The world of academia provides important impetus to CSR in the form of research and teaching. To assist with the networking on the topic of CSR between universities and to support the discussions with the world of business, the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia founded the CSR Academic Network (CSR-Hochschulkreis).

After an initial meeting in 2012, following the invitation of State Secretary Dr. Günther Horzetzky, representatives from 40 technical colleges and universities and the Student Network for Ethics in Economics and Practice (Sneep) attended the second CSR academic conference in Düsseldorf on 3rd November 2014. The key topic was the anchoring of CSR in teaching and research. In recent years, the universities have made considerable progress in this field.

State Secretary Dr. Günther Horzetzky emphasized the importance of the contribution made by universities to both the public debate and to teaching the students, who are the professionals and business leaders of tomorrow. He reserved particular praise for the subject-spanning initiatives, some of which have been completed in collaboration with companies.