Ground-breaking ceremony for innovation centre in Bahrenfeld

Start of construction of the incubator for high-tech start-ups, a joint project of the City of Hamburg, DESY and the University of Hamburg, is a first milestone for Science City Bahrenfeld.

Hamburg's First Mayor, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, the Second Mayor and Senator for Science, Katharina Fegebank, the Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors, Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Helmut Dosch, the President of the University of Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Dieter Lenzen, and DESY's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Arik Willner, today started the construction of the Innovation Center with a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony.

The Innovation Center on the research campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld is a joint project of DESY, the University of Hamburg and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and will give Science City Bahrenfeld a face as a high-tech location in the west of Hamburg. When completed at the beginning of 2021, it will offer around 2600 square meters of offices and laboratory space for business start-ups and start-ups that correspond to the research fields on the campus. The Innovation Centre is operated by the Innovation Centre Forschungscampus Hamburg-Bahrenfeld GmbH with Arik Willner as managing director.

"The Senate is committed to ensuring that science and innovative companies come together and form successful innovation chains. The innovation centre at DESY is part of the future Science City Bahrenfeld and an important project of our science strategy. Smart minds from start-ups and innovative companies can work here with excellent scientists and develop new ideas," said Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher.

Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors and Chairman of the Shareholders' Meeting of the GmbH, adds: "We already have several young companies in the high-tech sector on the DESY site who are eagerly awaiting the completion of this building. It is our goal to add more start-ups with roots on the research campus, whether they are from DESY, the university or one of the other institutes, by the time they move in".

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Dieter Lenzen, President of the University of Hamburg: "Science that no one knows benefits no one. That's why we, DESY and the University, together with the city, have decided to found an innovation center that will pave the way for this: To draw entrepreneurial consequences from scientific results."

The new innovation center will be built next to the Centre for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL) and will be accessible via the Luruper Chaussee at the level of Stadionstraße. Around 2600 square meters of floor space are divided into office and meeting rooms, laboratories, co-working areas and a small cafeteria. The City of Hamburg is supporting the construction costs of approx. EUR 17.5 million with a grant of EUR 14.2 million. The remaining 3.3 million euros will be borne by DESY.

"The research ecosystem on the Bahrenfeld research campus and the open scientific culture cultivated here provide an extremely fertile environment for innovations and the transfer of ideas and innovations from science and teaching to industry. With the Innovation Center, we support the fact that these can be used more quickly not only for founders, but also for Hamburg and our society," Dr. Arik Willner emphasizes the importance of such a start-up center.

The Innovation Village, which opened in February, currently offers young start-ups office space, workshop and laboratory space. In addition to the Innovation Centre and the DESY Innovation Village, DESY is currently planning an integrated technology and start-up centre on behalf of the Federal Government and with the support of the City of Hamburg. This will focus on start-ups from the fields of life science, biotechnology and nanotechnology as well as new materials and provide the necessary complex laboratory infrastructure with all safety aspects for these areas.

A long-term vision is the close networking of the science location with industrial companies for which the scientific excellence on campus - including two clusters of excellence of the University of Hamburg - represents a major advantage. Such a resilient and well networked system strengthens the innovative strength both in science and in the entrepreneurial sector.