Innovative diagnostic methods for pharmaceutical and biomedical technology

From Reutlingen to Israel: technology transfer beyond borders

Mediagnost, an SME based in Reutlingen, owes its success to its close ties with research facilities at the University of Tübingen. The company, which develops diagnostic solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical and biomedical technology industries, is closely involved in research projects which aim to develop ever more efficient and sensitive diagnostic methods using the latest technology. Thanks to the support of Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, Mediagnost was able to promote its products across Europe and make contact with technology firms and research institutes from other countries. Many of these initial contacts have now blossomed into fruitful partnerships.

Mediagnost develops, manufactures and markets testing systems for a range of applications in infection diagnostics and endocrinology. The company offers a broad range of services, from the production of antibodies, proteins and viruses to identifying samples in assays and packaging raw materials.

Thanks to its proximity to the University of Tübingen and a myriad of links with other research institutes, Mediagnost is in a position to bring technological developments from the frontiers of science straight to the customer – technology transfer par excellence. As Mediagnost is keen to maintain international partnerships, the company has been collaborating with institutes such as Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrums (SEZ) for a number of years. SEZ offers services which help firms like Mediagnost benefit from international technology transfer and EU research funding.

For Dr. Andrea Normann, Product Line Manager for Molecular Diagnostics at Mediagnost, the chance to join business delegations to Romania and Israel was one too good to miss. In both countries, SEZ organized meetings and training sessions for female entrepreneurs interested in forming partnerships with firms from Germany and other EU countries. To make this happen, SEZ collaborated with the Romanian Chamber Of Commerce – which provided organizational assistance on the ground in Romania – and with a research institute in Israel. The trips were financed by the European Commission as part of WE-Mentor, an EU project coordinated by SEZ.

The trips gave Dr. Normann the opportunity to introduce her company to female entrepreneurs and researchers in Romania and Israel, and present promising ideas for future research partnerships. Confidential one-on-one talks with female representatives of industry and research provided the perfect opportunity to discuss potential research topics in more detail and elaborate future partnerships. Normann was also able to present herself as a role model to female colleagues in Romania and Israel, and to
showcase Mediagnost as a textbook example of innovation in business.

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum organized the trip to Israel for female scientists as part of the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology 2008, an initiative spearheaded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The German-Israeli Year aimed to showcase bilateral scientific partnerships between the two countries, highlighting their excellence and diversity. Furthermore, it aims to promote Germany as a research location in Israel. Andrea Normann was one of 16 female scientists and academics from the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony who traveled to Galilee in the north of Israel in November 2008. Spanning a range of fields including biology, medicine, social science, economics and humanities, the German experts presented research proposals and conducted over 60 discussions with female Israeli colleagues.

Just a month later in December 2008, the Israeli researchers visited Germany, including a visit to Mediagnost. This gave Andrea Normann the chance to highlight her company’s research links to the University Children’s Hospital Tübingen and the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI). She was also able to engage in more in-depth talks with members of the Israeli delegation and discuss specific project ideas.

As a result of the trips and the contact opportunities they offered, Mediagnost and the University of Tübingen were able to sign four cooperation agreements with partner institutes in Israel. The trips have also led to a joint application for an EU project between the University of Tübingen and the Galilee Technology Center (MIGAL), allowing the two institutions to exchange students and learn from each other. Mediagnost also established promising contacts with Maccabi Group Holding in Tel Aviv, opening the door to possible future partnerships concerning the development of diagnostic methods.


Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner
Dr. Petra Püchner
Valerie Bahr

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (Stuttgart)

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