HPC News

Helmholtz Enterprise Grant to foster spin-off ambitions at Helmholtz Pioneer Campus

Thomas Bischof

München - Berlin. May 10th, 2020

An international team led by Dr. Thomas Bischof, consisting of scientists and clinicians based at Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, has secured a prestigious ‘Helmholtz Enterprise’ grant, which will support the translation of laboratory technologies into the clinic. 


The Grant will enable the team to accelerate market entry of their new medical device for non-invasive diagnostics of the ear, nose and throat. ‘Our miniaturized tool puts advances in medical imaging into the hand of practitioners’  says Dr. Oliver Bruns, Principal Investigator of the Next-Generation In Vivo Imaging Group at HPC, “we started this project when we were working at MIT with Prof. Moungi Bawendi, and are now excited to see it come to life”


Their novel technology is geared towards improving speed and accuracy of diagnosis of common ailments such as middle ear infections, many of which are commonly misdiagnosed, leading to unnecessary treatments and excess medical costs. ‘I am delighted that our team won the Enterprise grant support, which is crucial to accelerate clinical introduction of our new diagnostic device’ adds Tulio Valdez, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford Medicine, who is leading the clinical efforts for the team. 



The Helmholtz Pioneer Campus is an innovation campus with a startup culture at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. HPC stands for the intelligent fusion of biomedical sciences, engineering and digitization. Teams of top scientific talents from all over the world work together on the development of novel solutions that make a difference in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. HPC aspires the values of Hermann von Helmholtz (1821- 1894), a physician and physicist, polymath and science pioneer.


Helmholtz Enterprise, the Spin-off Program of the Helmholtz Association finances the establishment of start-up teams working at Helmholtz Center’s and the implementation of start-up projects. The Spin-off Program also finances externally found team members if required and the expansion of start-up competencies of the internal team.Since the foundation of Helmholtz Enterprise in 2005, 142 start-up projects have benefited from the initiative. Of these, more than 90 projects were set up successfully and over 80 per cent of them are still actively involved in business today.