Development of the Technology Park from 1984 onward

Part 2: A look at the space from 2010 up till the near future

In the last newsletter 3/2016, we traced the development of the Technology Park from 1984 to 2009. As from 2010, the Technology Park has become significantly more involved in start-up consulting and has established the Heidelberg Startup Partners association to encourage an increasing number of evaluated and actively supported start-up projects. As of 2018, once the new Business Development Center as part of the Heidelberg Innovation Park has been established on the Patton Barracks conversion areas, future as well as current companies and tenants will be offered additional space.


Start-up consulting: boost for life sciences and high tech

The economic conditions for the international biotech industry have improved significantly over the last ten years and there has been a noticeable upswing in the depression that followed the turn of the millennium. Although the availability of venture capital in Germany and Europe is still significantly worse than that in the USA or Israel, growth, mergers and start-ups also dominate our high-tech sector, and initial public offerings are again being made. Subsequently, the demand for laboratory and office space, generally unavailable at the moment, will increase. For the Technology Park, this means a necessary extension of established core competencies with a focus on biotech and pharma companies in Neuenheimer Feld as well as in the biological production park on Czernyring.

The opening of the start-up office as the first consulting point for start-ups in the Technology Park has facilitated the discussion of new business ideas, the interchange with market and financial experts, the application for public funds, for example, EXIST Transfer of Research, and the planning of specific proof-of-principle or proof-of-concept projects for both entrepreneurs and consultants since 2013. The Heidelberg Startup Partners brand has developed a platform to support start-ups, specifically those in the pre-seed round, in terms of personnel, space, finance and information, with impressive interim results:

·         the five-strong interdisciplinary team at the TP comprises TP, University Hospital, University and SRH employees

·         sixty own events to raise awareness and support for entrepreneurs, including the Zünder für Gründer event, start-up weekends, the Life Science meets IT hackathon, and lectures and training courses jointly organized with industry partners as well as various educational institutions

·         forty consultations in the first half of 2016 alone

·         the network of technology transfer offices of major Heidelberg research and educational institutions has since worked on projects to significantly increase the number of successful entrepreneurs in Heidelberg

·         more than six million euro in public funding was acquired for 11 science and technology start-up projects and supplemented by subsequent private-sector investment

·         the stabilization of the Life Science Business Development Program, in cooperation with Mannheim’s entrepreneurial network and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for a further three years is planned

·         more than 40 highly qualified jobs in Heidelberg were newly created through the EXIST Transfer of Research and start-up grants

Heidelberg Startup Partners expanded to include a business incubator in Hans-Bunte-Strasse in Pfaffengrund in 2014. Knowledge-based start-ups use 400 square meters of office and event space there. In 2017, Heidelberg Startup Partners wants to extend the consulting services and space available using the name HSP Accelerator.


Fifth TP construction phase on Speyerer Strasse as of 2017

The Technology Park will respond to the growing demand for space, by both established companies and institutions as well as start-ups, with the fifth construction phase as of 2017. The Business Development Center Organic Electronics (BDC OE) will be established on the conversion areas of the former Patton Barracks on Speyerer Strasse and will open its doors at the end of 2018. The BDC is incorporated into the future Heidelberg Innovation Park (HIP). A new district for researchers, developers, producers, entrepreneurs as well as branch offices of established companies – in other words, a very modern economic area – on approximately 17 hectares is planned. The Technology Park as builder, owner and operator of the multi-storey BDC building will create space for innovation within the scope of its slogan “Innovation needs space”. There, around 7,000 square meters of floor space, including charging stations for electric vehicles, bicycle parking spaces, a cafeteria, and co-working and event spaces, will be made available for young, innovative SMEs. The three-storey BDC building will specifically house 31 offices, 17 labs, six dry labs, two clean-room-capable spaces with an area of 242 square meters each, and several conference, meeting and co-working spaces.

The sister building, which is expected to comprise five storeys, each with a gross floor space of 1,800 square meters, is already planned in another construction phase. It should provide established high-tech companies with long-term prospects, since the maximum rental period in the BDC co-funded by EU and public funds is five years. By extending its available space, the Technology Park provides: new and established tenants with the best conditions for growth; a home for new business models and research priorities; as well as added value and jobs in Heidelberg. We consider this commitment an investment in the future and a response to the high dynamism of our research and industrial society.

19.12.2016 - 15:50