Current information on Knowledge and Technology Transfer can be found here.

Transfer Bites: Solar electric airplane lands after a 90-minute flight with fully charged batteries

"The sun has completely recharged the batteries of our 500 kg airplane on the descent from about 5 km altitude."

Dr. -Ing. habil. Konstantin Kondak
DLR, Head of Flying Robots Group
Elektra Solar GmbH, CEO

J.A.R.V.I.S. makes Smart Homes safe - First StartUpSecure-Team at CISPA funded

The interest in the Smart Home is enormous. With an increasing number of connected devices, the configuration effort for end users increases and complex security risks arise. A transfer project of the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security wants to counteract this and even significantly simplify usability. Under the leadership of researcher Felix Klein, an eight-member team in the CISPA project J.A.R.V.I.S. (Judicious Automation of Reliable and Verifiable Interconnected Systems) will upgrade a container module with intelligent technology. The goal is to use this demonstrator to develop a configuration platform that enables residents to individually set up intelligent behavior of the individual smart components, easily adapt them, and ensure intention-oriented functionality at all times. Such a solution does not exist so far. The BMBF is therefore funding the project with around 0.8 million euros as part of the StartUpSecure initiative. J.A.R.V.I.S. is the first CISPA project within the framework of the BMBF initiative, which aims to produce research-driven business start-ups in the field of IT security.

Read the press release at the CISPA.

Research meets industry: Helmholtz funds new Innovation Labs

Helmholtz has selected nine new Innovation Labs. The research projects will bring science and business even closer together. They will jointly receive 17.3 million euros for a period of five years. More

DESY Start-up wins Innovation Award for laser system

The DESY Start-up CYCLE shined at the world's leading trade fair for photonics, the "Laser World of Photonics": The company's new SOPRANO femtosecond laser system won the Innovation Award in the Biophotonics & Medical Technology category.

SOPRANO is a compact and comparatively inexpensive laser that has been specifically developed for three-photon microscopy. This makes it ideal for imaging living cells. SOPRANO delivers laser light with wavelengths of 1300 nm and 1700 nm simultaneously, enabling investigations of living tissue down to a depth of 1 mm. The company worked closely with biomedical experts to develop the laser system. This approach is now paying off because it has allowed user requirements for the simplest possible operation to be incorporated into the product design right from the start.

More news from DESY on Innovation & Technology Transfer? Get it into you inbox (German).

DESY supports the development of the world's strongest biomaterial

A research team from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has produced the strongest biomaterial in the world to date. The biodegradable cellulose nanofibres are said to be stronger than steel. In future, the fibre could be used as a plastic alternative in cars or furniture. At DESY, the fibres are illuminated with X-rays. In this way, the development process can be monitored and further optimised.

Watch the video report by ZDF (in German).

Quantum computing: Forschungszentrum Jülich and Google announce research partnership

Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and Google partner in the field of quantum computing research. The partnership will include joint research and expert trainings in the fields of quantum technologies and quantum algorithms. The partnership includes regular research exchange. “Hands-on workshop and spring schools will be organised at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The Jülich UNified Infrastructure for Quantum computing (JUNIQ), a European quantum computer user facility planned for the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), will be available for training industry professionals, and will be accessible in the cloud to European users,” says Prof. Kristel Michielsen from the JSC, head of the research group Quantum Information Processing.

Read the press release at the FZJ.

Helmholtz to support two more start-ups

For scientists, starting their own business is fraught with difficulties. Helmholtz therefore launched its Helmholtz Enterprise program and its complementary management module Helmholtz Enterprise Plus. Now two more entrepreneurs will receive valuable support from the program. Their ideas will allow water to be managed more efficiently and a large number of fawns to be saved from mowing machines. More

Osteolabs GmbH grabs 1 million euros in venture capital

The spin-off Osteolabs GmbH from GEOMAR received 1 million euros for its osteoporosis test in a first funding round led by Seed and Start-up Fund II of the Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft.

Professor Anton Eisenhauer and his team have developed an innovative method for the diagnosis of osteoporosis that, in contrast to conventional X-ray diagnosis, does not require exposure to radiation and for the first time enables early detection. Thanks to an analysis method for calcium isotopes, the osteoporosis test is able to make an early statement on the occurrence of a possible osteoporosis with a small amount of urine or blood and also to measure the success of the therapy. Early detection enables personalised treatment strategies to be pursued and optimised medication to be ensured. So far, the test is available for both private individuals and doctors on the Osteolabs website. However, the team aims to include the test in the catalogue of measures of the statutory health insurance companies. With the fresh money, the commercialisation of the invention is on the rise.

Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that endangers the stability of the skeleton in every second woman aged 50 and over and in every fifth man aged 60 and over. The bone consists of a hard and a mineral layer. The mineral layer is formed by the storage of calcium compounds in the organic bone matrix. The disease is characterised by the increasing degradation of the mineral layer in the bone. As a result, the bone becomes thinner and more porous.

