Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, every fifth person is employed in the healthcare industry. This corresponds to almost 150,000 employees, who generated 14.8% of the gross value added in 2020. The focus of the healthcare industry in the state is primarily on medical care and the industrial healthcare industry.

The region has a lively research landscape with the traditional university cities of Greifswald and Rostock, five technical colleges, institutes of the Fraunhofer and Max Planck Societies, as well as the Leibnitz and Helmholtz Associations.

The state government is clearly committed to the healthcare industry and promotes it with the help of the “Masterplan Gesundheitswirtschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” and the strategic advisory body “Kuratorium Gesundheitswirtschaft des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”, whose activities are coordinated and organized by the BioCon Valley® GmbH.

  • Central cluster and network actors: BioCon Valley, SUBMARINER Netzwerk
  • Business: around 130 companies in the life science and biotechnology sector

Within the healthcare industry, the life sciences and thus biotechnology play a central role. The state's entrepreneurial success stories include the Enzymicals AG, for example. The company specializes in the development, production, and application of biocatalysts. Founded in Greifswald in 2009, it now covers the entire value chain of industrial biotechnology: from the identification of suitable enzymes, their modification and production to the development of manufacturing processes for active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The Prolupin GmbH in Grimmen has become well-known in the field of healthy nutrition. The spin-off of the Fraunhofer IVV Freising develops and produces, for example, a lactose-free milk substitute product from the blue sweet lupin. IDT Biologika, with its production site in Greifswald, is an innovative medium-sized company in the pharmaceutical industry that manufactures biotechnologically produced vaccines and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, companies such as the CORTRONIK GmbH, the DOT GmbH, the EnviteC-Wismar GmbH, the HOFFRICHTER GmbH or the RIEMSER Arzneimittel AG as medium-sized companies with more than 100 employees have firmly established themselves on the national and international market with their products. The globally active biotechnology company Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, founded in 1989 and active in the field of biomedical basic research and cell therapy, has a production facility in Teterow near Güstrow. There, around 500 employees develop biopharmaceuticals, devices, and reagents for cutting-edge medical research. Centogene, a company specializing in the diagnosis and research of rare diseases, employs around 530 people in Rostock. It shows how innovations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can be combined with success in biotechnology and IT. Centogene uses biological samples not only to diagnose patients. The company uses artificial intelligence to analyze data sets from its bio database and to better understand disease progression.

Most companies in the healthcare industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are located at the state’s two university campuses, Rostock and Greifswald: at 36% in Rostock and 15% in Greifswald, slightly more than half of the companies are located at these two sites. 6% of the companies are in Schwerin. 43% are in other locations, mainly in Wismar, Neubrandenburg and Teterow.

BioCON Valley GmbH is responsible for networking the players in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s healthcare industry. In addition to project initiation and support, it also offers industry monitoring and pursues the internationalization and marketing of the healthcare industry on behalf of the state. With the ScanBalt Initiative, BioCON Valley promotes one of the most important Northern European cooperation networks, which brings together academic and industrial research, university hospitals and highly specialized suppliers in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical technology from various European countries and regions.

One Health and Bioeconomy in Greifswald

In April 2022, the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) was founded in Greifswald. With a comprehensive interdisciplinary research approach, it is to contribute to preventing the emergence, spread and increase of zoonotic infections in the future and to develop effective anti-infectives and vaccines. Together with its founding partners, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the University of Greifswald, the University Medical Center Greifswald, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, the HIOH forms a new center for One Health research. On April 27 and 28, 2022, the first joint One Health conference was held in Greifswald (OHCG 2022) to mark the new foundation. It dealt with the topics of One Health, zoonoses, antibiotic resistance and other topics of infection research.

In order to support the development of an innovation-promoting infrastructure in the field of bioeconomy at the University of Greifswald, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) granted more than 1 million Euros in 2021. The acquisition of large-scale equipment is intended to strengthen research into peatlands, marine algae, and the cultivation of medicinal plants, thus exploiting the potential for innovative products and services in the bioeconomy. However, the bioeconomy has already been a focus of the University of Greifswald since 2018. Since then, the university has been coordinating the Plant³ research alliance, which aims to make a substantial contribution to knowledge- and innovation-based structural change in the northeastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania through the high-quality refinement of plant raw materials and residues.

The University of Greifswald is also involved in various other projects in the field of bioeconomy. For example, it is a partner in the North German Center for Microbial Genome Research (NZMG), an association of six North German research institutions. The goals of the NZMG are to advance microbial genome research, the joint use of technology platforms and the networked promotion of young scientists.

Life Sciences in Rostock

In Rostock, the life sciences are concentrated in the trend areas of biomaterials and bio-medicine. The Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rostock, for example, is dedicated to the development of artificial organs and biomaterials. The institute is particularly characterized by its business-oriented research and development.

