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(Foto: C. Föhr, MPI für Kernphysik)

Knowledge transfer

Diverse and dynamic

As locations for research, Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region are characterized by an ethos of close collaboration between science and business. This is evident in the large number of interdisciplinary research centers in the region, for example Heidelberg Technology Park, and the SkyLabs development in the city’s new Bahnstadt district.

In the Industry on Campus project, Heidelberg has committed to collaborating over an extended period with companies and research and educational establishments from across the region. The aim of the project is to improve knowledge sharing between basic and applied research bodies, for example in the collaborative research partnership InnovationLab, which was set up to develop new solutions in the up-and-coming field of organic electronics, for example for the production of semi-transparent organic solar cells. The InnovationLab is part of the Forum Organic Electronics leading-edge cluster, which received an award from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and which is funded by the universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim and the companies BASF, Merck, Freudenberg & Co., Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Roche Diagnostics and SAP.

Since 2008, Germany’s biggest image processing center – the Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI) – has also had its headquarters located in Heidelberg. Here, some 80 scientists conduct basic research in the field of image analysis. The Nikon Imaging Center in Heidelberg provides excellent conditions for work in the area of optical microscopy. And at the Catalysis Research Laboratory (CaRLa), postdoctoral researchers from the University work side-by-side with BASF employees.

The region has a strong biotechnology sector thanks to the high concentration of businesses active in the life sciences here. The Biotech Cluster Rhine-Neckar has some 200 members including businesses, research bodies and public authorities.