Knowledge and Technology Transfer – Online Annual Report 2016
Development of technology transfer at HZDR
Licenses and third-party funding: The proportion of licensed patents out of the total HZDR patent portfolio has increased to 33 percent. In 2016 the licensing proceeds once again exceeded patent costs. An evaluation of third-party funding showed that in 50 out of a total of 64 new projects – all with transfer relevance and an approval volume totaling six million euros – the involvement of the HZDR innovation managers was either significant or at least perceptible. This reflects the increasing importance of the innovation manager model as it is implemented at the center.
HZDR innovation fund: The HZDR innovation fund was launched in 2016. It is financed by the Helmholtz Association and the HZDR. The annual endowment is 400,000 Euro. After the Technology Transfer and Legal Affairs Department at the HZDR had established the necessary prerequisites for fund management and administration, the first innovation projects eligible for funding could be selected.
HZDR Innovation GmbH (HZDRI): The subsidiary HZDR Innovation GmbH is responsible for service and production orders for the industrial exploitation of HZDR know-how and infrastructures as well as the equity management of spin-offs. HZDRI once again launched new business areas in 2016 for the exploitation of technologies licensed by the HZDR. Here the measuring technology for magnetohydrodynamics from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics deserves a special mention.
For the further development and expansion of production capabilities at the HZDRI in the field of ion implementation, a letter of intent was signed with the Slovakian Technical University Bratislava – STU and its Ion Beam Center created in partnership with the HZDR. Developing a joint venture in Slovakia is the objective.
GRULA-KMU: The partners in the project to intensify collaboration, “Basic Research-Oriented Universities and Research Institutions with Midsize Companies in the Dresden Science Region” (GRULA-KMU), want to test the role that universities of applied sciences can play as mediators for basic research-oriented organizations such as the HZDR for the purpose of completing value chains and in validation projects. Project partners are TU Dresden, the Dresden University of Applied Sciences, and the ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
Cooperation with Fraunhofer: The HZDR supported the successful application in the Fraunhofer Attract-Program by a former junior research group leader of the HZDR. The junior research group had developed a larger basic research-oriented portfolio with more than 15 patent families at its center. By moving to the Fraunhofer Society, this paves the cornerstone for a comprehensive validation as well as the specific, industry-oriented further development and potential exploitation of the HZDR technologies.
TTO-Alumni: The joint project “Development and Testing of Alumni Networks for Assessment and Exploitation Processes in Science-Related Technology Transfer" (TTO-Alumni) aims to involve former doctoral candidates, students, and employees active in the industry into the daily technology transfer activities at the HZDR. This is an externally funded project that is subsidized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).The HZDR is cooperating with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and TU Dresden for the systematic involvement of alumni in transfer activities. An employee was added to the transfer team for the project.
New industry cooperation agreements of the HZDR
Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research: In the past year, the HZDR concluded cooperation, delivery, and tenancy agreements with the company ROTOP Radiopharmacy GmbH that was newly founded and established on the Dresden-Rossendorf campus. These agreements form the basis for establishing long-term cooperation in regard to joint product development and the shared use of HZDR infrastructure. This applies in particular to the new cyclotron in the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Tumor Research.
Institute of Fluid Dynamics: The HZDR concluded a three and a half year research and development agreement with a company in the automobile industry at the beginning of 2016. This strategic partnership is aimed at using fundamental knowledge in order to optimize components in the vehicle through experiments and numerical simulations.
The start of a project subsidized by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) establishes the infrastructure prerequisites for the extended use of the TOPFLOW research infrastructure. A strategic partnership with the company Linde can therefore be established.
A cooperation and licensing agreement with Primetals Technologies regulates the further development and exploitation of a flow-measuring technology patented by the HZDR (CIFT: Contactless Inductive Flow Tomography) for steel strand casting.
In 2016 the center conducted two “Innovation Forums” subsidized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), where participants discussed possible industry applications of HZDR technologies. “Magnetic separation” turned out to be one of the topics and investigating possible applications for the novel material “BFO” (bismuth iron oxide) was another.
Biconex GmbH: Biconex GmbH, founded in May 2015, successfully completed a first financing round in March 2016 and has been generating initial sales revenues since then. An investment company provided 1.5 million Euro for the further development and marketing of the technology developed at the HZDR for chromium 6-free plastic electroplating. HZDR Innovation GmbH profitably sold its 15 percent share to the investor in this transaction. The HZDR continues to participate in the success of the spin-off through a licensing agreement.
i3membrane GmbH: The spin-off i3membrane GmbH, financed with investment capital, successfully introduced its first products (sterile filters) to the market in the reporting period. Currently the focus is on sales and the expansion of production. The HZDRI still holds more than ten percent of the company’s shares and the HZDR participates in the success of the spin-off through a licensing agreement.
THATec Innovation GmbH: The spin-off THATec Innovation GmbH was founded in September 2016. This company develops and distributes software for the coordination and synchronization of laboratory equipment from various suppliers. Funds from the Helmholtz Enterprise Fund (HEF) and the HZDR Innovation Fund were used to prepare for the spin-off. The spin-off project was also part of the Accelerator Program of the Fraunhofer Society. This test case is intended to establish the basis for closer networking between the Fraunhofer Society and the Helmholtz Association in supporting spin-offs. HZDR Innovation GmbH holds 15 percent of THATec.
Three additional spin-off projects: ERZLABOR is a spin-off of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology at the HZDR. HEF funding that commenced on 1 September 2016 was also obtained here. The purpose of ERZLABOR is to provide services for quantitative mineralogical analysis and underlying sample preparation. Initial sales are being realized through HZDR Innovation GmbH acting as incubator, and business management training is being provided to the founders. The participation of the HZDRI in ERZLABOR is also planned. Finalizing the spin-off depends on successful customer acquisition and is planned to take place in 2017.
The Polcar project which focuses on a novel material system for biological sample carriers, is currently in an early concept phase.
Another spin-off project supported by the HZDR deals with the development and marketing of an innovative measuring device for magnetic field measurements.
Contact: Dr. Björn Wolf, Head Technology Transfer & Legal Affairs at HZDR