More space to turn ideas into products

Ground-breaking ceremony with Thomas Nitzsche (l.), Beate Wachenbrunner, Ulrich
Ground-breaking ceremony with Thomas Nitzsche (l.), Beate Wachenbrunner, Ulrich S. Schubert, Georg Pohnert. Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)
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Published: Experienced founder Dr Marc Lehmann from SmartDyeLivery advises Dr Stephanie Schubert from the start-up project "Next Generation Pharma Polymers".

Translating environmentally relevant research into sustainable products

The emerging start-up centre rounds off the construction projects at CEEC Jena, where an application centre has been built alongside three research buildings. Research into energy storage of the future, clean water for all, recycling and many other (environmentally) relevant topics as well as medical and pharmaceutical-related projects is running at full speed. The first prototypes or small series of products are being created in the application centre, proving that the ideas can be put into practice. "In future, the new start-up centre will enable interested parties in close proximity to research to set up companies that transfer these research products into commercial practice; from the laboratory directly into fabrication," says interim University President Georg Pohnert, alluding to the building’s title "lab2fab".

Examples of this are the companies Next Generation Pharma Polymers (NGP Polymers GmbH), which develops new pharmaceutical polymers for future drug formulations, and linkdlab GmbH, a Chemistry AI start-up. Both are still housed in university buildings.

In addition to the spin-offs, lab2fab will also provide space for the new Helmholtz Institute HIPOLE Jena. This joint institute of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Energy, HZB) and the University of Jena is researching new polymer materials for energy applications. Furthermore, premises are planned for a proposed transfer centre for sustainable polymers.

"Even if the current founders still have to be accommodated in other buildings, there is a concrete perspective for the future. And I am sure that this will also encourage other researchers to transfer their inventions to industry," says Ulrich S. Schubert.

The fact that productive companies have already emerged from the scientific environment in the Landgrafen area is demonstrated, for example, by Polytives and SmartDyeLivery. They develop polymer additives and active pharmaceutical ingredients with polymer materials, respectively.