The Institute for Implant Technology and Biomaterials e. V. in Rostock develops concepts for the production and quality assurance of implants. The researchers are currently developing a 3D printer that prints implants and tools for their manufacture.

The Orthopedic Clinic and Polyclinic of the University of Rostock has its own research laboratory for biomechanics and implant technology, where new implants are tested and solutions for endoprosthetic care are developed.

Blue Bioeconomy

In order to strengthen the future-oriented scientific and economic sector of the blue bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea region, the "Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance" (ALLIANCE) was founded, a consortium of more than 25 actors from 9 EU countries with proven expertise in the field of blue biotechnology. ALLIANCE selects start-ups, spin-offs and SMEs from the Baltic Sea region through competitive calls for proposals. As a mentoring organization, ALLIANCE offers them various assistance services, enabling them to grow to a critical size and become internationally competitive. As a representative from the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, BioCon Valley® GmbH is significantly involved in the development of the project's content.

In a recent overview of the actors in the eastern region compiled by the SUBMARINER network, more than 70 institutions working in the blue bioeconomy were identified in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In addition to numerous research institutions, more than 25 companies are already active in this field. In addition to a large number of EU projects such as CONTRA, LiveLagoons, GRASS, InnoAquaTec and AquaVIP, the Plant³, BAMS and OTC projects in particular are crucial for promoting the blue bioeconomy in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the startup scene is primarily regional. According to the German Startup Monitor, only 0.9% of all German startups are located on the Baltic coast. The startup ecosystem is nevertheless well-developed and is characterized by quick contact opportunities and easy access to cooperation partners. Committed universities, ministries and networks ensure that founders lack for nothing.

Founders have a considerable choice of competitions (e.g. inspired, UNIQUE, OZ-Gründerpreis) both during the idea phase and in the business plan and growth phase. Most of these do not have an industry-specific focus.

The universities in Greifswald and Rostock also offer start-up support. The start-up office at the Center for Research Promotion and Transfer at the University of Greifswald and the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Rostock provide support in the form of coaching, workshops, events and continuing education opportunities.

The funding philosophy of the Ministry of Economics of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania aims primarily at improving the climate for knowledge-based start-ups. For this reason, priority is given to projects which, in cooperation with the state’s universities, research institutions and technology centers, promote entrepreneurial thinking and action and, in particular, inform scientists and students about the opportunities of a start-up, advise and qualify them and thus encourage innovative start-ups. These include projects such as SPiNOFF incubation at FMV Forschungsverbund Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V., TechnoStart Up MV of the community of start-up and technology centers or the ideas competition at the universities.

In the northeast of the republic, the Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MBMV) and the state’s own venture capital company Genius Venture Capital are responsible for providing financing to start-ups.

  • With the MBMV innoSTARTup program, startups can finance investments and operating funds of between €50,000 and €500,000, for example to produce a prototype or bring a product to series maturity.
  • Startups with a turnover of up to €50 million can apply for the BMV classic guarantee in order to increase competitiveness through investments, the build-up of inventories or the purchase of working capital. Debt restructuring is not possible. The guaranteed amount must be between €25,000 and €2.5 million.
  • Founders can obtain loans of up to €1 million with the mvloan for the market launch of their products, the purchase of working capital or investments. In addition, necessary financial resources in the start-up phase of the foundation can be covered.
  • The ErLa loan offers funding for startups in the food and agriculture industry. Among other things, market launches, operating resources and investments can be financed.
  • Fullfledged start-ups with commercial-entrepreneurial qualifications from MecklenburgWestern Pomerania can use the BMV loan II for the acquisition of assets, the first warehouse or order prefinancing.
  • Technologyoriented companies in the seed, start-up or expansion phase receive an open investment from Technologiefonds MV GmbH, which can also be combined with a silent partnership.
  • Venture Capital Fonds MV GmbH offers an open participation for innovative companies in the seed, startup, and initial expansion phase. A combination with a silent partnership as well as a private coinvestor is possible.

The map of the start-up ecosystem of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania makes it easier for founders to contact other start-ups and networks. Searches can be made by location as well as by company. The Gründer-MV platform supports founders by providing testimonials from successful start-up founders, information about the start-up scene and an overview of all events for start-ups in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Founders will also find 22 technology centers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. These include, for example, the Research Center for Biosystems Technology and Biomaterials Warnemün-de, the AgroBio Technikum Groß Lüsewitz, the Biomedical Research Center (BMFZ Rostock), the Life Science Competence Center Warnemünde, the Biomedizin-Technikum Teterow (BMITT), the Center for Food Technology MV GmbH Neubrandenburg and the BioTechnikum at the University of Greifswald.