• The BerlinBioCube at Campus Berlin-Buch, Brain City Berlin

    The BerlinBioCube is open

Brain City Berlin has a new start-up centre: The BerlinBioCube on the Campus Berlin-Buch includes 8,000 square metres of modern laboratory and office space for start-ups in the life sciences sector. 14 start-up companies are the first tenants. They develop innovative gene and cell therapies or active substances to fight cancer, for example.

Yesterday was the day: The new start-up centre on the grounds of the Campus Berlin-Buch was officially opened after three years of construction. With its 14,000 square metres of gross floor area, the BerlinBioCube completes the BiotechPark-Buch located on the campus, which is one of Germany’s leading technology parks with 75 companies, 850 employees as well as  laboratories and offices on 45,000 square metres of gross floor area. The new start-up centre for start-ups in the life science sector was planned and built because health sciences are the focus of the Zukunftsort (future location) Berlin-Buch.

The facade of the cube has a symmetrical grid: Five rows of equally sized windows arranged one above the other form closed glass surfaces on each side, broken only by horizontal and running light lines. The corners of the five-storey building are provided with shade by textile fabric. This is important because inside the BerlinBioCube there are not only offices, but also laboratory rooms. Light sometimes needs to be carefully dosed there. The first tenants of the new start-up centre have already been announced: 14 young companies will move into the BerlinBioCube in the coming weeks – including spin-offs from the research institutions Max Delbrück Center, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the eLeibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekolare Pharmakologie (FMP), which are also located on the site. T-knife, a young biopharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics to fight cancer, is one of them, as is MyoPax, which is working on using cell and genetic technology to regenerate muscles, and  PROSION Therapeutics, whose active ingredients could, among other things, help prevent cell metastasis.

“Young founders will benefit from the new start-up centre on the Campus Berlin-Buch,” said the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner. “They will bring new, promising approaches for the therapy and diagnostics of diseases into application.” Berlin is once again proving to be an innovative business, science and technology location, especially for the health industry and life sciences. Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey emphasised that the investment in the new building on the Campus-Buch strengthens Berlin’s leading position among European biotech locations. She particularly emphasised the importance of knowledge transfer for the location, which is also characteristic of Berlin’s eleven future locations. “The interplay between science and business and the great dynamism of the start-up scene in our city are an essential foundation for our economic growth,” said Giffey. Senator for Higher Education and Research, Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Ina Czyborra underlined the importance of funding programs for Berlin as a location for innovation and its start-up culture. This is because the construction of the BerlinBioCube was funded with Federal and State funds as part of the joint task “Improvement of the regional economic structure” (GWR).

However, the concept of the BerlinBioCube does not rely solely on research and development. It is also about networking: The exchange between the start-ups themselves and with other companies and research institutions on the site is to be stimulated, as Dr. Christina Quensel, Managing Director of Campus Berlin-Buch GmbH, explained. Meeting areas on the five floors and a large, divisible conference room on the ground floor are provided for this purpose. The new event series “Talk in the Cube” is also planned especially for the young teams renting in the new start-up centre.

The opening of the BerlinBioCube marks the completion of the fourth construction phase of the Berlin-Buch BioTechpark. In the next step, five hectares in the immediate vicinity of the campus are to be developed into production areas. “Start-ups become Grown-ups, and they need production space. Keeping them at the location means securing jobs for Berlin,” says Quensel.

One of the first tenants in the BerlinBioCube is Dr. med. Verena Schöwel-Wolf, Managing director and co-founder of the start-up MyoPax. Above all, she is looking forward to the close exchange with other biotech companies. “There will be synergies,” says the founder, “and we will continue to gain visibility together by means of this density.” (vdo)

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