On August 4, 2023, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP), visited Behringwerke in Marburg. The visit provided an opportunity to learn about the region's combined innovative power in biomedical research, development and production.
To mark the start of the visit, Jochen Reutter, Managing Director and Site Manager of GSK Vaccines GmbH, and Sabine Skwara, Head of Health Policy, welcomed the Minister to the vaccine production facility of the biopharmaceutical company GSK. The insight into the special features of vaccine production was accompanied by a dialogue with the minister on the topic of pharmaceuticals as a cutting-edge technology sector for Germany as a business location. "Right now, we need the support of politics to create stable framework conditions and an ecosystem for innovation. Because this is the only way that German production sites can survive in international competition in the long term," said Sabine Skwara.
The Federal Minister then visited CSL's R&D Campus M600 in Marburg, which is one of the largest in the entire CSL network and, with its approximately 40,000 square meters of space, not only provides room for the 500 CSL employees, but, in addition to the regular office and laboratory space, has reserved an extra 800 square meters of laboratory space especially for start-ups.
During a tour of the building, young talents from CSL's research and development department gave the Federal Minister a hands-on insight into their daily work in the state-of-the-art laboratories and office space designed around activity-based work.
Afterwards, Federal Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and R&D site manager Dr. Lars Groenke jointly discussed important aspects of the innovation ecosystem in the biotech industry. "Politics, science, startups and companies in Central Hesse are already actively working together to tap the region's potential as Biotech Valley," Groenke said. And pointed out, "Another prerequisite for the successful expansion of such a cross-functional innovation ecosystem is the systematic promotion of translational science."
Originally from Hesse herself, she was impressed by Marburg as a future-oriented research location and the potential of Biotech Valley Mittelhessen to do just that.