Saxony is investing a total of around 90 million euros.
Saxony continues to drive cutting-edge research - not despite, but precisely because of the current crisis and the effects of the global corona pandemic. The budget and finance committee of the Saxon state parliament has now released around 90 million euros, which will flow into more than 25 research projects at universities and non-university institutes over the next few years. These include projects dedicated to the fight against the corona virus as well as projects that point the way to the future.
The research funds consist of funds from the Free State and the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF).
Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow:
"With the investments that are now possible in Saxony's research, we are setting the course for Saxony's scientific and economic success after the Corona crisis. At the same time, they also open up opportunities for us to tackle the root of many current problems, the virus itself. I would like to thank the members of the state parliament for their groundbreaking decision. Saxony has an excellent scientific landscape with outstanding research institutions and universities. This is now our great strength in researching the corona virus and developing future business models and applications for new value creation in Saxony. We don't fall into a state of shock and instead use the opportunities to come out of the crisis stronger than we went in.«
Selected research projects
1: In SARS-CoV2 research, the world is still in its infancy. In addition to the search for a vaccine, it is also important to understand the spread and diseases caused by the corona virus. Continuous and large-scale data collection on the infection process is crucial. The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig (IZI) is working together with the medical faculties of the Universities of Dresden and Leipzig, the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research Leipzig (UFZ) and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (MPI-CBG) record and scientifically evaluate the spread of the virus over an extended period of time as part of long-term studies. The knowledge gained in this way will help in the future to draw conclusions about how society can prepare for pandemic events and react accordingly.
2: The fight against cancer drives scientists around the world. In Saxony, too, researchers are working on new technologies and methods that are intended to significantly improve cancer therapies in the future. At the medical faculty of the Technical University of Dresden, a photon emitter with MRT imaging for cancer research is to be procured with the ERDF funds. Comparable devices are currently only available in Tübingen and Heidelberg. This technology opens up completely new possibilities for cancer therapy. This makes it possible to irradiate tumors with an unprecedented level of precision. However, there is still a considerable need for research for use in everyday clinical practice, which the experts at the university hospital can now tackle.
3: The expansion of electromobility in Germany is key to a successful turnaround in transport. An important building block is the research for the production of battery cells, in which Saxony is also involved. The investment project SaxBattEmpower at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) is also supported with ERDF funds. The research aims to establish sustainable battery cell production for Germany. The focus is on new processes and materials that are both economical and environmentally friendly - from the production to the disposal of a new generation of batteries.
Berlin / Stuttgart – The medical technology industry, especially in Germany and Europe, is subject to a far-reaching process of change: price pressure, digitization and internationalization as well as the tightening of regulatory requirements pose major challenges for medium-sized medtech companies and lead to a significant acceleration in consolidation. Even if the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be conclusively assessed at this time, it is to be expected that the financial scope of action available to the affected companies will be restricted in the future. In order to maintain competitiveness through the development of new technologies and business models and to exploit market opportunities, companies will therefore be more dependent on new investors and mergers in the future.
A technology developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI enables specific, sensitive diagnostics of the dengue virus for the first time. The patented procedure was licensed to two companies and the corresponding antibody tests are now on the market. This allows the four different dengue virus subtypes to be differentiated from one another, as well as the dengue virus from other closely related flaviviruses. These include the Zika and West Nile viruses, the yellow fever virus and the tick-borne encephalitis virus transmitted by ticks. The adaptation of the procedure to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the West Nile virus has already begun