In late May, the team at the ZEISS Innovation Hub in Dresden got down to work. An official opening ceremony for the Hub will take place once it is permissible to do so. For the first Hub program – research into organoid models – Dr. Kai Wicker and his team have moved into the EKFZ for Digital Health on the campus of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital – a stone's throw away from top experts in the field.
This proximity to academic partners such as the TU Dresden, the University Hospital and the Leibniz and Max Planck Institutes, as well as to startups and innovative companies in the region, allows ZEISS to benefit from an exceptional research and innovation ecosystem. The goal is to maximize local engagement and scientific exchange while benefitting from synergies to promote talented young researchers.
ZEISS plans to quickly grow the Innovation Hub in terms of both its focus topics and its workforce. To this end, new staff will initially be hired to work primarily on the organoid program, and on the variety of topics that go beyond the initial focus on biomedicine. Alongside the life sciences and medical technology, the Hub team sees potential for further links, with digital technologies, microelectronics and informatics, as well as with artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and materials research.
ZEISS and TU Dresden forge strong collaboration
Back in February, Prof. Dr. Ursula Staudinger, Rector of the TU Dresden, and Dr. Karl Lamprecht, President and CEO of the ZEISS Group, signed a collaboration agreement. The aim is to strengthen the longstanding links between the two institutions in the areas of research, teaching and innovation, as well as further education, globalization and recruiting.
The collaboration with the TU Dresden forms part of ZEISS' global innovation strategy. The aim is to continue expanding the company's presence near research clusters and intensify networks with those working in science and business.
Joint organoid research activities
The first research activities into organoid models have been planned as a joint kick-off with the TU Dresden, the Dresden University Hospital, the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. Further collaborations will follow, including ones with other institutes and establishments. Organoids are artificially produced tissue parts that closely approximate human organs such as the liver and open up whole new and modern application options for researchers.
"Organoid models have the potential to revolutionize mechanistic biology, drug development and customized treatments. We are delighted to have this opportunity to support the stellar research being done by our Dresden-based partner with our expertise in microscopic imaging, while allowing us to gain early insights into groundbreaking innovations in pharma research and personalized medicine," says Dr. Kai Wicker.
Professor Jochen Hampe says: "The EKFZ is delighted that ZEISS has joined our multidisciplinary consortium of skilled organoid experts and we are now in an even better position to implement interdisciplinarity between medicine and technology and solve key challenges as part of a concerted effort. There has never been a better time to take the current progress in organoid technology and to deliver its spoils to the patient more quickly."
More information here.