Open House Charité BIH Innovation: The New Innovation Site "Am Zirkus" Celebrates Its Opening

After two years of intensive renovation work, the new location of Charité BIH Innovation (CBI) - the joint technology transfer of Charité and BIH - has opened on October 12. Covering a total of 2,500 m2 spread over four floors, the modern, expanded new-work space (Am Zirkus/ Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 3, 10117 Berlin) unites a wide variety of development tools and programs for a sustainable technology transfer. The core element of the new location is a coworking space for innovative health start-ups.

On October 10, Prof. Christopher Baum (Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité/BIH and Director of the Translational Research Department of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Dr. Michael Frieser (Administrative Director of BIH), and Thomas Gazlig (Head of Charité BIH Innovation) opened the new location, followed by tours of the building with presentations by the Charité BIH Innovation Teams Digital Labs, SPARK-BIH, Patents & Licenses and Match & Connect. The new "Idea Office" also celebrated its launch with the opening. Here, employees at Charité and BIH can get free and confidential consulting on Charité BIH Innovation’s offerings on a weekly basis.


Charité BIH Innovation as a driver for sustainable successful technology transfer

Charité BIH Innovation sees itself as a driver for sustainable successful technology transfer of biomedical work results into new technology, products, services and start-ups. Overall, Charité and BIH can look back on a successful track record: CBI's portfolio, which has grown strongly recently, consists of 190 active transfer projects, 141 patent families, 42 license and option agreements, and 35 spin-off startups since 2017. Further projects are in the start-up phase.

Prof. Christopher Baum emphasizes the fundamental relevance of Charité BIH Innovation's offering for the implementation of the political mandate of medical translation at BIH and Charité: "In order for research results to reach the standard care of patients, it is imperative that inventions are protected and supported by the market due to the high effort required until approval. At the same time, new start-ups offer opportunities for Berlin and Germany as a business location through new high-quality jobs."

Thomas Gazlig, Head of Charité BIH Innovation, is pleased about the opening of the site and invites both employees at Charité and BIH, as well as external interested parties, to take advantage of the extensive range of services at the new site: "We want to break new ground in transfer, so that many more research results will have an impact – a social or economic benefit. To achieve this, we are focusing on the early identification of ideas and developing them further. On the other hand, we need to work even harder in the future to simplify, standardize and thus accelerate our innovation processes."

Success with new-work - sustainable innovation support for greater impact

The new innovation site offers extensive support and transfer services and is characterized by its open, modern design. The re-design of the building as a new-work space was undertaken by Kinzo Architects and the implementation of the fit-out by KA Architektur. The architects of Kinzo will also be present at the opening to discuss the new role of New Work in science, innovation, and medical translation together with employees of Charité BIH Innovation.

The event space on the ground floor invites to further education and exchange

To support the innovation community at Charité and BIH, and in close networking with the innovation ecosystem of the Berlin-Brandenburg region, Charité BIH Innovation holds a series of events in the Event Space located on the ground floor. Whether it's idea consultations, lectures, workshops and innovation sprints for internal target groups or series of events - the Event Space is already being actively used.

Floors 1-3 offer space for innovative projects in the field of digital health

With the Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) program, the Digital Labs team, which is spread over three floors, supports employees of Charité including BIH in the development of digital health solutions for the benefit of patients, society and the economy, e.g. based on artificial intelligence/machine learning, robotics, sensor technology, virtual reality and software. The core elements of the program include funding and "protection periods" for clinically active individuals, a structured program for the development of medical products and, if applicable, companies, mentoring by experts in collaboration with the German Accelerator Life Sciences, among others, support for team completion, and access to transfer partners in industry and venture capital. Seven spin-offs have already emerged from the program since its launch in 2017; more are planned for this year. For emerging spin-offs, BIH also offers the option of temporarily renting offices on the third floor until they move out to either their own offices or one of the technology parks in the region.

The "Match & Connect" service is also located on the third floor. This service connects interested Charité/BIH employees from research and clinical practice with national and international highly innovative young companies. The aim is to gain access to expertise, jointly develop new healthcare solutions or clinically validate new products. The successful pilot project is a collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority, which brought together several health technology companies with Charité for joint projects.

The 4th floor acts as new heart of technology transfer

In addition to technical expertise, a sustainable technology transfer must also be able to offer comprehensive legal and business advice. For this reason, CBI brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines and relies on fruitful cooperation with the technology transfer service provider Ascenion. The Patents & Licenses team in particular functions as the core structure of the technology transfer as a contact for invention disclosures and the protection of intellectual property, the drafting, negotiation and review of license and option agreements as well as MTAs and advice on the possibilities of organizational and financial support for application-oriented projects.

Also newly moved in is the SPARK-BIH program. Through its two-phase funding system, innovators in the field of biomedicine can approach the SPARK-BIH team with their ideas at an early stage. Projects are accepted into the program through an annual call and then receive not only milestone-based funding, but also targeted educational opportunities on translation and entrepreneurship, as well as access to SPARK's global network of experts from a wide range of disciplines. 89% of SPARK-BIH participants were able to reach their planned milestones during the program and successfully continue their project after the funding period. The first spin-offs have been established and numerous projects have started clinical trials. SPARK-BIH thus also contributes to the sustainable innovation approach of Charité BIH Innovation.