October 28, 2010
Bavaria: base for international high-tech founders
MorphoSys is a leader in creating human antibodies for use in the development of advanced medicines. F&K Delvotec has created wire-bonding systems greatly increasing the quality and capacities of electronic and microelectronic components. UltraFast Innovations custom-builds piece parts giving lasers and X-ray systems unexcelled speeds and thus ranges of operation. attocube Systems’s scanning probe microscopes and ultra-compact positioning devices are the tools driving the development of the nano-technologies.
In addition to forming the cutting-edge of their fields, these young high-tech companies have two other key things in common with each other – and with a large and ever-growing number of counterparts. They are located in Bavaria. They were founded or are being run by renowned scientists who have immigrated to the state: MorphoSys by Simon Moroney (New Zealand); F&K Delvotec by Farhad Farassat (Iran); UltraFast Innovations by Ferenc Krausz (Hungary); and attocube systems by Khaled Karrai (Tunisia/France).
The question arises: why does Bavaria’s high-tech community feature such a large agglomeration of foreign entrepreneurs? Two main reasons.
Bavaria has highly-regarded universities and research facilities
The quality of instruction and research offered and conducted at the Bavarian state’s institutions of higher education attract the brightest professors and students to them. Key fact: some 10% of the 200,000 students enrolled at these institutions are from outside Germany.
One of these foreign students was Farhad Farassat, who received in 1973 a degree in industrial engineering from Munich’s Technische Universität (TUM), one of the two universities in Munich to be ranked among the world’s 100 best. Farassat went on work for the Munich-based company of which he is now the CEO.
Born in Hungary, Ferenc Krausz is a prime example of the bright professors flocking to Bavaria. His mastery of the emerging and ultra-short femtosecond (one millionth of one billionth of a second) and attosecond (one thousandth times shorter) areas of laser bursts led to his being named a director in 2003 at Garching near Munich’s renowned Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and his being named in 2004 a professor for Experimental Physics at the other world-class university in Munich - Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU). Krausz has presided over the commercialization of his research, which has taken the form of the founding of UltraFast Innovations, which is headed and staffed by members of its research group.
Another case-in-point: Khaled Karrai, who moved in 1993 from the USA to Munich to take up a Humboldt research fellowship at the TUM. He went on to become a professor of experimental physics at the LMU. In 2007, he left his position to become CTO (chief technology officer) of attocube systems, which he and his research group had founded. In 2008, Karrai and his company were awarded Germany’s Prize for Entrepreneurs, considered to be the most important start-up award in the country. Karrai now also heads a research group forming part of the Chair of Solid Materials Physics at TUM.
Bavaria offers business persons and their businesses everything they need to flourish, including access to advanced technologies, high-quality suppliers and potent customers.
Such factors led to the founding in 1992 of MorphoSys, which set itself up in the southern Munich suburb of Martinsried, part of one of Europe’s life sciences clusters. Prior to co-founding MorphoSys, for which he serves as chairman of its executive board, Simon Moroney had been a professor at the University of Cambridge.
Source: Invest in Bavaria
For more information about establishing a location in the State of Bavaria, please contact Jan Danisman, phone: 212-317-0588 or email: .