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EMBL and Leica Microsystems jointly drive imaging by Open Innovation

Collaborative development of new imaging technologies guided by applications in life science

Heidelberg, Germany, 2nd of December 2019. Today the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Leica Microsystems have celebrated a unique framework agreement concerning collaboration on the development of new imaging technologies. Following the principle of Open Innovation, the collaboration will help bridge the gap between the early stage of new technology development and the point of practical application in the life sciences. The new imaging center at the EMBL, scheduled to open in mid-2021, will provide a place for collaborative research and technology development between product engineers from Leica Microsystems and scientists from all over the world.

 “We are very happy that Leica Microsystems is our first partner for this new cooperation concept,” says Jan Ellenberg, Unit Head and Coordinator of the new Imaging Centre at EMBL. “We are looking forward to bringing exciting new imaging technologies to researchers quickly, and to improving them further by exposing them early to cutting edge research questions. I hope that such an open innovation model will also be used by our other industrial partners in the EMBL Imaging Centre in the future.“

“The new collaboration will create a win-win situation and intensify our proven cooperation with EMBL. The motto of our founder Ernst Leitz – with the user for the user – now is interpreted from a modern perspective, namely Open Innovation,” says Markus Lusser, president of Leica Microsystems. “The direct exchange of developers and researchers will pave the way for break-through applications. Ones that confirm their relevance for state-of-the-art scientific research right from the start. We look forward to seeing how the fruits of this collaboration can benefit scientific progress in the near future.”

The framework agreement is designed to further strengthen the link between state-of-the-art microscopy technologies and the forefront of scientific research. The cooperation will give scientists the opportunity to: learn how to use the most modern facilities; help develop new instruments and methods; and actively engage in technology transfer. Up to 300 visiting scientists per year will collaborate at the new imaging center, giving them access to the very latest imaging technologies.


About Leica Microsystems
Leica Microsystems develops and manufactures microscopes and scientific instruments for the analysis of microstructures and nanostructures. Ever since the company started as a family business in the nineteenth century, its instruments have been widely recognized for their optical precision and innovative technology. It is one of the market leaders in compound and stereo microscopy, digital microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy with related imaging systems, electron microscopy sample preparation, and surgical microscopes. 

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