Enabling accessible, personalized, affordable and equitable medicine for all people is one of the greatest societal challenges of the 21st century. The newly established Center for Medicine Innovation wants to address this challenge. A project team of internationally renowned scientists was selected to develop a viable concept for such a large-scale research centre in the former coal region of Central Germany.
In August 2020, the »Structural Strengthening Act for coal regions« (StStG) came into effect as a structural aid measure for the coal-mining areas and sites affected by the coal phase-out. In order to create new perspectives for the coal regions, the establishment of new institutionally funded large-scale research centres in Saxon Lusatia and the Central German coalfield is planned.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Free State of Saxony and the State of Saxony-Anhalt are providing up to 170 million euros to coal regions annually in the long term as part of the Structural Strengthening Act.
In the ideas competition »Knowledge creates perspectives for the region!« About 100 drafts were submitted, which were evaluated by a commission of experts.
On July 23, 2021, the “Center for Medicine Innovation” concept was awarded the contract for a six-month conception phase in which a comprehensive concept is to be developed. This must then prevail in the final selection against two other ideas.
The proposed center is intended to promote the digitization and personalization of medical care through interdisciplinary research. To this end, researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, life sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and information technology, will work together to create digital value chains for the healthcare sector.
With the core technologies of artificial intelligence, big data, software-based drug modeling, cell and gene therapies as well as intelligent networked medical technology systems, a fundamental change in health care is to be initiated beyond the region of Central Germany. By bringing together basic and applied research as well as close cooperation with suppliers and companies in the region, new technologies are to be developed and efficiently transferred into application. The concept is flanked by new training programmes, study programmes and graduate programmes in order to train specialists directly on site in the region.
The envisaged large-scale research centre has the potential to further expand Central Germany as a biotechnology location, to keep it internationally competitive, to create long-term job prospects for the region and thus to create an appropriate balance for structural change.
Scientists involved in the sketch:
- Prof. Dr. Jens Meiler | University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Thomas Neumuth | University of Leipzig and University of Applied Sciences Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Ulrike Köhl | Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, University of Leipzig and Hannover Medical School
- Prof. Dr. Erhard Rahm | University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Annette Beck-Sickinger | University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Sandra Ciesek | University Hospital and Goethe University Frankfurt/Main
- Prof. Dr. Oskar Hallatschek | University of Leipzig and University of California, Berkeley
- Prof. Dr. Antje Körner | University of Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig AöR
- Prof. Dr. Gabriele Meyer | Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Prof. Sayan Mukherjee PhD | Duke University, Durham and University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Uwe Platzbecker | University of Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig AöR
- Prof. Dr. Andrea Sinz | Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Prof. Dr. Ana Zenclussen | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig and University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Stephan Schilling | Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology
- Prof. Dr. Florian Lordick | University of Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig AöR
- Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hindricks | Heart Center Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig AöR
- Prof. Dr. Jörg Bagdahn | Anhalt University of Applied Sciences
Source: Press release Fraunhofer IZI of 23.07.2021