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Adlershof Journal January/February 2022:

How knowledge is created

Shifting faster: A push for new materials // 3D-printed lunar dust: TIWARI’s missions // A driving force: 30 years of IGAFA

From the Editors

How knowledge is created

“In the past 15 months, science really saved the world’s arse.” Do you remember this sentence by Jürgen Mlynek, the former president of Humboldt-Universität, uttered at the Berlin Science Week last November? Did you also think: Where would we be without these vaccines against COVID-19? We owe the fact that we could be vaccinated so quickly to continuous groundwork done over decades, when the first mRNA vaccine concepts were initially developed. And we also owe it to enormous amounts of funding.

Sufficient available funds, excellently equipped facilities, tenacious and highly educated science talent with space to be creative and thrive. These are but some of the things we will continue to need in the future: Climate change, digital transformation, demographic change, resource scarcity—we are faced with many formidable challenges.


Luckily, the vigour of our scientific institutions and researching companies is equally formidable. We will tell you more about them in this issue: The Joint Initiative of Non-University Affiliated Research Institutes in Adlershof e.V. (IGAFA) has been pooling the services and skills of its member institutes for thirty years. Our cover story shines a light on why it was instrumental in establishing Adlershof as a high-technology site and how it sees its role in future.

In this issue’s interview, Christoph Schneider, the new research vice president of Berlin’s Humboldt-Universität, talks to us about excellent research and the potential he sees in the Adlershof campus. Thomas Schröder, the director of the Leibniz-Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), explains why we must be more vigilant to secure our technological sovereignty. And we learn more about the Joint Labs for Quantum Research at Ferdinand-Braun-Institut and how they transform ideas from their lab into everyday applications.

Lastly, read on to find out more about the novel “special investigation techniques” that Sebastian Ahlberg of Magnosco GmbH uses to tackle malignant melanoma, how TIWARI produces everyday objects with lunar dust and 3D printers, and how meteocontrol keeps track of 50,000 photovoltaic systems.

Knowledge inspires confidence. I wish you a happy new year!

Peggy Mory


Illu: Lernen/Dorothee Mahnkopf © WISTA Management GmbH


Excellently managed – excellently outdated – excellently designed!

Essay by Jakob Nolte, biology student and the winner of the “Jugend forscht” national young science competition:

Science is “Wissenschaft” in German, which literally means “creating knowledge”. The German word “Ausbildung” for education or training implies a space to develop interests and skills. When taking a closer look at...

Franziska Hagos © WISTA Management GmbH


In conversation with Franziska Hagos

She is a true Polyanna and head of the Humboldt Explorer project:

When asked about role models guiding her career path, Franziska Hagos has to think long and hard. One thing she couldn’t resort to was the experience of growing up in a household of academics. Finally, she remembers her...

Sebastian Ahlberg, magnosco © WISTA Management GmbH


The melanoma hunter

Sebastian Ahlberg works on improving diagnostics in Adlershof:

Something to do with biology. This was a given for Sebastian Ahlberg, even when he was still at school in Güstrow, his hometown. Today, he is the head of a “start-up doing research” in Adlershof. This is what his company,...

Ingolf Hertel © WISTA Management GmbH


A driving force

30 years of IGAFA, the Joint Initiative of Non-University Affiliated Research Institutes in Adlershof e.V.:

A name that says it all: The Joint Initiative of Non-University Affiliated Research Institutes in Adlershof e.V. (IGAFA) was a driving force behind establishing Adlershof as a location for high technology. It celebrated its...

HZB-Forscher Henschel und Stannowski © WISTA Management GmbH


From the lab to the store

HZB researchers are supplying smartwatches with solar energy:

Ideally, the winners of the HZB Technology Transfer Prize go down the road of transforming a research question into a product and integrating it into our lives. The team surrounding Tobias Henschel and Bernd Stannowski...

HU-Vizepräsident Christoph Schneider © WISTA Management GmbH


Exploiting scientific potential

An interview with Christoph Schneider, HU vice president for research:

Christoph Schneider is a professor for climate geography, founding member of “Scientists for Future”, and, beginning in last summer, Humboldt-Universität’s vice president for research. In this interview with Adlershof...

