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Helmholtz Pioneer Campus

Helmholtz Munich opens state-of-the-art innovation campus

Fabian Theis, Maria Elena Torres-Padilla, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Tobias Wulf (hinten), Helmholtz Munich CEO Matthias Tschöp, Staatssekretärin Judith Pirscher, Staatsminister Markus Blume, Otmar Wiestler, Helmholtz Munich CFO/CTO Daniela Sommer (komm.), Steffen Vogt. Picture: Matthias Balk

At the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, researchers from various disciplines work together, largely free from the bureaucratic constraints of the scientific establishment.

Matthias Tschöp was convinced that something like this could be established in Germany. The German physician was in the middle of his American research career and discovered ideal conditions for fundamental research in a model project of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) near Washington. "There, top researchers can realize their visions free from the usual funding applications and administration," Tschöp says, referring to the Janelia Research Campus, a research environment that is less about applications and bureaucratic diligence and more about pure concentration on science.

Now Tschöps is CEO of Helmholtz Munich, and his vision from back then has become reality: The Helmholtz Pioneer Campus has opened in Munich under the umbrella of Helmholtz Munich. Here  scientists are to be able to concentrate on their research just as Tschöp experienced in America. The new building combines open space design, co-working spaces and high-tech laboratory areas. "With the Pioneer Campus, we are bringing the world's best young talents to Munich to work on groundbreaking innovations and new technologies in an interdisciplinary way. Thus, the Pioneer Campus acts as an accelerator to bring biomedical research to patients faster, it’s a world-class gamechanger," says Matthias Tschöp.

The core idea of the new facility is that for a period of five to seven years, young scientists who have previously worked at renowned universities or research institutions will be able to concentrate entirely on their research without having to worry about teaching, project applications or funding issues. This is made possible by generous funding and an administration that keeps the researchers free from interferences. With its three central research areas of Bioengineering, Biomedicine and Biomedical AI, the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus is an integral part of Helmholtz Munich's strategic direction. State-of-the-art technologies from stem cell research, bioengineering, medical imaging and artificial intelligence, among others, are combined and further developed on an interdisciplinary basis. As a result, complex diseases such as diabetes, cancer or neurodegenerative changes can be detected earlier, diagnosed more specifically and cured with personalized procedures. In addition, many research institutions, universities and companies form a closely interlinked cluster at the campus.

The broad focus has to do with the fact that many human diseases are based on fundamental metabolic changes. The Helmholtz Pioneer Campus aims to transfer basic research directly into medical practice through patents and spin-offs.

The Future of Medicine: Helmholtz Munich Opens Innovation Campus

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