Our broad network of clinical, industry and research partners is vital to us, and so are regular visits to them. After the long-lasting travel restrictions, we were finally able to visit our clinical and research partners at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar and the Technical University of Munich in mid of July. We are delighted to continue and intensify the collaboration with our partners at TUM.
A key competence of INKA, the chair of our Mentor Prof. Michael Friebe which is hosting us during our EXIST funding period, has always been its extensive network of top-tier clinics, surgeons and researchers. We, as SURAG, also benefit from this network. We, therefore, have access to excellent partners in Munich, namely Prof. Dr. Nassir Navab, Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality (CAMP) at the Technical University of Munich and Prof. Dr. med. Dirk Wilhelm, Chair of Research Group MITI – Minimally invasive Interdisciplinary Therapeutical Interventions, TUM School of Medicine.
CAMP is a computer-science-oriented research group specializing in improving surgical workflows, computer-aided interventions, robot-guided surgeries and Machine Learning for medical applications. Embedded into the University Hospital Rechts der Isar, MITI develops innovative diagnostic procedures and therapeutic solutions for minimally invasive surgery. Both groups are very well recognized worldwide, and some of their members are among the top-ranking scientists in their respective fields.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our collaboration was restricted to virtual meetings throughout the last year. Now, on the 15th of July 2021, we were finally able to visit our partners in person and spent the entire day at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar. In the morning, we visited the Interdisciplinary Research Lab (IFL), which is maintained by CAMP and were introduced to the exciting projects the IFL-team is working on. We also presented our current project status and discussed the future course of existing collaborations and the start of new projects. Subsequently, we met with Prof. Dr. Philipp Paprottka, Interventional Radiology, TUM School of Medicine, to present the SURAG concept. Prof. Paprottka’s interest in our technology led to a fruitful discussion and valuable feedback and insights from his clinical perspective. We further discussed potential applications of the SURAG technology for needle applications in the field of interventional radiology and agreed on a follow-up meeting.
In addition to meeting our clinical and research partners, we also took the opportunity to learn more about the ecosystem for healthcare startups in Munich. Therefore, we met Helmut Schoenenberger and Johannes Schmidt (UnternehmerTUM) as well as Oliver Hayden (TranslaTUM). As TUM’s startup center, UnternehmerTUM supports more than 50 high-growth technology startups each year and is recognized as a leading center for innovation and business creation in Europe. TranslaTUM, the TUM’s center for translational oncology research at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar, is unique in Germany. The center is embedded in existing research and clinical structures and supports the rapid implementation of new findings and technologies in patient care. Both UnternehmerTUM and TranslaTUM are leading centers for translating research into clinical practice and subsequent economic benefit. Meeting their representatives provided valuable hints for our own research transfer.
This exciting, insightful and productive visit to Munich was crucial for the continuous collaboration with our clinical and research partners there. Several long-awaited discussions will potentially lead to some landmark decisions for SURAG and left us with an impression of Munich as an exciting place for MedTech startups. We will keep you posted about those decisions, so make sure you drop by regularly.