New network alliance for innovation
The network "Innovative Prevention and Intervention Strategies against Pandemics" - short InnoPIP – is about to start its work. DESY is a partner of the program, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
InnoPIP aims to develop novel ideas for curbing the spread of worldwide pandemics caused by emerging pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. In the past, antibiotics, vaccination programs and adapted hygiene rules have already succeeded in containing devastating epidemics or even largely eradicating their pathogens. However, the globalized world of today, poses new challenges for containing epidemics and sustaining public health. The current coronavirus pandemic makes puts this into focus.
Innovative technologies are the key to respond better and faster to potential threats, these can range from new rapid tests, apps for risk analysis and information dissemination, disinfectants, diagnostic techniques, protective clothing and, of course, new vaccines and antibiotics.
The network aims to pool the innovative forces in this field, primarily by bringing together small and medium-sized enterprises, so-called SMEs, with the appropriate research institutions. Funded through the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM), the program is organized by EurA AG, a service provider for the management of high-tech networks. Benefitting from mutual projects in the network, the partners can concentrate on developing their new technologies.
DESY, for example, joins the network with its unique research infrastructure of highly complex particle accelerators such as PETRA III, where new materials and substances can be studied at molecular resolution and during processes. This, for example, can significantly contribute to develop new active substances faster than usual. "The current pandemic has shown how important DESY’s research infrastructures are – for example, for decoding proteins. Our staff is constantly working to develop this research technology," reports Dr. Arik Willner, Chief Technology Officer at DESY. "One major research focus is the development of so-called compact accelerators in the long run these should enable companies to conduct such investigations in-house."
The InnoPIP network is open to other collaborators from research and companies with a background in Life Sicenes. Anyone wishing to join forces with renowned partners such as DESY, the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research HZI can find all the necessary information at www.innopip.de.