EKFZ for Digital Health: 20 million euros approved for second funding period

After successful interim evaluation, the Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation (EKFS) approves the second funding period for the Dresden Research Center to establish innovative training structures, promote interdisciplinary cooperation and expand a unique research landscape.

Continuing the successful path

Four years after the establishment of the Else Kröner Fresenius Center for Digital Health in 2019 at the TU Dresden and the Dresden University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, the EKFS Foundation Board and a panel of external experts were on site for an interim review. The very positive vote of the experts led to the foundation’s decision. The EKFS approves a further 20 million euros for another five years.

Prof. Dr. Jochen Hampe

The whole team is delighted that the foundation has approved further funding for our center. The generous financial support of the EKFS enables us to promote scientific excellence. We will take the constructive advice of the reviewers into account as best we can in the next round of funding and continue our dynamic development. Our goal is clear: We want to fully exploit the potential of digitization in medicine to significantly and sustainably improve healthcare, medical research and clinical practice.

Prof. Dr. Jochen Hampe, spokesperson of the EKFZ for Digital Health.

With the establishment of the Center for Digital Health in Dresden, the Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation has chosen an upcoming field at an upcoming location. This decision was the right one. By continuing to fund the EKFZ for Digital Health in Dresden, we now want to further strengthen the international relevance of the research center.

Prof. Dr. Michael Madeja, Chairman of the Board of the Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation

Schriftzug Logo Else Kröner Fresenius Stiftung in grau und blau

Many minds – one team

This year, the interim review took place at the same day as the EKFZ | InnoDays. The center’s annual event focused on the newly appointed professors, the dedicated project teams and the young scientists. All Else Kröner Professors occupy a unique research topic in the German research landscape in the field of digital health research and attract new, international talent to the Saxon state capital. Stephen Gilbert, Jakob N. Kather and Ivan Minev provided informative insights into their research areas and their visions for the coming years: from regulatory challenges for software and AI in medical devices, to the benefits of AI in clinical practice, to bioelectronics, to nanotechnology-enabled medical systems. In addition, Dr. Nora Martens, Clinician Scientist, explained how the EKFZ for Digital Health supports and trains young scientists from the undergraduate to the postdoc phase:

Woman in a red polka dot dress holds a microphone and speaks

The goal is to train a new generation of physicians and engineers who understand interdisciplinary collaboration from the very beginning. In this way, we build a bridge from medicine to the technical disciplines, which is essential for future medical research.

Dr. Nora Martens, Clinician Scientist

Innovative research projects on the campus of the Dresden University Medical Center

Interdisciplinary Innovation Projects (IIPs) are the EKFZ’s most successful tool for promoting interdisciplinary interactions and productive research to meet medical needs. 32 IIPs have benefited from this support to date. The special feature of the IIPs is that an experienced clinician and a high-tech specialist always work together on one topic. This successful funding instrument is a starting point from which many innovative ideas have emerged that later became third-party-funded large projects. For the interim review, numerous IIP teams presented their demonstrators and prototypes. The interactive exhibition gave visitors, reviewers and representatives of the ECFS the opportunity to experience and test various exhibits live. They gained a comprehensive insight into medical technology innovations and the latest trends in digital health.

The EKFZ in the middle of the campus of the Dresden University Medical Center is connected with all areas of the university hospital, as practical relevance and patient orientation are the focus of our work. Thanks to the generous support of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation, the Faculty of Medicine and the University Hospital can set standards in patient-oriented research on digital medicine. The goal is the first truly integrated eHealth campus at a university hospital.

Prof. Michael Albrecht, Medical Director of Dresden University Hospital

Michael Albrecht Portrait im Anzug
Portrait Esther Troost

The EKFZ allows the researchers creative freedom and opens doors beyond their respective specialties. EKFZ, UKD and MFD are already shaping innovative and patient-oriented research with strong regional and national partners from science and industry. This productive collaboration between all participants shows the innovative potential of tomorrow’s medicine.

Prof. Esther Troost, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

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