Berlin's Charité – a university teaching hospital – and the Technical University (TU Berlin) are building a new, joint biotechnology and medical technology campus in the German capital. The facility is expected to set the stage for multi-disciplinary innovations in a broad range of medical fields, including diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The German Council of Science and Humanities approved EUR 34 million in funding for the project, with the financing shared between Germany's federal government and the state of Berlin. The new facility will allow researchers from both biotechnology and medicine to address urgent questions in oncology, immunology, and regenerative medicine. At the heart of the new campus will be human modeling systems, known collectively in German as the simulierte Mensch (Si-M).
On the campus doctors, natural scientists, and engineers from a broad range of disciplines will work side-by-side to develop systems that apply, among other things, tissue cultivation technology and three-dimensional bioprinting. At a press conference introducing the project, the Charité and TU Berlin said the new research infrastructure will allow them to contribute to establishing new strategies for diagnosis and therapy and procedures that have the potential to eliminate the need for animal testing.
TU Berlin President Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen summarized, "The TU Berlin and the Charité have been connected to each other for many years through cooperation in teaching and research. The expansion of a strategic partnership and setting up a joint research campus ... in Berlin is a logical consequence of this long-term bond and takes into account the current challenges in biotechnology and medicine. Forward-looking research approaches do not stop at the boundaries between institutions. Instead, they are achieved at the interface between disciplines. Therefore, every step in the research process for modern biotechnology and medical technology demands close cooperation between doctors, natural scientists, and engineers. The shared research campus will give researchers from TU Berlin and the Charité space to work. It will also develop into a "hotspot" for the latest technologies, for example, high resolution analyses of individual cells and the cultivation of tissues using organ-on-a-chip systems. This project also promotes our joint efforts within the strategy of excellence."
The facility is expected to be completed in 2023.