Heidelberg University is part of a "translationational bridge", the first Evotec-BRIDGE in Germany
A new "translations bridge" in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region will validate the results of life science research to fast-track the development of therapeutic drugs and related technologies. The platform is being provided by Evotec, a drug discovery and development company that builds alliances and partnerships with business and academia to promote innovative approaches to the development of new pharmaceutical products. Partners in this BRIDGE cooperation model include Heidelberg University and other research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. Evotec launched the 20-million US dollar beLAB2122 translational BRIDGE together with Bristol Myers Squibb Company.
This type of BRIDGE - Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency - offers an integrated framework that, in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies and investors, moves innovative projects forward to eventually form their own commercial enterprises. Evotec has established multiple BRIDGE cooperations in Europe and North America since 2016. Mediated and supported by BioRN, the Life Science Cluster of the Rhine-Neckar region, beLAB2122 brings together the DKFZ, the EMBL, and the universities of Frankfurt (Main), Heidelberg, and Tübingen in Germany’s first Evotec-Bridge collaboration with industry partners. Evotec is making its multimodal platform accessible to validate innovation projects over the next four and a half years, and Bristol Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, is providing financing along with commercial perspectives.
"Heidelberg University is excited to be part of the Evotec BRIDGE collaboration beLAB2122. It is of fundamental importance that our cutting-edge research be translated into applications on a broader scale. This collaboration brings together leading institutions in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region that conduct research at the forefront of life science. I am positive that - within the BRIDGE framework - we can generate added momentum for converting scientific achievements into future therapeutics," states Matthias Weidemüller, Vice-Rector Innovation and Transfer at Ruperto Carola. Prof. Weidemüller reports that just preparing for the BRIDGE showed what can be achieved when leading research institutions of a region pool their considerable innovation potential and work together.
Life science researchers from Heidelberg University can apply for project funding of up to 1.5 million euros through beLAB2122 to turn their research results into applications. This closes a financial gap in the validation phase that investors often deem less than profitable or not yet fully developed. Throughout the funding application process, scientists will receive advice and support from hei_INNOVATION, the transfer agency of Heidelberg University, and from ScienceValue GmbH (SVH). SVH is a university-owned copyright collective tasked with the exploitation of the intellectual property of the university and its members as well as the commercialisation of research results.
Since the beginning of the year, the hei_INNOVATION transfer agency and ScienceValue Heidelberg GmbH have been closely cooperating on technology transfer to make research results available for applications. In this process, hei_INNOVATION is responsible for the initial consultation with inventors and founders as well as training and support for business plans. SVH handles invention management, patents, and commercialisation processes. For beLAB2122, hei_INNOVATION in coordination with the other partners in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region will look for suitable projects, advise researchers, and coordinate financing and project implementation with Evotec. SVH ensures the intellectual property for potential beLAB2122 projects. Once funding has been obtained, both organisations assist researchers in carrying out their projects.