With the development of its osteoporosis test, the spin-off Osteolabs GmbH proves not only that early detection of osteoporosis is possible, but also that marine research can be applied outside the oceans.

Click here for the Osteolabs press release.

Helmholtz funds three research projects on their way to marketability

Germany’s largest research organization hopes its Helmholtz Validation Fund will build bridges: Support from the fund contributes to developing scientific insights into marketable applications. Three new projects have now been selected and will be funded until 2022 with a total of 1.8 million euros. More

UFZ researcher involved in biogas innovation

The researchers Dr. Heike Sträuber from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and Maria Braune from the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) jointly developed a process for the production of versatile fatty acids from regional biomass. With this innovative process, the product range of biogas plants can be extended, thus creating another economic sector for biogas plant operators. The process was presented at the 12th Biogas Innovation Congress in Osnabrück on 22 May 2019 and won the German Agricultural Biogas Innovation Award worth 10,000 euro.

The principle of a biogas plant is based on the natural bacterial degradation of organic material in the absence of oxygen. Various products can be produced, such as methane gas, which is used to generate electricity, for example, or biodiesel for propulsion in the transport sector, as well as fermentation residues, which can be further processed into fertiliser.

Despite the production possibilities of a biogas plant, the operation of the plant is often only profitable through state subsidies. The saturated fatty acids capric acid and caprylic acid, which can be produced in a biogas plant using the new process, are special chemicals used in the lubricants, cosmetics and cleaning agents sectors.

In the future Biogas plants will be able to extract even more from our valuable biological waste and contribute to the recycling economy. We are curious to see when the first biogas plants will benefit from this development.

Read the press release at the UFZ.

Jülich researchers receive first LABVOLUTION AWARD

With its automated and miniaturized cultivation platform, the working group “Bioprocesses and Bioanalytics”  has managed to increase the number of cultivations from 2 to 48 per week and user. This solves an internal but also generally typical problem for research and development projects in industrial biotechnology.

The MiBioLab, a Helmholtz Innovation Lab at Forschungszentrum Jülich, brings this solution from the laboratory to industrial application.

Forschungszentrum Jülich won the LABVOLUTION AWARD for this achievement. The prize was awarded to Roman Jansen, PhD student in the working group “Bioprocesses and Bioanalytics” of Professor Marco Oldiges and MiBioLab staff.

Read the press release of LABVOLUTION.

Learn more about MiBioLab.

Priavoid GmbH's Alzheimer therapy is about to prove efficacy in patients

The Alzheimer drug candidate PRI-002 being marketed by Priavoid GmbH and developed at Forschungszentrum Jülich has successfully completed Phase I of clinical research involving healthy volunteers. When administered daily over a period of four weeks, the active substance proved to be safe for use in humans. The next milestone will be the proof of efficacy in patients in clinical Phase II. 

Priavoid GmbH is a spin-off of Forschungszentrum Jülich that emerged from a project funded by Helmholtz Enterprise from October 2016 to September 2017. The development of PRI-002 has also been financially supported by the Helmholtz Validation Fund.

Click here for the press release of Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Nimiq Acquires Stake in WEG Bank AG

The browser-based blockchain project Nimiq, a spinoff of the Helmholtz Center for Information Security CISPA, recently announced an acquisition of a 9.9% stake in German WEG Bank AG.

This acquisition further solidifies the strategic partnership between Nimiq and WEG Bank on Nimiq OASIS (Open Asset Swap Interaction Scheme). The Nimiq OASIS technology allows bank customers to buy or sell cryptocurrency for fiat currency. Nimiq aims to connect different cryptocurrency markets with the traditional banking network and thereby make the money on fiat bank accounts "blockchain compatible".

Nimiq is an easy-to-use, secure and censorship-resistant cryptocurrency that is native to the web. As spinoff of the Helmholtz Center for Information Security CISPA, the project is striving to combine state-of-the-art blockchain research and web technology.

Go to the official press release.

Read more about Nimiq.

MyoPax awarded for business concept for development of muscle stem cell therapy and associated biobank

MyoPax-Biobank, a spin-off project of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) funded by Helmholtz Enterprise, was recognized for their business concept at this year's Science4Life Venture Cup. The team around Dr. Verena Schöwel and Prof. Dr. Simone Spuler has developed a method that enables muscle stem cells to be isolated from muscle tissue and multiplied in the laboratory in such a way that these cells retain their stem cell character and thus their potential to build muscles. By setting up a tissue bank, the team hopes to increase the chances of treatment for patients with progressive muscle diseases.

Learn more about the project at the MDC (in German).

