Top Cluster Competition

01The winner

The biotechnology and medicine cluster BioRN in Heidelberg-Mannheim is a centre of excellence for medicine in Germany; it focuses on the development and application of personalised medicine. The cluster, an amalgamation of hospitals, institutes and companies, was one of five winners in the Germany’s Top Cluster Competition of 2008, and was awarded EUR 40 million in funding. 

02The structure

Four joint projects formed the core of further cluster development. All are based on the thematic focus "Cell-Based and Molecular Medicine".

  • The targeted development of biopharmaceutical projects from early-stage to industrial maturity is promoted in the BioRN Incubator.
  • The BioRN Stemcell Network bundles and strengthens the scientific excellence of tumour stem cell research in the region. 
  • The BioRN Biomarker Center brings together research groups who characterise molecular biomarkers for the development of new diagnostics. Personalised medicine is supported by a targeted diagnosis combined with an individual therapy.

BioRN Academy’s task is the recruitment of talented life sciences graduates and their further education. 

03The task

After the overall award, concrete projects had to be applied for. These had to be structured in terms of content, calculated with all resources and prepared for administrative processing by the project sponsor. Three criteria were decisive for this contract:

  • The substantiation of the individual projects had to be done with as little effort as possible from the companies and institutes. 
  • The application for the individual projects had to meet specific rules and specifications appropriate to the Top Cluster Competition. 

 The application had to be completed in an extremely short time to ensure a synchronous start of all projects.

04The implementation

For this task, I set up and led a team of freelance development consultants with triple expertise. All of them had biology/medical/pharmaceutical training, were familiar with the economic conditions of medicine and biotechnology and had experience that made them virtuosos in the use of specific application tools for German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) projects.