Bremen, March 6, 2008. The Management Board of MeVis Medical Solutions AG has announced that its R&D partner, the charitable MeVis Research GmbH, is in talks about a conversion into a Fraunhofer Institute. The accession to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft would allow MeVis Research to double its research and development activities within just a few years, expand it to other areas of research and thus increase its attractiveness as an R&D partner of MeVis Medical Solutions.
The company’s majority shareholder, the federal state of Bremen, yesterday decided to provide the charitable MeVis Research with additional R&D funds in an amount of EUR 11 million from the European Fund for Regional Development. The City has thus paved the way for negotiations with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. If the outcome is positive, MeVis Research, of which MeVis Medical Solutions currently holds 25.1 percent, would be admitted to the leading European organisation for applied research. The additional funds would be used to almost double the number of employees from today’s 50 in the coming years and to start numerous new research projects.
As a member of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, MeVis Research would have access to all resources, technologies and networks. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has an annual budget totalling approx. EUR 1.3 billion. The society with its current 56 organisations is a partner to technology companies and engages in contractual research in all engineering subjects. From the point of view of MeVis Medial Solutions, the move would not only reduce the time to market of new products but also allow them to be expanded to other fields such as the physics of magnetic resonance imaging and the modelling and simulation of medical processes. The Bremen-based company has so far focused on diseases of the cardio-vascular system, the brain and the lung as well as on cancer detection and treatment.
If the company were to be converted into a Fraunhofer Institute, the research and development partnership with MeVis Medical Solutions would be maintained and strengthened significantly. The investment in MeVis Research would be sold.
'The start of the negotiations with Fraunhofer is a milestone for MeVis Medical Solutions about which we are extremely pleased,' said Dr. Carl J.G. Evertsz, CEO of MeVis Medical Solutions. 'As a Fraunhofer Institute, MeVis Research would sharpen Bremen’s profile as a medical engineering location, making MeVis Medical Solutions even more attractive to its industrial partners and employees. Contracts from the industrial sector are indispensable for Fraunhofer Institutes. This would be a win-win situation in which we, as the most important industrial partner of MeVis Research, would clearly benefit from the company’s increased innovation power.
Professor Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen, Managing Director of MeVis Research and Supervisory Board Chairman of MeVis Medical Solutions, also welcomes the start of the negotiations: 'A study by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research has revealed that products that are less then two years old generate over 50 percent of the sales revenues in the medical engineering sector. Should MeVis Research be given the status of a Fraunhofer Institute, the company would establish itself as a leading European research and development centre in the field of software support for image-based medical diagnostics and therapy and launch more innovations more quickly in the world market in cooperation with MeVis Medical Solutions. This would give MeVis Medical Solutions access to a source of expertise that is unparalleled throughout the world.'