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Adlershof Journal January/February 2019:

Alive and swinging? A look at how our founders are moving forward

Discovered: wreckage of a bomber found // Sold: OpTricon becomes Chembio // Developed: breast milk tests and sewing pattern app //

From the Editor

We are back…

Dear readers, we hope you’re transition into the new year was as swinging as the one on this issue’s cover. Or did you have a quiet one this year? In any case, the most important thing is that you refilled your energy batteries.

The founders and young entrepreneurs here at the high-tech location Adlershof certainly have. Berlin is Germany’s number one city for business founders and start-ups. According to the study Start-up Monitor 2018 by the KfW, a government-owned development bank, the city reclaimed that title from Hamburg last year. Overall, the number of new businesses is decreasing due to the tightening of the job market. The higher the chances to find a permanent job, the lower the incentive to become self-employed.


However, start-ups and new businesses are a driving force for the economy’s modernisation and support for founders remains indispensable. At the Technology Park Adlershof, projects like the Adlershof Founder’s Lab, the A² Accelerator, and others support start-ups and new businesses. Our cover story looks back at the Adlershof Founder’s Lab’s first year. I can tell you this much: according to Tobias Kirschnick, it looks like all 14 of the funded companies will survive. As head of the Adlershof Founder’s Lab, he knows what he’s talking about.

This issue deals with more than founding new businesses. We will also look at the foundations of buildings. Read about a discovery made upon laying the foundation for a new building on Willi-Schwabe-Strasse 1. Matthias Blankenburg, project head at the construction company Vollack, secured the wreckage of a WWII bomber.

Fostering an interest in exploration, scientific investigation, and creativity is the goal of many youth competitions and idea conferences like ‘Jugend forscht’, the Falling Walls Lab, or TEDxHU. Read on to find out more about the ideas gestating at those events.

I wish you all the best for 2019!

Sylvia Nitschke
Head of Adlershof Print


Bauer bloggt. Illustration: D. Mahnkopf


Everyone and their mother can start a blog

How digitisation is making established business models obsolete – and what’s annoying about it. Essay by Simone Janson:

Vaccines based on sugar, quality assurance through surface analysis, manufacturing of lasers, research on more effective solar cells, or optoelectronic components: new ideas have a hard time in Germany. Potential customers,...

Madlen Dietrich, Kommunikationsmanagerin


At the interface of start-ups and established companies

In conversation with Madlen Dietrich, innovation scout for the UVB Business Associations Berlin-Brandenburg:

Madlen Dietrich knows where to look for good ideas and how they channel into economic growth. She has been the innovation scout at the UVB Business Associations Berlin-Brandenburg since 2016. Her focus is on digital...

Matthias Blankenburg auf der „Air Lofts“-Baustelle, Vollack Berlin Adlershof


The builder

Matthias Blankenburg found the wreckage of a bomber in Adlershof:

Suddenly, the excavator came to a halt in the pale gravel and exposed pitch black, dirty sand. The air was filled with a musty scent: ‘It certainly wasn’t a natural smell,’ says Matthias Blankenburg. For two weeks, the...

Khanh Tuong von Kiwi Intelligence im Coworking Space Berlin Adlershof


Jumpstarting businesses at the Adlershof Founder’s Lab

The Adlerhof-based talent hub looks back on a positive year:

The start-up support programme Adlershof Founder’s Lab has been active for a year now. The programme fosters technical and technology-based team start-ups on campus. Time to look back. The head of sales needs company-wide...

Dietmar und Margrit Harting, Vorstand der HARTING Technologiegruppe


Future technologies have no age limit

At the age of 79, Dietmar Harting founded the Perinet GmbH:

Everybody is talking about ‘Industry 4.0’, the digitisation of manufacturing. The founders of the Adlershof-based Perinet GmbH are taking action. They are creating the IT infrastructure necessary for digitally connected,...

Chembio Diagnostic Systems bei der Adlershofer opTricon GmbH


opTricon becomes Chembio

The American diagnostics company is buying the measurement device manufacturer and is planning to build its European HQ in Adlershof:

The opTricon GmbH develops and manufactures measurement devices for quick testing. The company has now been bought by one of its largest customers. The American diagnostics company Chembio Diagnostics Systems is planning to...

Anna Raysyan @ Falling Walls Lab


Real-world ideas

Quick tests for breast milk and sewing pattern software – meet two science talents with ideas geared towards practical application on their way to becoming business owners:

When Anna Raysyan is on stage, she is like fish in water. Convincingly and full of energy, she presents her idea that she hopes will soon help many women: a test for breast milk. The prototype is no larger than a matchbox and...

Gründerteam von dive solutions


Everything flows

The start-up dive solutions uses new algorithms to simulate currents, ensuring clear drainpipes and friction-less gear transmission:

An oily-looking, auburn liquid drips off a turning gear wheel, fills the gaps between the cogs, and then creates fierce splashes. In another video, blue liquid flows into a container. When it reaches the tight outlet, it...

Jugend forscht: Ferdinand Karnath und Jupp-Nepomuk Haasler


“Jugend forscht” – the talented Ferdinand presents his new projects

A young student develops a turning assistant for lorries:

Ferdinand is only 13-years-old and very tall for his age. However, at ‘Jugend forscht’, the renowned German national youth science competition, he is a veteran. In February, he will take part for the third time. Among the...

