Project at the interface of biology and data science wins over jury

A project from the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) has emerged victorious in the Innovation Contest 2023 of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). The technology named XR (eXtended Reality) microscopy aims to upgrade existing microscopes to enable interactive microscopy in 3D, thereby creating numerous possibilities for basic and applied research. The idea proposed by CASUS scientists Dr. Ulrik Günther and Jan Tiemann prevailed among 15 submissions coming from a broad spectrum of HZDR institutes. The winners received a certificate and prize money of 1,500 euros at the HZDR Transfer Day on January 23, 2024.

XR microscopy is being driven forward by Günther and Tiemann together with two experts from the CASUS founding partners Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) Dresden and Technische Universität (TU) Dresden: Prof. Ivo Sbalzarini (MPI-CBG) and Prof. Matthew McGinity (TU Dresden). The scientists are currently examining how the further development of the idea can be implemented in the best possible way.

The HZDR Innovation Contest has established itself as a successful instrument to scout ideas for the technology transfer to industry and society. Since 2017, HZDR has been inviting its researchers to take part in the competition. This year’s second place went to Ivan Condriuc from the HZDR Institute of Fluid Dynamics with his idea for a gas-liquid swirl separator for the production of green hydrogen. Third place was awarded to Dr. Rohan Jain from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, along with his colleagues Aratrika Ghosh and Shalini Singh for their project “Siderosensor”, a biosensor for measuring the metal content in industrial wastewater from the semiconductor industry. The award ceremony took place on January 23 as part of the HZDR Transfer Day, an event highlighting the progress, the achievements and challenges of technology transfer at HZDR for the first time.

At the 7th HZDR Innovation Contest, a total of 15 commercialization ideas (including three CASUS submissions) were presented to a five-member jury at the beginning of December 2023. The teams then spent a day in workshops, each supervised by a mentor, preparing a seven-minute presentation on the technology, market potential and competitive situation, which they presented at the end.