competence centre, we offer ambitious artists and aspiring managers a platform to develop their potential.

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is the only public university in Germany focussed on pop music and the creative industries. That’s why we aspire to offer the best-possible customised academic education for young people who seek success as musicians or managers in the music and creative industries. For us, it’s not only about imparting knowledge and skills, but also about developing each individual’s unique personality.

All of our degree programmes are accredited through ACQUIN, the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute. Ensuring and developing a high quality of teaching is a continual process - that’s why we orient ourselves toward the latest findings in business, research and pop culture while incorporating direct feedback from our students.

"It is without question that the Popakademie has a positive impact on our state."

Winfried Kretschmann,
Minister President of Baden-Württemberg
In addition to being a university, the Popakademie as a competence centre realises numerous projects in the areas of European cooperation, regional development and business development in the media-heavy region of Baden-Württemberg. Here we engage with external artists/bands, employers and employees in the creative industries, individuals interested in music, youth in need of musical enrichment, as well as refugees looking to integrate into local communities.

The competence centre with its various departments constitutes an optimal supplement to the courses of study at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg and is a significant contributor to our reputation in business, politics and society. This unique model allows us to bring together relevant aspects of pop music culture at various levels and create synergies for the creative and economic output of the music and creative branches in Germany and beyond.

Our ideal location in Mannheim offers the Popakademie a lively cultural scene, attractive creative industry support and institutions such as the Startup Centres C-Hub and Musikpark Mannheim.


State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
City of Mannheim
Südwestrundfunk (Southwest Broadcasting SWR)
Media Authority of Baden-Wuerttemberg (LFK)

Chair of Supervisory Board
State Secretary Arne Braun, Ministry of Science, Research and Art, Baden-Wuerttemberg

Chair of Board of Trustees
Dr. Hans Reiter, Ministry of Science, Research and Art, Baden-Wuerttemberg

Chair of Advisory Board
Prof. Rudolf Meister, President of the Mannheim University of Music and the Performing Arts

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a limited liability company and a foundation. It is a public university of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg belongs to the tertiary education sector. A successfully completed degree from the Popakademie is equivalent to comparable professional degrees from public art universities (according to the Academy Act of 25 February 1992, amended on 9 November 2010).

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg has dual leadership:
  • Prof. Udo Dahmen: President & CEO, Director of Popular Music Department
  • Michael Herberger: President & CEO, Director of Music and Creative Industries Department
The management of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is overseen by a supervisory board as well as a board of trustees and also has an advisory board.

KLIMAWIN formerly WIN-Charter

By signing the WIN Charter of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg has committed itself to economic, ecological and social responsibility.The WIN Charter of the State of Baden-Württemberg is the only sustainability management system in Germany specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises.Under the charter, companies undertake to develop and communicate their own initiatives as part of the state's sustainability strategy.
Detailed information on the WIN Charter can be found at

Since its foundation in 2014, the WIN Charter has developed into an important sustainability instrument for the economy in Baden-Württemberg. The aim of the WIN Charter to date has been to support sustainably committed and responsible companies.

Not least due to the requirements of the CSRD Directive, the content of the WIN Charter has therefore been further developed. From 2024, the WIN Charter will become KLIMAWIN.

CO2 calculator for cultural institutions

Climate protection is also playing an increasingly important role in cultural life. Since last year, the state government has been providing culture makers with the right tool in the form of the CO2 culture calculator. From 2025 onwards, all state cultural institutions in Baden-Württemberg are obliged to draw up a balance sheet in accordance with the standard. In addition, a climate protection concept will be drawn up. This makes Baden-Württemberg a nationwide pioneer in CO2 balancing in the cultural sector.

On the way to ecological transformation, it is necessary to determine and analyze the status quo of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. The most important basis for this is an understanding of valid and regularly collected data on emission sources and core indicators.
How large is the Popakademie's CO2 footprint? What are the biggest climate factors? In order to answer these questions and thus identify the most important levers for more climate protection, the Popakademie has drawn up a balance sheet. The initial balance sheet was compiled for the year 2022 and is considered the initial balance sheet for the balancing process, which is currently being continued for the year 2023.
The 2022 balance sheet was compiled using the CO2 calculator for culture, which is based on the KlimaBilanzKultur standard. The CO2 calculator and the national standard have been available since 2023.

The core balance shows that the footprint in 2022 was 248.6 tCO2e. At 88%, the majority of emissions result from energy consumption (electricity and heat).
Follow-up balances are intended to create comparability over several years.

Information and download CO2 cultural calculator:


The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a barrier-free building. The building has barrier-free access, the bus stop in front of the building is also barrier-free and therefore easy to reach by public transport. The Popakademie has a handicapped parking space, a handicapped accessible WC with a pull cord and emergency call switch, the doors are suitable for wheelchair users according to DIN18040 and can be operated by pushbuttons and are equipped with finger protection. A lift with Braille lettering and a stretcher are available in case of failure. In the house there are generous movement areas with turning possibilities and there are no thresholds. A pictorial description with common pictograms ensures easy orientation in the house. Ramps and fall protection are available for the stages. Additional ergonomic barriers for staff, students and visitors are available by appointment.

For all questions regarding accessibility in the house, please contact Alexandra Reiter