HZDR Innovation Contest
In the Innovation Contest, HZDR employees, guest scientists and scholars bring their ideas into action by transforming their research results and scientific knowledge into usable products or services.
Molecule for targeted therapy of Parkinson's wins third HZDR Innovation Contest
The first prize of this year’s Innovation Contest of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) went to scientists from the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research for their radioactively labelled substance that enables the differential diagnosis and therapy monitoring of Parkinson's disease. The scientists Thu Hang Lai, Dr. Rodrigo Teodoro and Dr. Magali Toussaint from the team of Prof. Peter Brust of the Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals in Leipzig convinced the jury particularly with regard to the feasibility of their innovation (proof of principle). In her presentation, Thu Hang Lai explained that no objective criteria for the differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease previously existed, meaning that it was also impossible to develop personalised therapies. The new radiopharmaceutical means a great benefit for the patients, but can also reduce the treatment costs of health insurance companies. "A very dynamic team enthusiastically presented a clearly defined application very precisely," says Dorit Teichmann, Innovation Manager at the HZDR for life science topics, explaining why the first place goes to the Leipzig researchers.
The second prize went to Stefan Findeisen and Dr. Hannes Kühne from the Department of Research Technology and High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The 2-axis rotator they developed for extreme sample environments is almost ready to market. The 3rd place went to the group “Therapeutic Alpha Emitters” led by Dr. Constantin Mamat. The young scientists David Bauer and Falco Reissig discovered novel molecular transport systems for radium and barium for use in radiopharmaceutical cancer research and convincingly pitched the customer benefits and further steps for the development of the product.
Altogether 14 innovative commercialisation ideas were successfully presented by scientists from the Dresden research center at the 3rd HZDR Innovation Contest beginning of December 2019. With the help of mentors, the teams worked out seven-minute pitch talks during a one-day workshop. With these pitch talks they then tried to convince the jury of their idea. "This is a difficult task and a new experience for the researchers," explains Dr. Björn Wolf, Head of Technology Transfer and Innovation at the HZDR and a member of the jury. Most scientists deal with topics such as unique selling points, market potentials or fields of application for the first time in the workshops. However, some teams have so much fun in the contest that they participate several times in a row.
A total of 21 ideas entered the HZDR Innovation Contest in 2019. Fourteen of them were selected for the workshops. The submissions came from all research fields of the HZDR: Energy, Health and Matter. The HZDR Innovation Contest has established itself as a successful instrument for idea scouting for the transfer of technologies into business and society. The three best teams will receive a cash prize at the HZDR awards ceremony on February 26, 2020.
The winners at a glance:
- place: [18F]FLUDA – A potential radiopharmaceutical for the differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
Thu Hang Lai, Dr. Rodrigo Teodoro, Dr. Magali Toussaint, Prof. Peter Brust
- place: 2-axis rotator for extreme sample environments
Stefan Findeisen, Dr. Hannes Kühne
- place: Novel Carrier Systems for Radium and Barium for the Application in Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research
Dr. habil. Constantin Mamat, David Bauer, Falco Reissig