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Dr. György Kovacs, a staff member of the Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research.Knowledge and Technology Transfer 2010

Dense networks, innovative products, and popular services

Whether it be in energy technology, the chemical branch, or the oil and gas industry, in medicine or the food industry: If anyone wants to know whether processes are efficient and safe or whether the manufactured products actually meet high quality standards, then one has to observe the material flows inside a facility and their underlying processes with great precision. Not an easy task if one considers that thick and intransparent pipe walls shield these flows and currents or if one keeps in mind the extreme conditions, such as high pressures and temperatures, which prevail in industrial processes.

Here, the knowledge provided by the flow and measurement technology experts at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf can help: Starting with a sensor capable of measuring electroconductive fluids and liquids, a complete repertoire of patented measuring sensors and sensor concepts has been developed in the course of several years. In order to utilize these sensors, the HZDR concluded an additional license agreement with the GWT-TUD GmbH, a corporation committed to knowledge and technology transfer under the ownership of the TU Dresden [Dresden University of Technology] which has already generated royalties. At the same time, the sensor technology platform within the ForMaT program launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is also supported with the objective of developing larger application fields for sensors.

Technology-specific utilization structures

In order to improve the transfer of results from fundamental research to the economy and society, the research center has intensified its network activities even further and expanded its contacts and cooperations with service providers specializing in technology transfer, such as the GWT, with enterprises and associations from the business community as well as with other research institutions during the previous year. As a new center within the Helmholtz Association, a particular focus was put on the establishment of networks with other Helmholtz institutes. In addition, a partnership was initiated with the Ascenion corporation which dedicates itself to the utilization of research results from the life sciences sector. “A comprehensive network as well as the creation of individual, technology-specific utilization structures form important pillars in our technology transfer,” notes Dr. Björn Wolf who heads the department. The HZDR also participated in an educational trip organized by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the objective of visiting best practice examples in Asia, and it also hosted a workshop focusing on participations in spin-offs.

At the local level, the HZDR continued its close cooperation with the spin-off initiative “Dresden exists” which is located at the TU Dresden [Dresden University of Technology] and has won already several awards. The research center provides equity capital for this purpose. Currently, several HZDR research teams receive substantial support from “Dresden exists” for the preparation of spin-off projects. For example, the SAXRAY staff members seek to simplify X-ray analytics in materials science; with their concept, they won Germany’s national founders’ contest “start2grow” in 2010. In addition to marketable products, the role of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf as an acknowledged service provider is also an important focal point of technology transfer. In particular, the Application Laboratory for Ion Technology with its specific competence and expertise in the modification and analysis of material surfaces through ion beams was able to acquire an increased number of industrial contracts in 2010.

Close cooperation and short distances

The pharmaceutical manufacturer ROTOP Pharmaka AG, with which the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf has been cooperating closely for many years now, relocated its corporate headquarters onto the research center’s premises in 2010 where it moved into a new office and production building. Both organizations are researching together innovative preparations for the diagnosis of cancer. The ROTOP corporation also distributes the radioactive pharmaceutical “GlucoRos” which is produced at the HZDR.