Stijn Stevens © WISTA Management GmbH


Steering 50.000 photovoltaics systems

A new arrival in Adlershof: The innovation for digital power plants created by meteocontrol are in high demand worldwide:

Weather changes, and so do energy yields made from sun, wind or water. Ensuring a reliable supply requires flexible systems that are capable of pooling, storing, and releasing electricity from multiple sources. As a...

Tiwari-Team © WISTA Management GmbH


3D-printed lunar dust

TIWARI’s earthly and extra-terrestrial missions:

The Adlershof-based 3D-printing start-up TIWARI Scientific Instruments (TSI) works for many terrestrial customers, including car, plane, and machine builders. However, founder Siddharth Tiwari’s thinking goes beyond earthly...

Katja Höflich und Andreas Wicht, FBH © WISTA Management GmbH


Excellent bridge builders between basic research and research focused on application

Joint labs of FBH and HU are turning Adlershof into a hub for quantum research:

Small particles, large effects. This is the name of the game for researchers at Ferdinand-Braun-Institut. Together with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), four joint labs are now building bridges between basic research and...

IKZ-Direktor Thomas Schröder © WISTA Management GmbH


A push for new materials

The Leibniz-Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ) is expanding its capacities to bring new materials to application faster—for example, in charging stations for electric vehicles:

Assembly lines in the automotive industry stand still for weeks, components for household appliances are not available, and the delivery of new smartphones is delayed. The global chip crisis shows in many areas. Due to the...

News in brief

Apply now: Adlershof Founder's Lab 2022/23

Adlershof Founder’s Lab is giving out a new opportunity to receive one-year start-up support from WISTA Management GmbH and the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises from April 2022 until May 2023. In addition to a monthly grant of 2,000 euros, founders receive a free-of-charge workplace at WISTA’s co-working space and support from experienced coaches and mentors. Applications are open from 5 January 2022.


Ten-year anniversary of the “Adlershofer Unternehmernetzwerk”

“Adlershofer Unternehmernetzwerk”, an initiative of Adlershof-based businesses, celebrated its ten-year anniversary in November 2021. The goals of the network are to facilitate getting to know each other, creating new contacts, and therefore improving how people work together in Adlershof. The network is open to all Adlershof-based businesses.


Thesis Award Adlershof 2022

On 17 February 2022, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, WISTA Management GmbH, and the Joint Initiative of Non-University Affiliated Research Institutes in Adlershof e.V. (IGAFA) are giving out this year’s Thesis Award Adlershof, including the 3,000 euros prize money. It is awarded to PhD theses written in Adlershof by young researchers and honours outstanding academic achievements.


District office Treptow-Köpenick is moving

The historic town hall of Köpenick will see extensive renovation starting in early 2022. For this reason, the register office, the urban development office, and the school and sports office will move temporarily to the Allianz Campus in Adlershof. Renovations are expected to take 2.5 years.


Exploration drilling on the BTB premises

BTB GmbH Berlin has launched a research project in cooperation with researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam that will investigate the feasibility of energy supply systems using aquifer storage. Aquifer are deep groundwater reservoirs that have an enormous potential for storage of thermal energy. An exploration drilling in Adlershof at 650 metres will investigate the suitability of the aquifer.


BTB donates 30 trees to the Science City

As part of the campaign “City Trees for Berlin” by the Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, BTB GmbH Berlin is donating 30 trees to the Science City Adlershof. Twenty-six shallow-rooted copper rock pears are being planted on Strasse am Flugplatz and four small-leaved limes on Eisenhutweg and Strasse am Flugplatz. The first of those limes was planted by district mayor Oliver Igel, the CEO of WISTA Management GmbH, Roland Sillmann, and the CEO of BTB, David Weiblein, on Eisenhutweg in front of the restaurant “Wandel” on 26 November 2021.


Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award 2021 for HPS Home Power Solutions

In late November 2021, the 30th Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award was given out by the economic ministries of both states. Winner of the award in the energy technology category is the Adlershof-based HPS Home Power Solutions GmbH, the developer of picea, the world’s first market-ready product to provide emissions-free supply with electricity for single-family homes year-round.

Editorial Staff

Peggy Mory
WISTA Management GmbH

+49 30 6392-2213
+49 30 6392-2236


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Best of Adlershof 2017
Compilation of articles from Adlershof Journal and Adlershof Special