Endress + Hauser BioSense will develop equipment and methods for rapid molecular analysis. The stated objective of the joint venture between Endress+Hauser and Hahn-Schickard is to increase safety in food production and other process applications. To this end, the two partners have created Endress+Hauser BioSense GmbH, based in Freiburg, Germany. Its objective is to enable rapid and on-site molecular analyses for the detection of bacterial or viral contamination in water and beverages, genetic modifications in food or contaminated milk.
Research and development service provider Hahn-Schickard has been working closely for many years with the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Fribourg to develop rapid diagnostic tests capable of detecting extremely low concentrations of infectious pathogens with portable instruments. The Joint Undertaking now aims to transfer this technology from the field of medical diagnostics to applications for the automation of industrial processes and laboratories.
An innovative cluster
In the first few months, Endress+Hauser BioSense will operate in spaces located at the university and in Hahn-Schickard. Next year, the company will move into the university's innovation center, Friz, currently under construction on the faculty of engineering campus. The start-up will thus develop Endress+Hauser's activities in Fribourg, where developers are already working on new sensor technologies, biosensors and industry 4.0 solutions.
In the development of molecular analysis equipment and methods for process and laboratory environments, Endress+Hauser BioSense will work closely with IST Innuscreen GmbH in Berlin, which is also part of the Endress+Hauser group. IST Innuscreen offers a wide portfolio of nucleic acid isolation and molecular diagnostic products, including kits and tests for PCR diagnostics.
An experienced management team
The joint venture is 75% owned by Endress+Hauser, with the remaining 25% owned by Hahn-Schickard. Dr. Nicholas Krohn, who has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of food analysis, will be the managing director of the new company. Stefan Burger and Martin Schulz, two long-time Hahn-Schickard employees who obtained their PhD in the field of molecular diagnostics at the University of Fribourg, will complete the management team.