News from the BioCity Campus

New call for funding from February 16: Saxony continues validation of promising research results

Saxon validation funding is aimed at improving technology transfer between research and industry. From February 16, 2023, universities and non-university research institutions based in Saxony can again apply for a grant of 90 percent of the costs for projects to validate research results. Funding is available for projects with a project period of up to 18 months and eligible expenses/costs of up to EUR 250.000. Application deadline is April 13, 2023.

Unlike the first call for funding, this time the number of permitted applications per research institution is limited. This should encourage research institutions even more to deal with the selection and thus the evaluation of promising research results. In addition, even greater importance is attached to the evaluation criterion »prospects of success for the exploitation and exploitation potential«.

Economics Minister Martin Dulig: »Saxon validation funding has been very well received. With this program, the Free State plays a pioneering role among the federal states. Innovation only occurs when new knowledge is implemented in products or services. I'm glad that we'll be able to continue providing funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the coming years to uncover the potential for exploiting new knowledge. I call on all scientific institutions in the Free State of Saxony to participate in the new call for funding.«

The Saxon Development Bank – Development Bank – (SAB) is the approval body and point of contact for advice and applications. The call for funding and further information can be found on the SAB website. Information on the support of the selected projects by futureSAX, including the presentation of some of the projects that have been supported so far, can be found on the futureSAX GmbH website.

Balance sheet: First call for validation funding

Saxon research institutions submitted 29 project proposals to the first call for funding on October 2020, 144. Of these, 25 projects and three smaller orientation projects were funded with a total of five million euros. With the funded projects, a spin-off is sought in twelve cases, an industrial cooperation in seven cases, licensing in three cases, protection of property rights in two cases and the establishment of a joint venture.

The projects are accompanied by futureSAX GmbH. Around 70 individual interviews were held with the project teams funded in the first selection round and several events, some online, were offered. 16 transfer and industry experts supported the teams with qualified feedback on planning the utilization of the research results.

Marina Heimann, Managing Director of futureSAX GmbH, confirms: »As the innovation platform of the Free State of Saxony, we are pleased to support the selected teams in validating their research results and thus strengthen the transfer landscape and thus the entire culture of innovation in Saxony. This not only brings more research results into practical implementation, but also strengthens established medium-sized companies, which ultimately secure competitive advantages for themselves through the marketable implementation of technologies and model projects.«

Examples of funded projects from the first call for funding

CleanPlasma – Automated blood plasma collection for medical liquid biopsy | Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW)

The CleanPlasma technology of the Leibniz Institute IFW Dresden enables the automated separation of cells, vesicles or other disease-specific biomarkers from body fluids such as blood, urine or saliva using high-frequency sound waves. The new method simplifies the previously very complex sample pre-treatment and enables e.g. B. an efficient, automated and gentle purification of blood plasma for biomarker-based diagnostics.

dr Stefanie Hartmann (IFW): »With our CleanPlasma project, we were among the first 25 teams in the Saxon validation funding. With the financial support of the SMWA, we were not only able to significantly increase the maturity of our technology, but also establish user contacts and fine-tune our business model - and thus take the next steps towards the planned company foundation.«

I&Q – Quantum Enabling Solutions: Validation of Solid State Quantum Technologies | University of Leipzig

The aim of the project is the implantation of optimized and customer-specific quantum chips, which form the basic building block of various quantum technologies. For this purpose, I&Q uses a special activation system that optimizes the manufacturing process of solid-state quantum bits and thus ensures an increase in efficiency.

dr Tobias Herzig (SaxonQ GmbH): “The validation funding allowed us to evaluate the complex equipment needed to manufacture quantum systems as standalone products. The knowledge gained from this flowed into the spin-off of SaxonQ and helps the company to be able to operate successfully on the market.«

TiO2 nanotube scaffolds: upscaling and establishment for diagnostics and therapy | Leibniz Institute for Surface Modification Leipzig (IOM)

With the aim of commercializing titanium dioxide scaffolds (scaffolds) for innovative tissue culture, the project upscaled the production process. Together with the first pilot customers, the profitability of the product was tested and the nanotube scaffolds for different types of tissue were checked and further developed.

Sabrina Friebe (IOM): »The validation funding is unique in Germany and offers various advantages, which are advantageous in the early phase of technology transfer: firstly, short processing times, secondly, an application that is easily accessible and manageable in scope, and thirdly, the possibility of checking different transfer strategies. Thanks to the support and close support from futureSAX, we were able to significantly expand our network and underpin our transfer project with further technological developments and business concepts.«

Background: validation funding

On August 10, 2020, the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport (SMWA) passed the guidelines for funding the validation of research results (RL validation funding) and revised them on January 17, 2023.

The first call for funding took place on October 29, 2020. This enabled research institutions to submit project proposals with expenditure of up to 250.000 euros and a duration of 18 months (»individual project module«).

The second call for funding in the so-called “program module” took place on July 21, 2021. Saxon universities and universities of applied sciences were eligible to apply. Projects were funded in which the research institutions set up a systematic validation management system and can independently decide on the selection of research results to be validated within a defined budget (project period of up to 48 months). The SMWA provides a funding budget totaling four million euros for this purpose. The applications from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the Dresden University of Applied Sciences and the Technical University of Dresden were successful.

The third call for funding will be published in the Saxon Official Gazette on February 16, 2023 and is again part of the so-called »Individual Project Module«, in which the research institutions apply for funding for the validation of individual research results. The basis for the funding decision in the competition process are the project outlines to be submitted online by interested parties via the SAB funding portal. A committee including representatives of the SMWA, the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism and the SAB decides on the project outlines and the request for the submission of an additional formal application for funding.

Funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In the funding period from 2021 to 2027, 60 million euros from the ERDF technology funding area are planned for validation funding. The SMWA is planning two calls per year in the individual project module by 2027 and two further calls in the program module by 2025, with a budget of five million euros per call being calculated.

Appointment notice: Saxon state prize for transfer

With the Saxon State Prize for Transfer, which has been awarded every two years since 2017, the Free State of Saxony honors outstanding providers of knowledge and technology and gives visibility to model transfer projects that are already being implemented. The application portal for technology providers and technology mediators at is still open until March 8, 2023.

Source: Press release SMWA from February 15.02.2023, XNUMX

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