The Max Planck Society is a basic research institution with a mission that the theoretical physicist Max Planck, after whom the MPG is named, once expressed as follows: “Insight must precede application.” The insights gained into the laws of nature and society, into structures and contexts, are what create the basis for true innovation. The world of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will build on the knowledge gained through this research.
Peter Seeberger has founded nine start-ups to date. With these companies, the Director of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam wants to put the results of his basic research into practice. One goal is to introduce sugar-based vaccines against multi-resistant bacteria.
Katharina Landfester, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, has opened the door to numerous applications. She has developed a technology whereby tiny containers can be specifically manufactured for almost any substance and equipped with various functions. Her team is now working on using nanocapsules as transporters for pharmaceuticals, as medical sensors, or as fungus treatments in wine production.
Lothar Willmitzer, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, had never thought about the commercial application of his research. Nevertheless, he founded three companies during his career. He is particularly pleased that his research has also been able to benefit humans.
Since the Berlin-based biotech company Scienion was established in 2001, it has experienced its fair share of highs and lows. We talked to its founder about what drives him to succeed and about the typical stumbling blocks and peculiarities associated with spin-offs from basic research.
Founded in 2008, the Lead Discovery Center (LDC) closes the funding gap between basic research and drug development. In this interview, CEO Bert Klebl describes the close cooperation with scientists and the LDC‘s role-model function.