After a strategy process lasting several months and a multi-stage selection procedure, it has been decided: "Leibniz Health Technologies" is one of the three research alliance concepts approved by the Leibniz Senate to receive funding by the association over the next four years. The network will research and implement technologies that, for example, improve the molecular diagnosis of chronic respiratory diseases and cancer or enable new forms of plasma-medical wound therapy. Likewise, new multimodal imaging methods are to be combined with "machine learning" approaches and bioactive materials are to be developed that release active substances in a targeted manner.
With the approval of 18 March 2021, the Senate, as the highest Leibniz body, follows the recommendation of the "Senate Committee on Strategic Projects" (SAS). A total of six concept sketches were selected by the presidium in advance and finally submitted to the SAS as a full proposal. The evaluation of the concepts was based on the assessment of external experts and was also derived from the internal, strategic discussion and evaluation.
Interdisciplinary research as the key strength of the Leibniz Association
"I am pleased that with the research alliance 'Leibniz Health Technologies' we are addressing a topic with great scientific and social relevance. Interdisciplinary research of health technologies within a well-defined cooperative structure will thus develop into a brand essence of the Leibniz Association," explains Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association.
The Alliance spokesperson Professor Jürgen Popp (Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies) adds: "The overarching goal of Leibniz Health Technologies is to integrate existing and new medical technologies from the member institutes into medical workflows. With the new funding, we will expand the application fields of our technologies and further develop them into mature systems."
In the coming months, several new projects will be launched in the five competence areas of the alliance - "Point-of-Care Technologies", "Biomarkers", "Bioactive Materials", "Plasma Medicine" and "Imaging Methods" - which combine the strengths of the 14 participating Leibniz Institutes and the two spin-offs. The individual research projects will be financed by additional funding as well as by the collaborative members' own funds. The focus of the projects is on accelerating the translation of Leibniz technologies. To this end, there is extensive dialogue with various interested parties from the healthcare sector and with commercial enterprises that are driving development through to the approved medical product.