DESY and U.S. Discovery Partners Institute become innovation partners

Science City Bahrenfeld forges collaborations for innovation and transfer
22 March 2023
Das Hauptgebäude des DESY

The German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) and the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in Chicago have formed a partnership to boost the transfer of knowledge and technology as well as spin-offs effective immediately, a press release said Tuesday (March 20, 2023). The collaboration aims to strengthen and network the institutions' innovation ecosystems. DESY plans to establish a so-called "Innovation Factory" in Bahrenfeld by 2026 while DPI will set up a centre of innovation at the University of Illinois benefitting deep-tech start-ups in particular.

Hamburg as a centre of innovation

Commenting on the collaboration, Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science and Research, said: "Researchers and start-ups in Hamburg take their innovations to the world. Collaborations of this kind raise Hamburg's international appeal as an attractive centre of science and innovation." Timothy L. Killeen, President of the University of Illinois Alliance, remarked: "We want to bring our researchers together and plug into Germany's dynamic, world-leading innovation system to bring ideas to market faster." The collaboration should give start-ups in Hamburg easier access to the North American market.

© DESY/Axel Heimken
Helmut Dosch, Chair of DESY's Directorate, Katharina Fegebank, U.S. Consul General Jason Chue and Arik Willner at contract signing

Expansion plans for Bahrenfeld's deep-tech ecosystem 

Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld is already home to 19 different start-ups focusing on photonics, sensor technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. DESY's Start-up Labs in Bahrenfeld provides office space, workshops and laboratories for deep-tech start-ups.  "We and DPI will create an advantageous framework for deep-tech start-ups," said Arik Willner, CTO of DESY. The collaboration targets mainly fledgling companies and should ease the transfer of scientific findings into successful business models.
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DESY and Science City Bahrenfeld

Science City Bahrenfeld is set to combine science and business with living and leisure. This integrated centre will provide R&D space for around 4,000 researchers and 3,000 students. Science City is a prime example of forward-looking urban development. DESY is one of the world's leading particle accelerator centres. Its researchers in Bahrenfeld use DESY's vast facilities to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life.