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NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut

Transfer of research findings to the business sector

NMI was founded in 1985 as a non-profit-making foundation under civil law. The foundation includes 12 mostly small to medium-sized companies and the City of Reutlingen. A board of trustees, which is made up of representatives from research and industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Science and Research (Baden-Württemberg), oversees the institution. The NMI’s objective is to successfully transfer research findings to the world of business.

The NMI is an established figure in its core areas of activity, namely: pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, biomedical technology and surface technology. The scientists, who work within the NMI in 13 working groups, are among the pioneers of groundbreaking technologies and are renowned internationally for their innovations and patents. It was here, for example, that micro-electrode arrays (MEAs) were developed. These are used to determine the effects of substances on cardiac muscle and nerve cells. The system was developed further by MCS Multi Channel Systems in Reutlingen and is marketed worldwide. In conjunction with industrial partners and publicly-funded research institutions, the NMI is also involved in the development of tests based on protein or peptide arrays. These systems will in future play an important role in diagnostics. By miniaturising and parallelising testing systems (micro-array technology), a range of measuring parameters can be determined simultaneously in even the smallest sample volumes. The use of protein arrays increases the speed of tests and results in a dramatic reduction in costs for diagnostics, since several hundred measuring parameters can be captured in a single experiment. Working with other companies, NMI also initiates projects for the optimisation and further development of implants and surgical instruments. These consortia enable small and medium-sized companies, under the Institute’s guidance, to take part in research projects without having to come up with the necessary equipment or scientific expertise themselves. They can access the NMI’s technologies, systems and services, such as the "Focused Ion Beam", which enables material samples in the nanometer range to be mapped and prepared. With this latest further development of the scanning ion microscope, companies from the fields of medical technology and the automotive industry are investigating functional flaws in semiconductor chips, the failure of coatings or instances of corrosion damage. The firm also operates a comprehensive and freely-accessible BioChip database (www.biochipnet.com) for biotechnology companies, research institutions and service providers.



Activity Biotechnology, Biomaterials, Research, Development, Pharmacy


Prof. Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland (Director)
Dr. Thomas Joos und Dr. Stefan Raible (Deputy Director)
Katja Rösslein (Head of Administration)
Thomas Schweikert (Head of Administration)

Year of foundation





Postgenomic Screening Platform – modular technology platform for complex biological assays – in conjunction with EDI and accelab GmbH


Joint research project: Bio-reabsorbable collagen fibres for nerve regeneration.
Joint research project: Bio-artificial surface substitute for the treatment of degenerative cartilage diseases; subproject 3



biohymed – the collaborative network setting a trend for the future

A successful result – 14 research and development projects worth a total of 9 million euros have been approved