Shaping the future of innovation

The Innovation Days 2014 took place in Munich, December 1 and 2

November 24, 2014

Munich was a hub of innovation on December 1 and 2, 2014, when Germany’s leading research organizations hosted the third instalment of the successful "Innovation Days" conference series. Launched in 2012 by the science flagship organizations Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Helmholtz Association and Leibniz Association, the conference format aims to promote the transfer of research results into commercially and socially useful projects and to link science and industry closer together. Over the course of two days, researchers and founders presented select technologies and spin-off projects in the fields of life sciences and chemical and physical sciences.

This year's partnering event, which featured speakers from industry and research, was held in Munich at the HBV Forum. Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, together with co-host Norbert Lütke-Entrup from Siemens AG, opened the conference with a welcome address in the afternoon of December 1. The floor was thengiven to the two prominent keynote speakers, Simon Moroney from MorphoSys AG and Heinz Voggenreiter from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) who shared their experience with innovation and collaboration projects in life sciences, as well as materials and lightweight construction.

"The two-day conference provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about high-performance technologies and spin-off projects deriving from Germany's leading research organizations," says Jörn Erselius, CEO of Max Planck Innovation, the Max Planck Society's tech transfer branch which oversaw the organization of the event. "The Innovation Days are a perfect platform for bringing together innovative researchers, technology transfer professionals, business development specialists, venture capital experts, as well as corporate venture executives."

Dietmar Harhoff, new director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, joined a panel of experts discussing "Open innovation - Trend or Hype?" in the afternoon of December 1.

As in previous years, the presentation of the Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize also formed part of the program. The award honours outstanding scientific and technical achievements of individuals who succeed in developing recognizable industrial innovations in Germany. It was presented at a special reception in Munich's Residence Palace the evening of December 1.

Andreas Marx of the University of Konstanz was honoured with this year's Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize in recognition of his research and development activities on the biochemistry of DNA polymerases, the group of enzymes that is in charge of ensuring that genetic material is replicated properly during cell division.

Participants were given intensive networking opportunities on December 2: the online-partnering platform partneringONE® enables the advance organization of meetings, and participants were able to meet up with potential financing and license partners in provided partnering cubicles to discuss future technologies and potential spin offs.

About 250 participants attended the Innovation Days 2014.

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