Max Planck Innovation (called "Garching Instruments GmbH" until 1993; from 1993 to the end of 2006: "Garching Innovation GmbH"), a 100% subsidiary of the Max Planck Society, was established with the objective of transferring inventions and technologies developed by Max Planck Institutes into the marketplace. Within the Max Planck Society, the company provides the research institutes with advice regarding patent matters and organises patent applications.
Its primary business is the transfer of patented and non-patented technologies developed by Max Planck institutes to industry and to negotiate and close license agreements. In addition, staff from Max Planck Innovation provides employees in the Max Planck Society with professional assistance in setting up new firms, provided that they draw on Max Planck technologies. In the past few years, this area has progressively gained momentum. Patents are assets. Accordingly, the technology transfer office has mostly been viewed in terms of commercial benefits. After a longer start-up phase during the eighties, this area has been profitable for quite some time after deduction of all costs of Max Planck Innovation and expenses for patents and payment of inventors’ remuneration, which, after all, amount to 30 percent of income. This does not include assets of approx. EUR 15 million from equity interests in spin-offs or additional profits from grants on the basis of parallel research cooperation.