The meeting started with a warm welcome in front of the main entrance of the R&D Campus. Dr. Lars Grönke, Managing Director of CSL Behring Innovation, introduced the company and the campus to the Minister President and the politicians present.
Also attending were Lord Mayor Dr. Thomas Spies (SPD), Mayor Nadine Bernshausen (Die Grünen), Member of the German Bundestag Dr. Stefan Heck (CDU) and Members of the German State Parliament Dr. Falk Horst and Dirk Bamberger (both CDU).
In his remarks, Grönke referred to the core of all research at the Marburg site, namely CSL Behring's long-standing commitment to protect the health of people with serious diseases: "This promise is stronger today than ever." In doing so, he emphasized - also on behalf of Co-Managing Director Vicky Pirzas - the role of the R&D Campus as a dynamic biomedical incubator, as well as the laboratory areas of 800 square meters reserved for employees, start-ups and academic partners.
" [The young scientists] radiate something rarely seen: Openness, a spirit of research and the will to try things out. We need a lot more of that. "Boris Rhein, Minister President of Hesse
The tour of the R&D Campus was designed and conducted by young scientists. They gave the Prime Minister an insight into the everyday life of researchers and stopped at neuralgic points of the building, such as the laboratories, the office, and a collaboration zone.
A highlight of the tour was the visit to the Plasma Product Development Analytics laboratory. Equipped with disposable gowns and protective goggles, the group followed the explanations of Dr. Shatanik Mukherjee, Manager Breakthrough Analytics. He explained the work and research goals of the innovative laboratory to attendees, and Minister President Rhein took an active part, pipetting a sample himself.
The next stop took the group to the Lab Automation Area. There, Dr. Lars Robbel, Senior Manager Recombinant Product Development, presented the new automation platform. He explained the advantages of this technology and described the collaboration in the multifunctional teams.
Minister President Rhein was impressed by the new building - and the concept behind it. He specifically highlighted the commitment of the young scientists: "They radiate something rarely seen: Openness, a spirit of research and the will to try things out. We need a lot more of that."
Investments and regional collaboration
In a subsequent meeting with the site managers of the Behringwerke, Michael Schröder, Managing Director of CSL Behring GmbH, emphasized the common goal of the companies located in the Behringwerke Industrial Park to make a difference for the site and the region. This was evidenced not least by the companies' investments of 1.5 billion euros in recent years - and the 36 percent increase in jobs to more than 6,500 employees. "Behringwerke is an important economic factor for the city and the region. We are investing substantially here in buildings and state-of-the-art facilities, as well as in the qualifications of our employees."
Dr. Lutz Bonacker, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of CSL Behring GmbH, aimed his words at the fruitful collaboration between politics and biotech: "Together with politics, we must shape the economic and political framework conditions in such a way that we ensure the competitiveness and innovativeness of the biotech industry in Hesse and Germany and thus guarantee the long-term security of care for our patients with rare and severe diseases."
Important exchange for significant findings
After the tour of the R&D Campus, the participants had the opportunity for an open exchange, which was enriched by representatives of operators and companies of Behringwerke Marburg.
In conclusion, Minister President Rhein also emphasized the importance of good collaboration between industry, business and politics, which he had already experienced in the past. Rhein was speaking not only as a representative of his party, but of the region and of Hesse as a center for science and business: "The topic of research and science should be considered across party lines," was his credo. He would always be open to the companies' views, he said.