€ 105. M for DESY Innovation Factory


Science as a driver for innovation: DESY is building a technology and start-up centre in the heart of the future Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld site. This major project – the first federal facility of its kind in Germany – is entering the implementation phase.

Fotomontage: DESY/R. Schaaf, Atelier Disko
Fotomontage: DESY/R. Schaaf, Atelier Disko
€ 105. M for DESY Innovation Factory

The DESY Innovation Factory will be an innovation hub for new ideas, products and services, connecting scientists, start-ups and established corporations – on almost 11 000 square meters.

“The location is one of a kind, as the DESY Innovation Factory is located in the direct vicinity of unique large-scale research and analytical facilities. Here, we can actively foster cooperation and innovation between research and application,” says Dr. Arik Willner, Chief Technology Officer at DESY. “With the launch of the DESY Innovation Factory project we are strengthening Germany as a location for innovation and high-tech.”

DESY, a national research centre, is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research together with the City of Hamburg. Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek underlines: “The DESY Innovation Factory is a catalyst for driving innovation in Germany. It focuses on two topics that are of central importance for the future of the industrial location and our society: New solutions for the healthcare sector, e.g. by developing promising technologies for medical imaging, and research looking into materials, which can support a circular economy. This will be a centre, which builds strong ties between research and industry and it is here, where we see a real need.”

The call for architectural project tender will be launched at the beginning of 2021. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023, and the DESY Innovation Factory is set to open its doors in 2025. DESY is responsible for planning, the construction process and the operational management for this institution.

Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of the City of Hamburg: “Hamburg is one of the most attractive and economically dynamic regions in Europe. We are an excellent location for founders with new ideas. With the DESY Innovation Factory, a business incubator consisting of basic research, industry and business is being created in Hamburg that is unique in Germany. The innovations that are developed here can be groundbreaking in areas such as materials development, nanotechnology and life sciences.”

With a view to the Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld, Science Senator Katharina Fegebank says: “The DESY Innovation Factory offers founders excellent conditions for putting new ideas from research into practice even faster. A creative and lively place is being built here, bringing together bright minds from science and industry to work together on sustainable solutions for pressing future issues. As an important part of Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld, the DESY Innovation Factory will be another valuable innovation driver for the entire city.”

Behind the concept of the DESY Innovation Factory is the idea of a unique innovation ecosystem on the DESY campus: It will offer founders within deeptech access to highly equipped labs, workshops and offices built on the latest technologies. Other innovation related projects, as well as aspects of science industry cooperation will also benefit from the research network, the expertise of experienced specialists and the outstanding infrastructure of the campus, including the competence centres in structural biology, laser technology and DESY's nano-analytics.

Hamburg's Senator for Economic Affairs, Michael Westhagemann, says: “DESY is already an outstanding research institute, known worldwide. With the Innovation Factory we are actively promoting transfer from science to industry and applications. In this way, DESY will also become a pioneer for the entire value chain from the scientific to the economic sector. I am convinced that even more successful business ideas will develop from this top scientific competence in Hamburg in the future.”

The total costs for construction, installation and the first three to four years of operation of the DESY Innovation Factory are estimated at 105.5 million Euros. Ninety percent of this is borne by the federal government, the other 10 percent by the City of Hamburg. Senator of Economics Westhagemann: “We need to invest in science and innovation.”

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