Dr Jörn Krupa
Helmholtz Association Head Office Berlin
+49 30 206329-72
Technology Transfer 10/2012
In 2011, the Helmholtz Association centres were again able to successfully transfer their research results to be applied in the broader context of society at large, politics and the industry. We report on the Helmholtz-Siemens Energy Workshop and furthermore on the Helmholtz-Roche Research Day and the Innovation Days coming up in November 2012.
Technology Transfer Activities Track Record
In 2011, the Helmholtz Association centres were again able to successfully transfer their research results to be applied in the broader context of society at large, politics and the industry. The track record with regards to industry transfer and application is illustrated by the key performance indicators of the three fundamental transfer channels, which are cooperation projects with enterprises, industrial property rights and corresponding licence agreements as well as spin-offs. Over the course of the past few years, the number of on-going cooperation projects with industry enterprises has increased. In particular, the number of strategic partnerships with companies has considerably increased. The revenue from cooperation activities with the industry, such as revenue from licences and options, has likewise increased over the course of the past five years. In 2011, these earnings rose above the level of the previous year, with approximately 16 million Euro from licence agreements and approximately 160 million Euro from cooperation activities with industry enterprises.
For many years now, the number of industrial property rights resulting from on-going research has remained relatively constant. With about 400 new patent applications and some 350 granted patents, the 2011 key performance indicators are roughly at the same level as in previous years. By contrast, the number of licence agreements has greatly increased, rising from approximately 1,100 agreements in 2010 to approximately 1,400 in 2011. Particularly noteworthy is the number of new, technology-oriented spin-off companies in 2011: with 14 spin-offs, this is yet again an increase compared to the previous year and a new record number compared to the past few years.
Technology-based business start-ups constitute a particularly valuable form of knowledge and technology transfer, because, in addition to translating research results into industrial applications, they directly create also new jobs in the field of high-technology production. Since 2005, more than 70 spin-offs have been established from out of Helmholtz centres. Over the same period of time, 73 company start-up projects have been funded by the "Helmholtz Enterprise" programme that is part of the Helmholtz Association's Impulse and Networking Fund; almost 50 of these companies have been established by now. Examples of such companies include the CSP Services GmbH, which is a spin-off from out of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and the nanoscribe GmbH, which has evolved from out of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Both these companies received funding through "Helmholtz Enterprise", were established in 2007 and by now have some 25 employees each.
Spin-offs in the year 2011 include, for example, the HZDR INNOVATION GmbH and the eADMET GmbH from out of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The latter company is a chemoinformatics enterprise offering innovative IT solutions for predicting important properties of new pharmaceuticals. The spin-off company that has originated at the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) provides production and service support in the field of ion implantation for customers from the aerospace, automobile and energy technology industries and, at the same time, optimises the utilisation of the existing large-scale facilities.
Helmholtz-Siemens Energy Workshop and Helmholtz-Roche Research Day
Various kinds of events hosted conjointly with enterprises constitute important activities for paving the way for cooperation projects between the worlds of science and the industry. At the end of September, a joint workshop took place bringing to the table experts from the Siemens AG and from the Helmholtz Association's research field Energy. The result was a lively exchange in particular with regards to the urgent questions regarding energy storage, electrification of transport (electromobility) and grids. This synopsis of the various viewpoints revealed not only the challenges posed by the energy transition, but resulted also in numerous agreements towards concrete projects between the Siemens technology division managers and the scientists from the DLR, the Forschungszentrum Jülich research centre and the KIT. At the end of November, a joint research day hosted by the Helmholtz Association and the Roche healthcare corporation will take place in Penzberg near Munich. In a competition run by the Helmholtz Head Office Berlin, some 60 scientific teams had submitted their respective projects. Of these, almost half have now been selected for a presentation and the further discussion of the research papers in the fields of diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. This involves teams from the KIT, the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Cancer Research Centre, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch. More than 100 researchers from Roche and from the Helmholtz centres will take part in the two-day event. The aim is to identify topics, which in the end could lead to joint projects between the researchers from the respective Helmholtz centres and Roche.
Innovation Days 2012 in Munich
With the Innovation Days on 26 and 27 November 2012, an entirely new format is established for the first time ever, bringing together actively innovative scientists and industry representatives as well as representatives from the financing sector. Being a unique showcase for the best technologies and spin-off projects from the largest German research institutions, this event constitutes the creation of a marketing and realisation platform to include also the projects from the two central funding instruments Helmholtz Validation Fund and Helmholtz Enterprise.
After the award ceremony for the Karl Heinz Beckurts Award 2012 and the subsequent evening reception taking place on the first day, the second day, the "Partnering Day", provides the opportunity for establishing new partnerships. Organised by a special partnering software, the efficient establishing of contacts will be the central feature of the event. In addition, the event schedule arranges for presentations of the 40 best technologies and spin-off projects from out of the Leibniz Association, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association as well as for enterprise presentations by the eleven industry sponsors and four workshop sessions in the central topics of life sciences and energy/engineering. The organisers expect to welcome an exclusive circle of participants from the sciences, the industry and venture capital sectors.