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DESY Innovation Factory: Architects Selected for the Integrated Technology- and Startup Center

The two buildings for the DESY Innovation Factory - on the DESY campus and in the Altona Innovation Park - are taking shape.

The DESY Innovation Factory will concentrate innovation and transfer activities on the DESY campus. The center will open its’ doors in 2025, serving as a bridge between basic research, applied research, and R&D-driven industry with a focus on life science and new materials. One building will be constructed on the DESY campus, the second one will take shape in the Altona Innovation Park. The latter will explicitly represent a touchpoint for and between science and industry.

On the DESY campus, a complex laboratory and office building is being implemented by the architectural firm Heinle, Wischer und Partner. The Berlin-based office has many years of experience in the planning and design of technically demanding buildings, especially for scientific institutions. With a six-story tower at the west end, the building is designed as a counterpart to the DESYUM visitor center and a window to science, connecting the institutes of the University of Hamburg on the north side of the campus with the central research and administration buildings of DESY in terms of urban planning. The design was convincing due to an extremely well-thought-out arrangement of laboratories, offices, and the common areas, taking into account the strict requirements for economic efficiency.

The second building of the DESY Innovation Factory will be located in the Altona Innovation Park, in the immediate vicinity of the DESY campus. At this location, companies in their growth stage, originating from the campus' scientific community will find ideal opportunities. A facade of printed glass panels and an open connection between the floors, which runs diagonally up the main facade of the building from the entrance, make the communication areas visible to the outside, symbolizing the concept of open innovation. At the same time, the DESY Innovation Factory at this location marks an entrance to the Science City Hamburg-Bahrenfeld from the west. The design is implemented by the consortium TRAPEZ Architektur together with Blunck + Morgen Architekten.

Drawing of the DESY Innovation Factory on Campus
Drawing of the preliminary design by the office Heinle, Wischer und Partner for the DESY Innovation Factory building on the research campus, which has optimal solutions for the complex requirements regarding the mixed-use of laboratories, offices and common areas. . (Drawing: DESY / Heinle, Wischer und Partner)

"Thanks to these designs, the DESY Innovation Factory is taking shape. Both plans will provide much-needed space for innovation activities at the interface between industry participants and science This has been solved twice with an open, flexible, and at the same time state-of-the-art architecture," says Dr. Arik Willner, Chief Technology Officer at DESY and responsible for the DESY Innovation Factory. "The DESY Innovation Factory is one center with two buildings strengthening a nationwide innovation ecosystem."

Funding for the DESY Innovation Factory is coming from special federal funds and aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the relevant future industries of life sciences, new materials, and nanoscience. The center addresses start-ups, cooperative projects as well as established companies from the aforementioned fields in equal measure. The total costs amount to 105 million euros.


  • 2022/02/01

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  • innovation@desy.de