The Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society, DPG) has honoured the Technical University of Dresden (TUD), the TUD Institut für Angewandte Photophysik (Institute for Applied Photophysics, IAPP) and Novaled GmbH for their particularly successful, sustainable technology transfer.
The "DPG-Technologietransferpreis" (DPG Technology Transfer Award) will be presented for the first time at the 80th annual spring meeting of the DPG in Regensburg on 7 March 2016. The DPG award honours these three institutions because they succeeded in developing scientific findings in the field of technologies and organic materials for the commercial production of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in an outstanding way the DPG jury explained their selection.
Figure: Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft - IAPP and Novaled honoured by Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
According to the DPG Novaled is a good example of the success of the "Dresden model" that has been followed by TUD when they form spin-off companies.
For favourable licensing terms, successful scientists are given the rights to the know-how that they developed at the university. The secured patents, R&D co-operations as well as further assistance from the university network offers them the best chances of finding investors and bringing their product ideas to market.
Novaled GmbH, was spun-out from TUD IAPP, and specialised in improving the performance of OLEDs, organic solar cells and other organic electronics with much international success. The company is presently the sole supplier of doping materials for the mass production of OLED displays. In fact, Novaled PIN OLED technology has become a "quasi-industry standard". The technologies and materials from Dresden can be found today in most of the world’s smartphones, tablets and televisions using an OLED display.
In the specific case of Novaled, the technologies were developed at the IAPP at TUD. The researchers doped certain layers in OLEDs and other organic electronics with materials that increases their performance and efficiency. The company that resulted from this approach, Novaled, went on to develop further technologies and materials and was able to increase the originally purchased 5 basic patents to more than 500. The company has been so successful that it grew from its original four founders to 140 employees in 2014 with revenues of 42.3 million euros (2014).
The TUD scientists had already planted the seed for the award-winning technology transfer in the 1980s. After the reunification of Germany, Professor Leo and his research colleagues were able to revive and accelerate their research on organic electronics. The result has been a number of spin-offs from the TUD, including Novaled GmbH in the year 2001.
Dr Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth, Novaled Founder and CSO, said, "The Technology Transfer Award is a great confirmation of our work."
Professor Karl Leo from IAPP at TUD, said, "I am extremely happy about this award." Karl added, "It shows once more how much long-term oriented basic research pays off and can lead to very successful applications".