»Bold ideas need to be enjoyable«
16.07.2010 »Bold ideas need to be enjoyable«
A high-profile panel of judges for the Science2Start competition – comprising scientists, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs – examined and assessed the suggestions submitted from the STERN BioRegion. Prizes were awarded for three projects that, as well as scientific expertise, successfully demonstrated they met the conditions for economic success. The prizes, worth a total of 2,250 euros, were sponsored by Reutlingen-based Völker & Partner, a firm of lawyers, tax consultants and auditors.
Guest of honour Prof. Christof Hettich, Managing Director of dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG and partner in the Rittershaus law firm in Mannheim, was impressed by the ideas presented. As Prof. Hettich, whose roles include acting as advisor to Dietmar Hopp, one of Germany's largest biotech investors, stated at the award ceremony: "Starting up a company first and foremost needs to be fun. I can see that all the award winners are enjoying their projects. Without enjoyment, enthusiasm and a team where everyone works closely with each other, even the best idea or product has no chance of success." He went on to add with a wink in his eye that not every idea has to result in a start-up, and not every product needs its very own company – sometimes collaboration with a partner is a better solution.
The main prize in this year's ideas competition was awarded to Susanne Hossfeld from the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) in Reutlingen. The innovative surgical thread material she is involved with is just as easily tolerated by patients as conventional material but also has the ability to release medication-based active substances, with the aim of preventing scarring during the healing process.
Second place went to Roland Huchler and Dr. Michael Fritsche from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, IPA, whose idea "CellMaker – fluidic technology for automated cell culture" impressed the judges. CellMaker is a new technology enabling automated cultivation of adherent cells, thereby providing a procedure for cost-effective, fast and standardised production of these cell cultures.
Third prize was awarded to lecturer Dr. Lothar Just and Dr. Timo Schmid from the Centre for Regenerative Biology and Regenerative Medicine for their idea for an innovative bioreactor. This reactor is used to cultivate human tissue constructs that can be deployed in areas such as regenerative medicine. The culture medium is atomised with ultrasound to moisten the tissue to be cultivated.
Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, was once again pleased to welcome large numbers of high-profile guests. "Attendance levels are rising year on year, demonstrating the attractiveness and quality of this event," he said. "The relaxed atmosphere lends itself particularly well to cultivating networks with the opportunity to meet new and interesting people."
Over 300 business people and scientists, politicians, consultants and financiers enjoyed the summer reception, hosted by BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, the Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology Stuttgart/Tübingen/Neckar-Alb e.V. and Technologiepark Tübingen-Reutlingen GmbH. In the finest summer weather, lively discussions and celebrations were continued at the Tübingen observatory until late into the night.
back row: Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich, dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co.KG, Prof. Dr. Claus D. Claussen, Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology Stuttgart/Tübingen/Neckar-Alb, Dr. Michael Fritsche, Fraunhofer IPA, and Thomas Dephoff, TTR GmbH.
front row: Susanne Haußmann and Dr. Lothar Just, beide ZRM, Susanne Hossfeld, NMI Reutlingen, Roland Huchler, Fraunhofer IPA and Dr. Timo Schmidt, ZRM (left to right). (Picture: BioRegio STERN)