CeNTech provides a leading-edge infrastructure for interdisciplinary research-to-market projects in the field of nanotechnology.
CeNTech was founded as one of the first German interdisciplinary centers for nanotechnology in 2001 and started operation in 2003. The facility provides an optimal Environment to academic researchers and companies in order to direct ideas and results of nanotechnological research into technical applications.

The building disposes structural and technical specifications such as antivibration foundations, clean rooms, laminar flow boxes as well as specific laboratories for chemistry, biology and physics. The Center also offers a fertile platform for interdisciplinary exchange between scientists and industrial partners. The CeNTech GmbH provides the platform for entrepreneurs to further develop their research ideas into marketable products.

As mediator between academic and corporate interests, it assists industry partners in the development and improvement of new products. Core activities are:
- Scientific excellence focusing on Nanoanalytics, Nanobiomedicine and Photonics;
- Initiation of collaborations between research and industry, national and international;
- Technology transfer, start-up initiation and consulting;
- Patent processing and utilization;
- Marketing activites (CeNTech and the Münster Nanoregion);
- Participation in and coordination of national/international Networks;
- Organisation of conferences and workshops.

Resources needed

Total funding cost including public co-financing: €16.1 million.
Annual operation expenses to manage facility are about €200.000.

Evidence of success

- More than 20 patent applications have been filed;
- 4 spin-offs have been generated;
- 4 companies started the initial operation at CeNTech;
- 5 patents have been sold or licensed;
- Received funding for R&D > € 20 million;
- 20 awards to CeNTech researchers and companies;
- 4 new appointments, 11 junior groups were established;
- Participation in a variety of national (NanoMarketing) and EU projects (N2L, Frontiers, Nano4Market).

Difficulties encountered

- Gap among industrial requirements and the possibilities for universities to develop beyond prove of concept
- Costs for the patenting process had been underestimated and the generated revenue via license agreements overestimated

Potential for learning or transfer

Beneficiaries of the CeNTech concept are:

- Junior research groups as they find perfect conditions to develop their scientific career
- Applied researchers of the University of Münster as they get access to industrial cooperation
- Scientist from the University of Münster as they work in a perfect environment that allows the use of sophisticated instruments
- Start-ups as they can use the CeNTech infrastructure as incubator and obtain business support
- Young enterprises as they get business support and are integrated in large network of research, business and education
- Industrial partners as they have access for scientific excellence that lead to new products or the improvement of already existing products in particular nanomaterials
- Industrial partners as they have excess to analyse and/or validate products and materials
- the Nano region Münster as this brand is further development thereby attracting scientific excellence and industry

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Main institution
CeNTech (Center for NanoTechnology)
Münster, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
June 2003
End Date


Heinz Brueckelmann Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Ina Agafonova

DINT Foundation