The electron microscopic image of a mouse retina demonstrates that using the KonTEM phase contrast system (right) makes previously invisible structures visible.
The phase contrast system for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) developed by KonTEM enables a two to three times better image contrast without compromising resolution, hence opening up new possibilities for the examination of biological samples in the technological border area.
The research on the underlying technology was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt and further development at caesar turned it into a marketable product which is currently in the customer test period. “KonTEM exemplifies that fundamental research as it is conducted by the Max Planck Society can be the basis for innovative and market-driven products”, says Dr. Florian Kirschenhofer, Startup Manager at Max-Planck-Innovation, Max Planck's technology transfer organization.
The technology and the company were prized on several occasions, for example with the highest award of the NUK business plan competition in 2011 and the Innovation Award of the cooperative bank Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg in 2012. Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp, Scientific Director at caesar: “The acquisition by an industry leader like FEI shows that KonTEM disposes of an extraordinary and future-oriented technology.”
The M&A mandate for the successful exit was carried out by HTGF. Dr. Andreas Olmes, Investment Director: “We are very happy for the buyer as well as for the KonTEM management. KonTEM’s proprietary phase contrast technology has found a great new home with FEI.”
About caesar foundation
The caesar foundation is associated with the Max Planck Society and operates a centre for neuroscientific research in Bonn. It disposes of high resolution and analytical (cryo-) electron microscopes for structure determination, spectroscopy and nanostructuring. The scientific work is carried out according to the Max Planck Society’s criteria of excellence. More press releases and photographs can also be found on the internet under: www.caesar.de.
Stiftung caesar (caesar foundation)
Dr. Juergen Reifarth
Head of Press and PR
About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, serves as a link between industry and basic research. With its interdisciplinary team it advises and supports scientists in evaluating their inventions, filing patents, and founding companies. Max Planck Innovation offers the industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes, and therefore performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products, which contributes to economic and social progress.
Max Planck Innovation GmbH
Dr. Florian Kirschenhofer
Startup & Portfolio Manager
Phone: +49(0)89 290919-0
About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).
High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Andreas Olmes
Phone: +49 (228) 823 001-00
Fax: +49 (228) 823 000-50
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