Saxony – Top Investment of the Year in 2018

December 2018

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  What Aristotle probably meant philosophically can certainly be applied to business and science as well.  Genomics, for example, is an interdisciplinary field of research which revolves around the analysis and synthesis of DNA sequences of a genome – all of the genes of an individual.  The US American GENEWIZ corporation has successfully focused on this particular research field since 1999.

Life sciences venue Saxony is a region where about 350 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical technology companies cooperate successfully with more than 30 research institutions and develop cutting edge, pioneering solutions for diagnostics and treatment at a top international level.

Here, in one of Germany’s most dynamic life sciences regions, Leipzig is a primary hot spot.  It is home to BIO CITY, one of the most modern centers for biotechnology and biomedicine in all of Germany.

This is the creative environment in which GENEWIZ is now setting up its European headquarters.  As a leading global provider of genomic services, the company operates labs in the USA, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.  At those locations, GENEWIZ is already a partner to numerous top-notch academic, pharmaceutical, and biotech facilities as well as innovative startups.  Just recently, GENEWIZ established a high-tech lab with state-of-the-art sequencing platforms and lab automation technologies in Leipzig.  It is located in the former hospital of the German Federal Armed Forces in Leipzig-Wiederitzsch.  Here, the company is currently investing approx. 5 million euros.  About 30 new, highly qualified jobs have already been created – this number is to be increased to around 50 by the end of 2019.

DNA © Pixabay

Thomas Horn, Managing Director of the Saxony Economic Development Corporation (WFS) said:  “With GENEWIZ, the Saxon biotech landscape is getting another powerful player.  The establishment of this new lab perfectly matches the cluster structures that are already in place in Leipzig and Dresden.  The research conducted in this field already meets the global standards here.  It is now essential to convince other innovative biotech companies from Germany and abroad of Saxony’s specific strong points as a business and science venue and to further increase the dense concentration of companies located here.”

According to the company, the crucial factors for its decision in favor of Saxony were the vibrant biotechnology cluster on site and the immediate vicinity of Leipzig/Halle Airport, which with its DHL hub guarantees not only international connections, but also 24/7 accessibility.  Dr. Kerstin Stangier, Senior Director at GENEWIZ in Leipzig, notes:  “Leipzig’s airport with its DHL hub was a main criterion for us, because long-term, we’ll be able to support research communities throughout Europe even better from here with processing times that’ll be the best in our industrial branch and with truly competitive prices.  The logistical infrastructure available in Leipzig will have a major impact on GENEWIZ’s customer service and processing times.”  Samples come in from all around Europe during the night.  They are analyzed immediately upon their receipt in Leipzig so that results can be provided already the next morning.  This means working with a high throughput – fully automated, around the clock.  Dr. Stangier adds:  “Even though Leipzig is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany, we’ve found suitable rooms and premises for our project without any hassles – the same is true for our highly qualified and motivated personnel.  And the cluster structures on site will ensure that we won’t get lonely here.”

When looking for the right location and establishing contacts to suitable staff members, GENEWIZ received a lot of support from biosaxony e. V. and BIO-NET Leipzig GmbH.  Dr. Randy Kurz, Manager of Technology Transfer at BIO-NET, points out:  “The establishment of GENEWIZ highlights Leipzig’s significance as a European life sciences venue and is a perfect example of the successful link that exists between life sciences and logistics here in Saxony.  GENEWIZ will help strengthen the venue’s international visibility even further because Leipzig will become synonymous for high-end genome analyses and diagnostics for many European research institutions and companies in the future.”

The business setup was made possible through the close cooperation of GTAI and the Saxony Economic Development Corporation (WFS).  After all, the successful interaction between the stakeholders in Saxony ultimately confirms that the whole is sometimes greater than the sum of its parts.