Boost for Berlin’s biotech sector

Campus Berlin-Buch has a new start-up center: The BerlinBioCube was ceremonially opened on October 11, 2023 in the presence of the Governing Mayor.





Good news for life science start-ups in the capital region: 8,000 square meters of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space have been built on the Science and Technology Campus Berlin-Buch. The new BerlinBioCube incubator was officially inaugurated on October 11, 2023. Over the next few weeks, 14 young companies will move into the building, including spin-offs from the Max Delbrück Center, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP). These companies are engaged in the development of innovative gene and cell therapies or novel compounds for the effective treatment of cancer and other common diseases.

At the ceremony, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Kai Wegner, Senator for Economics Franziska Giffey, and Senator for Science Dr. Ina Czyborra emphasized the importance of the Buch research campus and the new incubator. The speeches were followed by tours of the BerlinBioCube and presentations of individual successful start-ups on the campus, such as T-knife, MyoPax, and PROSION Therapeutics.

From science to business

“The BerlinBioCube is an asset to our city. Once again, Berlin is proving to be an innovative location for business, science, and technology – especially for the health and life science industries. Young entrepreneurs benefit from the new incubator on Campus Berlin-Buch. They will be at the forefront of developing new and promising approaches to treating and diagnosing disease. Thanks to the BerlinBioCube, new, cutting-edge, and future-oriented jobs are being created now and in the near future. The inauguration is a good day for the many people in Berlin and around the world who stand to benefit medically from the work being done in Buch,” stated Kai Wegner, Berlin’s Governing Mayor.

Senator for Economics Franziska Giffey commented: “The interplay between science and business, and the city’s vibrant start-up scene provide a strong foundation for our economic growth. We support this development by creating the infrastructure urgently needed for the implementation of innovative ideas and start-ups. The BerlinBioCube in the future location of Buch offers life science start-ups specialized and affordable laboratory space. A total of €48.9 million was invested in the new building, made possible in large part by GRW funds, which my Senate Department uses specifically to boost Berlin’s economic power. This investment strengthens our leading position among biotech locations and is another step on our way to becoming the number one innovation location in Europe.” The senator also emphasized that the state plans to create additional space for growing biotech and medtech companies in the immediate vicinity of the campus.

Senator for Science Dr. Ina Czyborra remarked: “Companies emerge from Campus Berlin-Buch science: The results of excellent research are not only published in high-ranking journals, but also form the basis for patents and innovative, marketable products and services. The groundwork is often the result of decades of research. Examples include T-knife, MyoPax, and PROSION Therapeutics. We are delighted that our funding programs are paving the way for groundbreaking therapeutic approaches to enter the application phase. Another key factor is strong entrepreneurship. In an entrepreneurial culture, scientists have the courage to spin off, break new ground, convince investors, and build a successful team.”

Network for Entrepreneurs

The BerlinBioCube offers state-of-the-art laboratories, offices, shared spaces, and conference rooms on five floors. The concept places emphasis on creating a vibrant building: “Short distances and creative exchange are the hallmarks of the campus. The research buildings are always designed to include spaces that allow for chance encounters. As the building owner, we have created such spaces in the BerlinBioCube to facilitate networking among the founders. The incubator will also host its own ‘Talk in the Cube’ event series, giving the young teams the opportunity to address exciting topics and engage in professional development,” stated Dr. Christina Quensel, Managing Director of Campus Berlin-Buch GmbH. The campus is an ideal environment for building networks and initiating joint projects: Start-ups can benefit from experienced biotech and medtech companies, research facilities, and infrastructure.

The building was designed by the Munich-based architectural firm doranth post architekten. Construction began in September 2020. After three years of construction, the BerlinBioCube was completed in October 2023, marking the end of the BiotechPark’s fourth construction phase.

Campus Berlin-Buch GmbH is now pushing ahead with the development of a five-hectare site in the immediate vicinity of the campus, on Karower Chaussee. “Start-ups grow up, they need production space. Keeping them on campus means securing jobs in Berlin,” remarked Dr. Quensel.