CENmat researches with Boysen the use of direct ethanol fuel cells

CENmat UG, a DLR spin-off and Helmholtz Enterprise project, is an innovative company in the area of chemical process engineering with a focus on nanomaterials that can be used in a variety of ways. The company produces individual nanomaterials among other things for electrochemical energy storage such as fuel cells.

Jointly CENmat and Boysen are researching an alternative stationary fuel cell in the project "EtOx-Cat", utilizing the cheaper and more advantageous ethanol as energy source. Continue reading on boysen-online only in German.

Setting sail in direction of your own company

Helmholtz Enterprise, the program supporting spin-offs from  the Helmholtz Association, is calling for new applications. With up to one million euro per year, it supports researchers from the Helmholtz Association to bring their research ideas to market.

This year, Helmholtz Enterprise is focusing on agile business model development through lean startup mentoring: each team will have a mentor in the process of testing market hypotheses and developing the business model. The Business Model Canvas is used as a new tool to keep teams on track. More

tacterion and Roboception were awarded by Innovationspreis Bayern

On November 26th 2018 two former Helmholtz Enterprise projects tacterion GmbH and Roboception GmbH were awarded with Innovationspreis Bayern. Every two years, the award honors start-ups for their outstanding innovative performance.

The spin-off tacterion GmbH from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) was awarded for their market-ready product PLYON® from sensorskin™ technology in the category “Cooperation business and science”. The sensor technology possess a high level of touch and pressure sensitivity with a broad application field e.g. automobile or gaming industry.

The spin-off Roboception GmbH from the DLR was awarded for their robot “rc_visard”. The robot has a 3D sensor, which is able to measure in 3D as well as to determine its position in a room.

Video from the award are in German.

Is it Fresh at 'Falling Walls' 2018

The Helmholtz Association nominated the spin-off 'Is it fresh' from Research Center Jülich for this year’s interdisciplinary science conference Falling Walls. The first Falling Walls conference was held on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009. Since then the Falling Walls Foundation has set itself the task to break down the silos between disciplines and to transcend boundaries. The exciting and tightly packed agenda features Scientific insights from all areas  which are presented to a diverse audience in a short, sharp and entertaining way.

The Falling Walls Foundation awards outstanding scientific achievements in the three categories conference, lab and ventures. In the category Falling Walls Ventures universities and research institutions from all over the world are called upon to nominate their most innovative and most promising enterprises. 20 of all nominated spin-offs were selected to participate in the Falling Walls Ventures in Berlin. Introduced by their nominating institutions, the spin-offs had five minutes to present their business models in front of an international and high-calibre jury of entrepreneurs, science representatives and venture capitalists.

For this year’s 'Falling Walls' 'Is It Fresh Ltd.' was selected to represent the Helmholtz Association within the Falling Wall Ventures category. The young company with their innovative sensor technology has already been supported by the Helmholtz Enterprise program. At its core the company’s technology determines the freshness of the food more accurately compared to the expiry date set by the producer thereby contributing to prevent unnecessary food waste. This may has a positive impact on food consumptions and consumers’ overall attitude towards food. As to be expected, all participants of the Falling Wall Ventures put forth novel and innovative ideas tackling big challenges. So, every participant is already a winner. In its final verdict the jury chose T3 pharma with their cancer treatment approach based on living bacteria as the winner of this year’s competition.


OMEICOS Therapeutics closes €17 Mio. Series C Financing to OMT-28 towards Pivotal Trials in Atrial Fibrillation

OMEICOS Therapeutics, a spin-off from Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine and former Helmholtz Enterprise project, successfully closed series C financing. The investment provided by new lead investor Forbion together with existing investors Vesalius Biocapital II S.A. SICAR Remiges BioPharma Fund, SMS group GmbH, KFW Group, VC Fonds Technologie Berlin, High-Tech-Gründerfonds II GmbH & Co. KG and The Falck Revocable Trust. This initiates the pivotal Trials (phase-II study) for the substance OMT-28 for a novel and safe rhythm stabilizer for patients with atrial fibrillation.

Continue reading on High-Tech-Gruenderfonds page


SenseUp is the winner of the EARTO Innovation Awards 2018 in the category "Impact Expected"

The spin-off SenseUp of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the former Helmholtz Enterprise project has been awarded by the EARTO Innovation Awards 2018 (European Association of  Research and Technology Organisation) as the best in the category "Impact Expected". The innovative sensor technology accelerates the microorganism screening process by a factor of a million. The developed sensor technology detects the most productive ones among millions of microorganisms for the production of nutrients and medical substances. And enable a more efficient manufacturing process in the field of biotechnology.