Lamine Cheloufi TEDxHU


Ideas conference as a door opener

The second TEDxHU event took place in Berlin and fosters knowledge exchange:

The event starts much like a service of worship. On a video screen in the chapel of the economic faculty of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Isaac Lidsky, a blind American author and corporate speaker, talks on how to...

Short News


Caroline von Humboldt-Professorship goes to a Chemist from Adlershof

Janina Kneipp was awarded the Caroline von Humboldt-Professorship on 11th December 2018. Created in 2012, the professorship encompasses project funding of 80,000 euros. Janina Kneipp is a professor of physical chemistry at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She conducts innovative fundamental research on the interface of chemistry, physics, and biology and has produced research results in spectroscopy that are relevant for application and renowned all over the world.



Science Slam Adlershof 2019

Fans of the ‘Battle den Horst’ science slam should pencil in the 7 March, 7 June and 30 October into their calendars. The much-loved event series in Adlershof will be continued in 2019. Daring scientists will present their research in fun and entertaining ways. The audience decides who entertained them the most.



‘Jugend forscht‘

On 26 and 27 February, the Technology Park Adlershof will host the regional competition Berlin-South of ‘Jugend forscht’, the national youth science competition. Schoolchildren, apprentices and students up to 21-years-old will showcase their projects in the fields of work, biology, chemistry, geography and spatial sciences, mathematics, computer science, physics, and technology. The ‘Jugend forscht’ visitor’s day will take place on 27 February between 10am - 13pm in Volmerstrasse 2.



Dissertation Award Adlershof 2018

Three nominees, 15 minutes, and one jury: it’s time for the Dissertation Award Adlershof 2018. On 12 February 2019 at 4pm, three young researchers will compete with each other and present their scientific findings in an entertaining way at the Erwin Schrödinger Centre. Based on the decision of a jury, the best presentation wins the award, including a prize money of 3,000 euros. Organisers and sponsors include the IGAFA (Joint Initiative of Non-University Research Institutes in Adlershof), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and WISTA Management GmbH.



New Restaurant ‘AirLEBEN-Cuisine’

The ‘AirLEBEN-Cuisine’ eatery has opened in Franz-Ehrlich-Strasse 5. The Asian restaurant on the ground floor of the recently opened NUBIS house is open Monday to Friday between 11am - 5pm.


Mr. Wu now also has a delivery service

The Mr. Wu Restaurant opened in Am Studio 1 in May 2018. It is open every day between 11:30am - 4pm and between 5pm - 9pm. It now also has a delivery service. On weekdays, the restaurant delivers a lunch menu box to all companies on the WISTA premises.



Transfer Lab

On 22 and 23 January 2019, there will be a new edition of the start-up event series ‘Humboldts Wagniswerkstätten’ called Transfer Lab. Visitors will get to know the widespread method ‘Design Sprint’, developed by Google Ventures, and bring it into practice. Practice partner is the Adlershof-based start-up Blindside, which has developed a digital platform for professional sports clubs, providing an all-in-one solution for athletic performance and team development. The event is open to HU (young) scientists and students.



A² Demo Day

The so-called Demo Day of the ‘A² Accelerator Smart City 2018’ will take place on 17 January 2019. Start-ups including AR4 GmbH, Breeze Technologies UG, dive solutions GmbH, M2MGO GmbH and S O NAH UG will present their solutions in the fields intelligent parking management, city/municipal-level air quality, augmented reality, IoT solutions, and 3D simulation models, which they developed in close cooperation with established companies over the course of 5 months.

Location: Rudower Chausee 17, 2:30pm-8pm



Innovation Award Berlin Brandenburg

The German Aerospace Center’s Institute for Optical Sensor Systems is among the five winners of the Innovation Award Berlin Brandenburg 2018. The Institute has developed an integrated positioning system (IPS) for the use in indoor environments such as tunnels and buildings, which is also capable of being used outdoors. IPS (Integrated Positioning System) is a system for ego motion estimation without any prior knowledge of the environment. Such sensor systems will play a crucial role in research missions on strange planets, inspection systems, and self-driving cars. The award is administered by Berlin’s Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, the State of Brandenburg’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and includes a prize money of 10,000 euros.



Two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups

Starting in 2019, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be establishing two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups and thereby strengthening its competencies in catalysis research. The group of Dr. Christopher Seiji Kley will be developing light-absorbing materials and catalysts for the sunlight-driven conversion of carbon dioxide and water into fuels. The Young Investigator Group will be introducing concepts inspired from biology as a way to increase the catalysts’ energy efficiency and to maximise the catalytic activity for longer-chain hydrocarbons. The planned start for the group is in March 2019.

Dr. Olga Kasian’s group will be researching what are the factors currently limiting the performance of catalysts in solar hydrogen production. To do so, they will be analysing the catalysts’ uppermost atomic layers and explaining the reaction mechanisms by directly detecting the intermediates and products. BESSY II offers the latest spectroscopic methods for studying the electronic changes in the materials in-operando. Olga Kasian’s Young Investigator Group will kick off in May 2019. The Helmholtz Association funds every group with an annual 150,000 euros for five years, the HZB matches that amount with funds from its own budget.

Editorial Staff

Sylvia Nitschke
WISTA Management GmbH
Director Adlershof Print

+49 30 6392-2238
+49 30 6392-2236


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