40 Life Sciences Report – Infrastructure Excellent Conditions for Innovation and Growth For many companies that have come to the German capital region or were founded here, the outstanding academic and scientific landscape and the dynamic startup community is a decisive factor for success. The region features short paths to establishing partnerships between industry, startups, clinics, and academic research in various ways. The German capital region is home to over 40 renowned scientific institutions, including the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine of the Helmholtz Association (MDC), the German Heart Center Berlin, and other well-known Fraunhofer, Helmholtz, Leibniz and Max Planck Institutes. The Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. More than 4,200 researchers and doctors there carry out research, teach, and treat patients at the cutting edge of international medicine. The Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) combines the strengths of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) with the aim to translate scientific discoveries from the lab into clinical research and into medical applications – and vice versa. To ensure better predictive medicine and new therapies, the BIH’s approach to research is based on systems medicine, encompassing methods to analyse the dynamic interactions of molecules, cells, tissues and organs as well as physiological and psychosocial factors. Cooperation is a key driver for better research and better therapies. This is also shown by another leading institution in the capital region: the German Heart Center Berlin. As one of the nation’s leading hospitals, the German Heart Center Berlin has been treating the entire spectrum of cardiac, thoracic and vascular diseases and offering artificial heart implants and heart and lung transplants since 1986. Its success story will continue in the next years as part of a joint venture with the Charité to establish the most modern heart centre in Europe. Prof. Dr. Volkmar Falk, Medical Director of the German Heart Center Berlin, remarks: “Modern heart medicine can only succeed with highly specialised and interdisciplinary treatment teams. The University Heart Center Berlin being created jointly by the German Heart Center Berlin and the Charité will strengthen Berlin’s reputation as a location for the very best in cardiac medicine in close cooperation with partners from Vivantes and other medtech companies in our region.” The Hasso Plattner Institut Potsdam is an internationally renowned institution paving the way for the digital transformation, including in the healthcare field. The HPI Digital Health Center (DHC) brings together individuals from health sciences, human sciences, data sciences, digital engineering and broader society with the shared goal of empowering patients and transforming healthcare with innovative digital health solutions. The main focus areas of the research are personalized medicine, connected healthcare and machine learning. © Olga Sheshukova “We support the cooperation between SME and research institutions in the field of PAT in bioprocesses to enhance inter- and transdisciplinary research and the development of innovative technologies by stimulating joint research activities. This strengthens the market position and innovation power of SMEs and increases their visibility. Bio-PAT aims to exploit the high potential of the Berlin-Brandenburg area for innovative biotechnology companies by bundling existing expertise in different fields.” Dr. Anika Bockisch Managing Director Network Bio-PAT (e.V.)
Life Sciences Report – Infrastructure 41 “Our long-term vision is to contribute to improving our healthcare system by building the hospitals and practices of the future. With our software solution, we offer patients easier and faster access to healthcare and improve the daily working life and efficiency of medical facilities. Our headquarters based in Paris and Berlin, offer an excellent starting point, geographically, with a view to the innovative environment for the development of digital service offerings for modern healthcare.” © Doctolib Dr. Ilias Tsimpoulis Managing Director German, Doctolib Strong networks and technology parks creating the medicine of the future Berlin and Brandenburg is home to a number of knowledge transfer and translation centres working on a variety of topics and technologies in the life sciences. These include the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), and the screening unit at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP). Having industry, science and clinical care providers in close proximity to each other and working together as partners as it is the case in Berlin and Brandenburg is an ideal way to advance tomorrow’s top technologies and patient-oriented services. The two states offer excellent infrastructure and straightforward services that make effective networking possible. For example, there are eight technology parks in the region that are active in the life sciences, including Germany’s largest biotech park at Campus Berlin-Buch, Europe’s leading technology park at Berlin-Adlershof, and the Potsdam Science Park. The Gesundheitscampus Brandenburg includes an inter-university network of the supporting universities (University of Potsdam, Brandenburg University of Technology and the Theodor Fontane Brandenburg Medical School), non-university research institutions, and additional universities in the state, as well as clinics, health insurance companies, associations, and other businesses. The German capital region features a number of networks working on specific topics that allow stakeholders along the entire value chain to collaborate. These include Network Bio-PAT, DiagnostikNet Berlin-Brandenburg, glyconet Berlin-Brandenburg and NetPhaSol. The place to be for startups and investors The German capital region is increasingly becoming attractive to international investors, who have discovered the startup climate in and around Berlin to be a valuable location for investment. The EY Startup-Barometer (January 2020) once again named Berlin the hotspot of the German startup scene for 2019: with 262 financing rounds, startups in the German capital benefited from 37% of all financing rounds recorded in Germany. In the healthcare sector, startups from Berlin raised €229 million, the highest inflow of capital in Germany. Doctolib, headquartered in Paris and Berlin, raised the most capital last year at €150 million. In addition to private equity, there exist several public financing programmes at the federal and regional levels in Germany. For example, the two regional banks of Berlin (IBB) and Brandenburg (ILB), with their funding programmes and their holding companies IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and ILB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, play an important role in financing. They provide startups with the grant money or share capital they need and supplementing these funds with commitments from private investors or even providing initial access to such investors. Over 60 incubators and accelerators in the capital region offer founders and startups a leg up in developing their ideas and networking with other stakeholders. Established companies are increasingly choosing to work with startups in their own units, such as Bayer’s CoLaborator and Pfizer’s Healthcare Hub Berlin. The combination of entrepreneurial spirit and established industry as well as the extensive networking between science and industry provide an extraordinary infrastructure for innovation and company growth in Berlin and Brandenburg.