Increased safety in food production and other process applications is the declared aim of the joint venture between Endress+Hauser and Hahn-Schickard. To this end, both partners have established Endress+Hauser BioSense GmbH based in Freiburg, Germany. Its aim is to enable rapid, on-site molecular analyses for the detection of bacterial or viral contamination in water and beverages, genetic modifications in food or contaminated milk.
The research and development service provider Hahn-Schickard has been working closely for many years with the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg to develop rapid diagnostic tests that can detect extremely small concentrations of infectious pathogens with portable instruments. The joint venture is now aiming to transfer this technology from the field of medical diagnostics to industrial process and laboratory automation applications.
During the first few months, Endress+Hauser BioSense will operate in spaces located at the university and Hahn-Schickard. Next year the company will move into the university’s innovation center, FRIZ, currently under construction on the campus of the Faculty of Engineering. The start-up will thus expand Endress+Hauser’s activities in Freiburg, where developers are already working on new sensor technologies, biosensors and Industry 4.0 solutions.
In the development of equipment and methods for molecular analyses for process and laboratory environments, Endress+Hauser BioSense will be working closely with IST Innuscreen GmbH in Berlin, which is also part of the Endress+Hauser Group. IST Innuscreen offers a broad portfolio of nucleic acid isolation and molecular diagnostics products and among other things supplies kits and assays for PCR diagnostics.
Experienced leadership team
The joint venture is 75 percent owned by Endress+Hauser, with the remaining 25 percent held by Hahn-Schickard. Dr Nicholas Krohn, who has in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of food analysis, will serve as managing director of the new company. Dr Stefan Burger and Dr Martin Schulz, two long-time employees of Hahn-Schickard who obtained their doctorates in the field of molecular diagnostics at the University of Freiburg, will round out the management team.