Euro Exim Bank

Health Economy – Niedersachsen

The BioRegioN is the Regional Health Economy Initiative – Life Sciences Niedersachsen by the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport of Niedersachsen. As a central contact point for Life Sciences in Niedersachsen, it brings together partners from the worlds of business, science and politics.

In Niedersachsen, the BioRegioN accounts for 206 companies in the Life Sciences economy. These comprise 159 biotechnology companies and 47 biomedical technology companies. Niedersachsen is also home to 21 universities and 34 institutions that are actively involved in the Life Sciences.

Niedersachsen has a well-networked biotechnology infrastructure, particularly in the field of red biotechnology. As a result, almost half of the biotechnology companies based in the region are geared towards medical applications. Particularly strong areas include the manufacture of cell and tissue cultures as well as the production of proteins and other molecules and the development of drugs and vaccines against infections and the fight against pathogens.

The corresponding institutions in Niedersachsen, such as the Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM), the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research GmbH (HZI) and TWINCORE, Zentrum für Experimentelle und Klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH, offer extensive expertise from the development phase through to clinical applications.
In order to promote the development of new drug and vaccine candidates from these institutions efficiently along the development chain, and to bring them together under the auspices of a single organisation, the Translationsallianz (TRAIN) was founded.

Besides developing drugs and vaccines the field of biomedical engineering is another focus in Niedersachsen. The Center for Biomedical Engineering, implant research and implant development of Niedersachsen (NIFE) combines natural sciences, engineering and biomedical expertise of the Hannover Medical School, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, the Leibniz University Hannover and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH). The aim is to collaborate on interdisciplinary biomedical engineering research projects and the accelerated implementation of research results into new products and therapies. As a joint research unit the NIFE is working in the priority areas of reconstructive and regenerative medicine. Central pillars are the consolidated Institutes CrossBIT (implant biocompatibility and Immunology) and VIANNA (audio neurotechnology and nanobiomaterials). Based on the Excellence Cluster REBIRTH and two Collaborative Research Centers (CRC 599 and TRR 37) innovative implants, neural prostheses and tissue engineering products among others are developed. Approaches to collaboration arise with various regional companies, such as the Rowiak GmbH (laser medicine), the Innoplant GbR (endoprostheses), the Cochlear GmbH (cochlear implants) or the Syntellix AG (biodegradable screws). Some of these companies are already linked through cooperation with scientific partners of the NIFE.

For the future Niedersachsen’s life science scene is in progress. There are a lot of new centres in Niedersachsen partly already finished partly under construction. There are new centers in almost all fields of life science business. The NIFE that will be finished in 2015 is only one example. Other examples are the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Biostructural Imaging in Neurodegeneration (BIN) in Goettingen. With the construction of this two new establishments Goettingen is receiving a further boost to its expertise in the field of neurosciences – and adding to its already highly respected international reputation.

On the grounds of the Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM), a study centre for medical research that is the only one of its kind in Germany is being built: the Hannover Clinical Research Centre (CRC Hannover).

Two world leading companies established new facilities as well. Otto Bock Healthcare started a training centre, the Centre for Healthcare Technology (ZHT) in Goettingen and Sartorius Stedim Biotech has invested around € 20 million in the expansion of its membrane production facilities.