Background information

Campus Berlin‐Buch

Campus Berlin-Buch is a modern science, health, and biotechnology park. The unique features of the campus include a clear focus on biomedicine and the proximity and close collaboration of research institutions, clinics, and biotech companies. Research focuses on the molecular causes of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as interdisciplinary basic research for the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics, patient-oriented research, and the commercialization of biomedical research results. With its excellent research institutions and companies in the BiotechPark, Campus Berlin-Buch has outstanding potential for innovation and growth. The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) jointly run by the MDC and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité are just some of the institutions that conduct basic research here. Since 1992, more than €600 million of public funds from the EU, the German Federal Government, and the State of Berlin have been invested in Campus Berlin-Buch to enhance these synergies.

BiotechPark Berlin‐Buch

With 75 companies, 850 employees, and around 45,000 square meters of office and laboratory space (including the BerlinBioCube), the BiotechPark in Berlin’s Buch neighborhood is one of Germany’s leading technology parks. Spin-offs in the life sciences sector will find ideal conditions here, from technology transfer services to industry-specific laboratory and office space. The local life science community enables direct exchange and joint projects. The BiotechPark makes a major contribution to the dynamic development of the Berlin-Brandenburg biotechnology region and particularly strengthens the industrial health economy.

Campus Berlin‐Buch GmbH

As the operating company of Campus Berlin-Buch, Campus Berlin-Buch GmbH (CBB) is the partner for all companies and institutions located on campus. Its main tasks are to aid biotech companies – from start-ups to mature businesses – in settling on campus and to provide them with assistance and support. The principal shareholder of CBB, with 50.1%, is the State of Berlin. The other shareholders are the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (29.9%) and the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. on behalf of the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (20%).

Max Delbrück Center

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (Max Delbrück Center) is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions. Max Delbrück, a Berlin native, was a Nobel laureate and one of the founders of molecular biology. At the Max Delbrück Center’s locations in Berlin-Buch and Berlin-Mitte, researchers from some 70 countries analyze the human system – investigating the biological foundations of life from its most elementary building blocks to systems-wide mechanisms. By understanding what regulates or disrupts the dynamic equilibrium in a cell, an organ, or the entire body, we can prevent diseases, diagnose them earlier, and stop their progression with tailored therapies. Patients should benefit as soon as possible from basic research discoveries. The Max Delbrück Center therefore supports spin-off creation and participates in collaborative networks. It works in close partnership with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the jointly run Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité, and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK). Founded in 1992, the Max Delbrück Center today employs 1,800 people, and is funded 90 percent by the German Federal Government and 10 percent by the State of Berlin.

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)

How do diseases develop? Which drugs can specifically target and intervene in the biochemistry of the body? These questions are central to the work at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Germany’s only non-university research institute for molecular pharmacology. Chemists, biologists, pharmacologists, physicists, and physicians collaborate closely to lay the basis for the development of future drugs. The goal of basic research at the FMP is to identify new bioactive molecules and to characterize their interaction with their biological targets in cells or organisms. Such molecules serve as tools for basic biomedical research and provide starting points for the development of novel compounds and strategies for the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease.
With 250 employees, the institute is a member of the Leibniz Association and part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin.

Locations of the future in Berlin

Locations of the future (Zukunftsorte) are locations where network structures between science and business exist or are to be created. The actually practiced exchange and the cooperation of business, research, and technology institutions promote the innovativeness and competitiveness of the regional economy. Locations of the future generate growth based on forward-looking products through the value-adding integration of science and business. The Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises supports this affiliation, which is unique in Europe, with a joint office for Berlin’s locations of the future.

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The “Establishment of the BerlinBioCube Start-up Center on Campus Berlin-Buch” measure was funded by the federal and state governments under the joint task “Improvement of the regional economic structure” (GRW).