Ideas for Innovation


The Innovation & Transfer (ITT) staff group is responsible for various projects, their planning and implementation. In addition ITT partners in several funded projects. The various projects aim to promote cooperation between science and industry as well as innovation and entrepreneurship or to accelerate the transfer of technology and knowledge from basic research to application.

DESY Innovation Factory

An incubator for entrepreneurs and visionairies in Life Sciences

A centre for start-ups in the emerging fields of life sciences, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and new materials is being created. The "DESY Innovation Factory", a technology and start-up centre, is intended to identify innovations and business opportunities and make them available to society. The start-ups profit from the outstanding infrastructure of the Bahrenfeld research campus, from top-equipped laboratories and offices to tailor-made concepts for development. The costs for construction, installation, and the first years of operation are estimated to be 105.5 million euros, 90% of which will be financed by the German federal government. DESY is responsible for planning and implementation of the project. In order to be able to start operations as soon as possible, the plan is that different facilities will be opened in phases beginning in 2025. More information on DESY Innovation Factory.

"CNF Materials": A DESY initiative for bringing sustainable biomaterials into application

The world's strongest biomaterial known to date was developed at they synchrotron PETRA III in a research collaboration between DESY and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. This material is spun from cellulose nano-fibrils (CNF). The international team of researchers has succeeded in visualizing the production method for biodegradable artificial cellulose fibers. They optimized the production process  so that the threads spun from them are stronger than steel and even spider silk - the latter considered the strongest biological material to date. This new material is based on wood, is biodegradable, transparent, ultra-thin, high-strength and - above all - can be functionalized. Since the nano-fibrils can not only be spun into threads but also processed into ultra-thin layers by the means of spraying, the material is interesting for many applications. Applications vary from sprayable solar cells to thin, scratch-resistant coatings. DESY is already now working to bring this development into application - for industry in construction, in energy generation, for security applications or even for sustainable consumer products.

The Innovation & Technology Transfer department at DESY recognized the opportunities for this at an early stage and is building up an alliance with partners from applied research and industry on this research topic. The goal is to identify concrete applications as quickly as possible and to transfer them into these, for example through joint validation projects.


Scientific software developed in basic research institutes has a high application potential for other research institutes as well as in a diverse range of industrial applications. DESY is working together with German Center for Neurodegenrative Diseases (DZNE), the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and Saarland University for the project "SoftWert" to develop best practices for the transfer of scientific software. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and research. 

More information on SoftWert



TamaTA (short for: Tailor-made for SMEs Trans-national Access) promotes access to snychrotron and neutron radiation sources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the framework of the EU project LEAPS-INNOV. From feasibility studies to experiments and analysis activities, there are several funding opportunities for research and development activities of companies within the EU or associated countries. More information about TamaTA.

The EU-funded pilot project LEAPS-INNOV aims to address key technological challenges for Europe's accelerator-based light sources - synchrotron radiation facilities and free-electron lasers - with their tens of thousands of users. Long-term partnerships between industry and the photon science community will be established to set the stage for long-term industry engagement with the League of European Accelerator-Based Photon Sources (LEAPS). LEAPS was established in 2017 to create synergies among accelerator-based light sources in Europe.

The current call of LEAPS-INNOV runs until July 31, 2022. Applications are open here. For more info, visit Wayforlight.


More information required?

Are you interested in one of the mentioned projects? Just drop us a note or call and one of our colleagues will get in touch.

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