Online Annual Report 2015

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

HZDR spin-off companies develop successfully

Filtration membrane made from high-grade steelThe aim of knowledge and technology transfer is to exploit the research results arising from scientific HZDR work. One good way to do so is to establish new companies. There are currently thirteen firms that have arisen from HZDR research. Two companies in particular were able to positively promote their developments during the last year. In this manner, i3membrane GmbH convinced several investment companies of their products in November: multi-functional separation technologies that combine ion and membrane technology. For further development and for introducing the products to the market, the company received approximately 1.5 million Euros in additional capital.

Biconex GmbH was also in discussions with investors late last year. The company, which developed an environmentally friendly coating process for refining plastic surfaces, was successful in sealing these negotiations in March 2016. With investment capital in the sum of 1.5 million Euros, the founders wish to establish the method as quickly as possible in the industrial sector. The spin-off project GRIDLAB was also able to secure funds from the Helmholtz Enterprise program. Using the software developed within the project, laboratory instruments from different providers can be coordinated and operated in a synchronized manner.

HZDR Innovation GmbH, a subsidiary firm and commercial arm of HZDR, has shown a clear increase in sales. With a total revenue of 2.6 million Euros, the company saw a profit of 182,000 Euros (gross). The HZDR also successfully completed setting up the Knowledge and Innovation Community "EIT Raw Materials".

The view of the remaining transfer indicators of HZDR shows following results. The number of new license agreements and patent applications are below the average of previous years. While revenue from licensing agreements has clearly increased, commercial revenue from research and development contracts decreased. By increasing third-party-sponsored projects, in which industry companies participate, cooperation with the economic sector however, remains at approximately the same level as in past years.

In order to improve the transition of research insights, the HZDR further developed its strategy for technology and knowledge transfer. This plan is to improve the transfer culture at the center by, for example, holding additional events to raise awareness. In addition, the HZDR will provide an innovation fund in 2016, with annual funding of 400,000 Euros.

Furthermore, the scientists are to receive better support in transferring their results. In addition to the three existing innovation managers, another specialist, who concentrates on physical research areas and materials research, has been hired. In the past year, the HZDR also joined the Technologieallianz, the German association for knowledge and technology transfer.

Contact: Dr. Björn Wolf, Department of Technology Transfer and Legal Affairs