Biotechnology in NRW
North Rhine-Westphalia boasts a first-class scientific research base, numerous internationally successful SMEs and a globally active chemical and pharmaceutical industry. In NRW the focus is on diagnostics and analytics, pharmaceutical and industrial biotechnology, nanotechnology, enabling technologies, and services. The innovations originating in the biotech sector find their way into wide-ranging applications – e.g. in healthcare/medicine, the chemical industry, food production and environmental protection.
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Leading center for innovation in Europe
NRW takes an international top position especially regarding the field of medical-pharmaceutical biotechnology, also known as Red Biotechnology. With NRW and Bavaria at the top, Germany leads the ranking of European bio-pharmaceutical locations in 2016 for the third time in a row. The top spot is based mainly on the high number of 507 patent applications as compared to the two next-ranked countries France and Switzerland.
Biotechnology companies in NRW
Region: Cologne/Bonn region
In the mid 1980s while working towards his degree, Stefan Miltenyi developed a method of identifying and sorting cells; a leap in research for those times. Shortly thereafter, this physicist started his own company in the cellar of his parent’s house with 5,000 EUR seed capital. Today, Miltenyi Biotec GmbH employs 1,300 people in 14 subsidiaries worldwide. Its products are used in research and medicine; in the fields of immunology, cancer research, neurosciences and stem cell therapy. Laboratories all over the world use the MACS Technology, developed and patented by this global leader from Bergisch Gladbach, to separate and sort cells with the help of nanoparticles placed on a magnetic field. Miltenyi Biotec ploughs back about 30 percent of its turnover into research and development, a fact which surely will have played a part in the company being awarded the "Place of Progress" ("Ort des Fortschritts") title in 2011 as part of the "Progress NRW" ("Fortschritt NRW") initiative.