Memetis GmbH receives a funding of a seven-figure amount for their innovative actuator technology in an ultra-compact design

The spin-off memetis GmbH of the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), a former Helmholtz Enterprise project by the name of SMActuators, successfully completed its first funding round. The leading investors are High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and KIT. The funding supports memetis’ business development in particular the establishment of the relatively unknown technology and various actuator applications in the market as well as expanding its own development and production capabilities. Read more

Successful VC financing of the Helmholtz Enterprise Alumni i3 Membrane

30.11.2016 - Four investors are financing continued growth by i3 Membrane GmbH. High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) in Bonn, Innovationsstarter Fonds in Hamburg, Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen mbH (MBG) in Dresden and a private US investor are investing a 7-digit Euro sum in further developing and launching new filters and separation technologies. Ultra-thin metal coatings on conventional membranes can be charged with electric current to capture charged nanoparticles such as viruses and cytotoxins – and can be controlled using a computer. Making biotechnological processes more efficient and simple while filters become smaller and more environmentally friendly. Read the press release of HTGF.

Helmholtz-Enterprise: Spin-Offs from the HZDR and their experiences with grant schemes “Helmholtz-Enterprise” and “EXIST”

Together with the HZDR, we have prepared an information session for potential founders:

“High-tech Spin-Offs: Inspiration, Opportunities and How-To-Do's”
on November 24th, 10:30 am - 15:30 pm
at the HZDR, building 114 (seminar room) or building 801 (room 142)

We will inform you about the possibilities to effectively transfer your research results and your knowledge into new fields of applicationan through an academic spin-off.

The program consists of the following contributions:

  • Presentation of the spin-off promotion "Helmholtz-Enterprise"
  • Presentation of the spin-off promotion "EXIST" and the support by dresden|exists
  • Review: HEF promotion and spin-off of the HZDR
  • Review: EXIST promotion and spin-off of the HZDR
  • Assistance in the spin-off by HZDR Innovation GmbH
  • Possibly panel discussion

All interested employees of the Helmholtz Centres are welcome. The presentations will be given in German, nevertheless questions can be answered in English.
Please register in advance at Mr. Sebastian Löbelt-Friedrich (sebastian.loebelt-friedrich(at)

Captain T Cell: Start-up from the MDC wins OneStart competition in London

21.06.2016 - For the first time, a German team has won the world’s biggest life-science start-up competition. Captain T Cell, founded by Dr Felix Lorenz and several colleagues at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), beat 400 international start-ups to win prize money totalling GBP 100,000. The team will use the funds to further develop their innovative approach to cancer immunotherapy. Their goal is to create a platform for the production of personalized, cancer-specific T cell receptors. With the help of these receptors, the body’s own T cells, so called ‘killer cells’, are able to find and specifically destroy cancer cells in the patient’s body. (READ MORE)

Helmholtz Association among the world's most innovative research institutions

March, 8th 2016 - The Reuters news agency rates the Helmholtz Association in the Top 25 Global Innovators. The rating takes into account all transfer activities of public research institutions worldwide in the past eight years. The Helmholtz Association archives the 11th place doing the most to advance science and technology.

News article

Helmholtz validation funding extended, facilitating further projects

December 16th, 2015 - Developing pioneering technologies and making them attractive for industry often requires a great deal of patience and perseverance. The Helmholtz Validation Fund (HVF) is therefore providing support to a number of particularly promising projects carried out by research teams in the Helmholtz Association. A total of 21 projects were selected for the first funding period from 2011 to 2015. Following a successful evaluation process, the programme will now continue from 2016 to 2020. The first three projects to be funded in the new programme phase were selected this December by the experts on the decision-making board. These projects could pave the way to discovering new and better ways of diagnosing and treating diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.

Press release

Helmholtz supports research projects on their way to application

October 27th, 2014 - Developing pioneering technologies and making them attractive for industry: the Helmholtz Association is channelling more than €20 million from its Initiative and Networking Fund into helping scientists quickly move their projects from research to application. Fifteen projects have been funded since the launch in 2011, and now independent assessors have recommended that a further three should receive support: a system that can produce high-precision maps, an effective process for generating heat in solar tower power plants, and an active pharmaceutical ingredient that could be used in the treatment of ischemia in the future. The Helmholtz Association believes these three developments have huge potential for achieving successful commercial application and making a significant contribution to society.

Press release

Helmholtz Association facilitates new spin-offs

September 1st, 2014 - The Helmholtz Association is providing up to €130,000 of funding for each of four new spin-off proposals by Helmholtz researchers. This brings the total number of Helmholtz centre spin-offs funded by the Association through its Initiative and Networking Fund to 86 since 2005. The Helmholtz Enterprise funding programme supports spin-offs during the critical start-up phase, helping research findings to be applied rapidly for the benefit of society and the economy.

Press release

Print Version


  • Photo of Barbara Diehl
    • Barbara Diehl
    • Director of Department Transfer and Innovation
      Helmholtz Association
  • Photo of Christopher Kerth
    • Christopher Kerth
    • Program Manager Transfer and Innovation
      Helmholtz Association