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Overcoming challenges in the transfer of medical innovations to application
After studying electrical engineering and medicine at the Technical University of Munich, our foundation chairman Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. mult. Eberthart Zrenner successfully spun off several startups. It has always been his goal to turn knowledge gained at scientific institutes into new, helpful products for people. For example, together with numerous partners, he developed a retinal chip that enables blind people to regain their vision to a certain degree. In implementing this idea, he experienced for himself how difficult it is to implement the technology transfer from a scientific invention to a commercially successful medical product. He saw that there is a gap, especially for the early stages of a project, where the application of an idea is tangible, but still far from overcoming the specific obstacles to successfully establish it in the healthcare market. He also identified how much additional non-scientific “know-how” scientists have to acquire and how much courage and perseverance they need in order to successfully spin off their own company.
Incorporation of the foundation
Since Prof. Eberhart Zrenner has always been enthusiastic about the many possibilities offered by the latest technology, molecular biology and microelectronics for new therapies and aids for patients, he remains committed to actively advancing this field as role model. That is why he established the Foundation for Medical Innovations in 2014. Therefore he donated prize money that he himself won over the course of his life through the research and development of medical technology products: the Alcon Research Award, the Karl Heinz Beckurts Award and the Euretina Innovation Award. The Foundation for Medical Innovation is also actively supported by donations from the Tistou and Charlotte Kerstan Foundation, the Hector Foundation and the B.Braun Foundation.
Objective of the foundation
The Foundation’s objective is to enable quantum leaps of innovation in healthcare, to introduce new improved and affordable technologies into practical application, as well as to create networks of engineers, physicians, researchers and companies that develop concrete solutions for breakthrough innovations. In particular young, courageous entrepreneurs who put innovative ideas into practical application, are to be encouraged.
The foundation can look back on its first years with pride, having already achieved a great deal with the establishment of its subsidiary, the Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH (MII), its recent qualification program for start-ups, the “4C Accelerator Tübingen”, and the significant support of the development and execution of the „Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg“ with two further educational programs, the “Medical Innovations Explorer” and the “MedTech Start-up School”. The structured start-ups training has created an effective innovation culture that has already introduced more than 170 people to the world of start-ups and supported 85 projects to achieve a practical application. These successes are one of the reasons why the Foundation for Medical Innovation was nominated for the Rudolf Diesel Medal 2022 in the category “Best Innovation Promotion”. This is the oldest innovation prize in Europe.
Prof. Dr. med. h.c. mult. Eberhart Zrenner
Chairman of the Foundation for Medical Innovation & Advisory Board of MII
“In order to translate new and promising findings from our research laboratories into new cures for our patients as quickly as possible, a vibrant, agile startup culture embedded in healthcare is key to success.“
Christian Dorn, MSc
Program Manager Foundation for Medical Innovations
„We can‘t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used, when we created them.“
Christian Dorn is program manager and startup coach at the Foundation for Medical Innovation. He is a Lean enthusiast and has several years of experience as a project manager in the automotive industry and in strategic design and innovation consulting.
Ingo Hämmerle, MSc
“Innovation happens when ideas become reality.
The MII provides everything to support you on this mission.”
Ingo Hämmerle is Managing Director of the MII and Incubator Invest GmbH, as well as founder and CEO of the startup Fysor GmbH. As an industrial engineer he previously held various management positions e.g. in the in-vitro diagnostics industry. Together with his team, he developed the 4C concept and is a pioneer in Regulatory Thinking®. He is an active member of key networks in the Medical Life Sciences market to follow his mission: paving the way for innovations to reach patients.
Dr. Ramona Samba
Startup Coach MII
“Let‘s get things done!“
Dr. Ramona Samba is a startup coach at Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH. She has 12 years of experience in applied life science research and technology transfer. Furthermore, she is CEO of sync2brain GmbH.
Dr. Henrike Stutzki
Startup Coach MII
“Freedom in mind creates ideas.“
Henrike is a startup coach at Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH with expertise in Clinical Affairs. She has 5 years of experience in the MedTech industry but brings a scientific background in biology and neuroscience as well.
Lea Renz, MA
Marketing-, Event- & Community-Manager MII
„A smart and elaborated realization of innovative ideas is at the heart of every success story.“
Lea Renz is Marketing-, Event- und Community-Manager at the Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH. As a fresh MA-graduate she brings new, media-scientific perspectives to the MII team.
Working Student for Marketing-, Event- & Community-Manager MII
„Be the change you wish to see in the world.“
Anna-Lena Schmidt is a working student for Marketing-, Event- and Community-Management at the Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH. She is currently still studying with a focus on language and media science and supports the team with her new knowledge, ideas and approaches.
Advisory Board MII
„Startups can tremendously boost their success when provided with the right direction and support.“
Philipp Krais is a Certified Public Accountant, Tax Consultant, Certified Valuation Analyst and Partner of the WirtschaftsTreuhand GmbH in Stuttgart.
Peeraporn (May) Cikos
„It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.“
May works in the back office at the Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH. She support our team by handling all the administrative tasks, include accounting, HR, and office management, and therby enabling a smooth front office workflow.