Kanina Botterweck & Dr. Raimund Mildner: The BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus in Lübeck – A powerful ­connection between research, teaching, service and economy

The BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus in Lübeck is an outstanding life science campus in northern Germany. Here, highly specialised research competence and degree ­programmes as well as innovative high-tech businesses and service partners are united in a synergistic network with an above average positive regional development of city, economy and science. The BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus has become a regional focal point for the Life Science Nord cluster of the LSN e.V. sponsoring association.

The importance of the effect of scientific institutions on regional economies is mentioned often, but rarely quantifiable or backed by concrete figures. For the BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus in Lübeck, this question was answered in 2013 as part of a Prognos study. The direct and indirect value creation effect of joining excellent research, outstanding teaching, tailored service and a continuously growing economy on one campus within walking distance of each other amounts to 118 million euros. This is made possible by the clever orchestration of complementary competences from the various scientific institutions.

Transfer-OP, University of Lübeck

Transfer-OP, University of Lübeck

In addition, the BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus is also closely linked to the city. Lübeck is a city of science. In 2012 and led by science manager Dr. Iris Klaßen, Lübeck won the title of “City of Science”, a competition by the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wissenschaft. This great combination of BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus, the ‘House of Science’ and strongly science oriented foundations like the Possehl-Stiftung Lübeck and the Sparkassen­stiftung zu Lübeck makes it possible to provide the citizens of the city with scientific inspirations. Support­­ing projects, such as the university’s Schülerakademie (academy for pupils) and the junior campus of the Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, which offer pedagogically well-thought out programmes for pupils who are still in school, are a means to this end. Inte­grating scientific institutions into society in this manner is a certainly fundamental pillar of the BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus.

A second pillar is the successful cooperation of the Luebeck Univ­ersity of Applied Sciences and the University of Lübeck in the fields of biomedical engineering; this has developed into a supra-­­regionally competitive cluster structure over the years. Establishing the competence centre TANDEM (Technology and Engineering in Medicine) was promoted by the ERDF programme and the State Schleswig-Holstein. TANDEM is the umbrella organisation for the research college LUMEN (Luebeck Medical Engineering) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research at which twelve up-and-­coming doctoral candidates are currently writing their theses in a cooperative process between the University of Lübeck and Luebeck University of Applied Sciences.

And last but not least, a third pillar consists of serendipity and people who are open to trusting each other. This situation enables profound cooperation with a high level of interconnectivity to be carried out. For the BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus, these people were the two past presidents of the University of Lübeck and Luebeck Uni­versity of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. med. Peter Dominiak and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Bartels, whose visionary strength made this composition of partners with complementary knowledge and a joint focus on life science possible.

Tumour growth simulation, Institute of Medical Engineering of the University of Lübeck

Tumour growth simulation, Institute of Medical Engineering of the University of Lübeck

Three-dimensional structure of the Zika virus protease

Three-dimensional structure of the Zika virus protease

The University of Lübeck and the Luebeck University of Applied Sciences are at the core of the BioMedTec Wissen­­schaftscampus, which developed from their contribution of content and long-term cooperation in the field of medical technology. The research profile of the University of Lübeck includes the research topics “Infection & Inflammation”, “Brain, Behaviour and Metabolism” and “Biomedical Engineering Science”. The application-oriented research areas of the Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, including “Bio­medical Engineering”, “Industrial Biotechnology” and “Electrical Engineering and Computer Science”, complement the university’s competencies. Two Fraunhofer institutions further extend the scientific spectrum. The Institution for Marine Biotechnology (EMB) is the leader in cell technology and the Fraunhofer MEVIS Project Group is a certified expert on all issues of image registration. The fifth publicly funded research institution to partner up with BioMedTec is the Research Center Borstel, a Leibniz Institute dedicated to infection and lung research.

IncubatorCube on Campus Lübeck

IncubatorCube on Campus Lübeck

In addition to the research institutions, the supporting partners also provide an important contribution to the stability of the network. The deep belief and commitment that strong research is an engine of growth for creating jobs in the region is what makes the network unique. Apart from the foundations in Lübeck, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lübeck and the Technikzentrum Lübeck TZL (technology centre) were the ones to make crucial contributions for the University of Lübeck to win the title of being one of six German EXIST start-up universities. The importance of high-tech spin-off companies as innovators and job drivers cannot be understated in the economic structure of Schleswig-Holstein, which is not marked by large companies. And finally, the cooperation with the ministries of Schleswig-Holstein is excellent for this very reason.

portrait-kaninabotterweckKanina Botterweck
Kanina Botterweck studied physics and business administration and worked in various management positions at Weidmüller and Philips for ten years before transferring to the University of Lübeck in 2010, where she expanded and headed the staff position for technology transfer. She was one of the main developers of the BioMedTec Wissenschaftscampus concept and was responsible for its implementation. In 2016, she changed sides and became an entrepreneur, concentrating fully on the Infinite Science GmbH (www.infinite-science.de), a conference service provider and scientific publishing house.
foto-von-a1-plakat-tzlDr. Raimund Mildner
Dr. Raimung Mildner studied social sciences and economics. After working in industry-related research for several years, he built the TECHNIKZENTRUM Lübeck into one of the largest business incubators in Germany. The UniTranferKlinik is also headed by him and supports the Industrie-in-Klinik platform as well as the testing environment Industrie-4.0 in Lübeck, including FabLab and start-up support in the field of medical products.