Knowledge and Technology Transfer – Online Annual Report 2017
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 35 percent. Revenue from licensing again exceeded patent costs in 2017.
Income from the business sector was slightly up on the previous year at over €1.5 million. A large proportion of commercial revenue comes from third-party use of our research infrastructure; the proportion of contract research for industry is smaller. In addition, over €500,000 in income was generated by cooperation with hospitals for the provision of infrastructure and pharmaceuticals manufactured at HZDR.
Innovation projects: In 2017, the HZDR conducted 75 innovation projects with a funding volume of €7.2 million. These included, for example, research-and-development collaborations with the private sector, validation projects, and spin-offs. The number of innovation projects shows that, in addition to cooperation with private enterprise in the form of contract research and infrastructure use, a large proportion of innovation activities involve funded projects. The latter considerably exceed classic bilateral projects with companies in terms of both number and size.
HZDR Innovation Fund: In 2017, the HZDR Innovation Fund financed eight transfer projects, five of which were launched during the year. Overall, the financial scope of all transfer projects supported by the HZDR Innovation Fund in 2017 amounted to €1,539 million. The aim in future will be to make even more intense use of the Innovation Fund to finance validation and spin-off projects.
HZDR Innovation GmbH (HZDRI): HZDR Innovation GmbH (HZDRI) is responsible for service and production orders for the industrial exploitation of HZDR know-how and infrastructure, as well as the equity management of spin-offs. Sales generated by this HZDR subsidiary continued to develop very positively in 2017, especially in its main business area of ion implantation. Based on a total revenue of €2.3 million in 2017, the company generated a record pre-tax profit of over €400,000. To improve quality and productivity and improve the utilization of the beam time provided by HZDR, HZDRI procured new industry-standard wafer-handling systems. A Fraunhofer institute approached the HZDRI with a request to take over the manufacture and marketing of some of its new developments. The HZDRI subsequently concluded license agreements with the Fraunhofer Society for the exploitation of two products.
HZDR-Innovation-Competition: The HZDR ran an internal innovation competition for the first time in 2017. Sixteen transfer ideas were selected from the 20 submitted. In two one-day workshops, the teams developed their ideas up to the presentation stage together with their mentors, and subsequently presented them to a jury. The first three teams were awarded prizes. Validation funding was obtained from the Life-Science Foundation for one of the competition projects at the end of 2017.
BePerfekt: 2017 saw the launch of the project 'BePerfekt – development of an instrument to train people and teams to work in transfer structures'. The aim is to build up training opportunities for German scientific institutions in the field of knowledge and technology transfer. The HZDR is collaborating here with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). BePerfekt is financed by third-party funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The ERZLABOR project, which has been funded since 2016 by the internal spin-off program of the Helmholtz Association ('Helmholtz Enterprise'), was officially founded as a GmbH in 2017. The young company offers services relating to the qualitative and quantitative mineralogical characterization of solids, including the preparation of rock samples and granulates for analysis. Key customers include mining and recycling companies. Parallel to the spin-off, HZDR concluded a license agreement and a contract for the use of equipment with ERZLABOR. HZDR Innovation GmbH holds 15 percent of the company shares.
Further spin-off projects: On December 31, 2017, HZDR was supervising five potential spin-off projects at an early development stage.
At a meeting entitled 'Unternehmen: wachsen' ('Growing Companies') held in December 2017, spin-offs from the region surrounding HZDR presented their projects and told their corporate stories. They subsequently had an opportunity to talk to participants, who included many experienced entrepreneurs. The event was organized within the framework of the 'Unternehmen: wachsen' dialog. This platform, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, is part of the Federal Government's project to promote entrepreneurial growth in the new federal states (German title: Förderung von unternehmerischem Wachstum in den neuen Bundesländern).
Contact: Dr. Björn Wolf, Leiter Head of Technology Transfer and Legal Affairs at the HZDR