Online Annual Report 2011
Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Industrial Projects Are the Most Important Transfer Channel
“Industrial projects are our most important transfer channel,” said Dr. Björn Wolf when he was asked how scientific findings can be transferred from the HZDR into society and the business community. But the Head of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Department can also be satisfied with other transfer routes: When it comes to spin offs, 2011 was a successful year as well with two newly established companies. And significantly more license agreements were concluded which increased the licensing revenues tenfold when compared to the two previous years. Contracts on behalf of the business community are, though, an even more lucrative source of income. Compared to previous years, revenues doubled to approximately three million euros; thus, contributing three percent of the total budget. In particular, products and services in the ion implantation sector – a technology used in the semiconductor industry to systematically change surfaces – were increasingly in demand over the past few years. These products and services are now generated in a joint subsidiary of the HZDR and the GWT-TUD GmbH corporation, the HZDR INNOVATION GmbH.
This company, founded in 2011 and supported with funds from the Helmholtz Enterprise Fund, seeks to enhance the transfer of research results into the business community and to effectively harness spare capacities at the large-scale facilities. When it comes to ion implantation, it’s the large-scale accelerator systems. In the future, though, the business segments are to be extended to also include other fields. The new company’s objective is to not only carry out the production, but to also develop R&D results to the point where they are ready for production, can be licensed to commercial enterprises, or transferred to spin-offs. The profits will flow back into research. With this model, the HZDR assumes a pioneering role among Germany’s major research institutions.
Successful Outcome for Spin-Offs
Dr. Tilmann Leisegang, Marco Herrmann, and Robert Schmid had been wanting to found their own company for a long time. Last year, this moment finally arrived. With their company „Saxray“, a joint spin-off project of the HZDR, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg [Freiberg University of Mining and Technology], and the TU Dresden [Dresden University of Technology], they hope to conquer the market for X ray analytics. “Even though X-ray analytics has been one of the acknowledged analysis methods for more than 100 years now, increasing the overall system performance and user friendliness are the most important challenges for future lab solutions,” notes Tilmann Leisegang. The team develops, builds, and distributes innovative components for X-ray analytics which make the analysis of materials more precise and simpler than before. Materials science and, in particular, nanotechnology can benefit from these developments.
In order to attune scientists more to technology transfer, Björn Wolf focuses on strategic continued education and screening workshops which revolve around identifying research results with promising market opportunities. Once these opportunities have been identified, specific commercial partners are usually contacted; often, it is not even necessary to look for such partners since the HZDR has already created a broad network of highly specialized commercial partners together with its partners from science and research over the past few years. “Establishing networks is an essential part of our transfer strategy,” notes Björn Wolf.