From Basic Patents to Successful Products

Materials for efficient and durable OLED displays (Source: Novaled)

Materials for efficient and durable OLED displays (Source: Novaled)

The German Physical Society has honored Technical University of Dresden (TUD), the Institute for Applied Photophysics (IAPP) and Novaled for their particularly successful, sustainable technology transfer. The “DPG Technology Transfer Award” will be presented for the first time ever at the 80th annual meeting and spring meeting of the DPG in Regensburg on 7 March 2016.

“The DPG award honors 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.

Novaled, a spin off from TUD IAPP, has specialized in improving the performance of OLEDs, organic solar cells and other organic electronics with great international success. The company is 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.

“The Technology Transfer Award is a great confirmation of our work,” said Novaled Founder and CSO Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth. Novaled is a good example of the success of the “Dresden model” followed by TUD when forming spin-offs: For comparatively reasonable pricing, 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.

In the case of Novaled, the technologies were developed at the IAPP at TUD. The researchers doped (‘vaccinated’) certain layers in OLEDs and other organic electronics with materials that make them more performant and energy saving. The company that resulted from this approach, Novaled, has gone on to develop further technologies and materials and was able to increase the originally purchased 5 basic patents to more than 500. The company was so successful that it has grown from 4 founders to 140 employees in 2014 with revenues of 42.3 million euros (2014).

“I am extremely happy about this award,” said Karl Leo from IAPP at TUD. “It shows once more how much long-term oriented basic research pays off and can lead to very successful applications”. The TUD scientists had already planted the seed for the award-winning technology transfer in the 1980s. After the reunification of Germany, 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. (Source: TUD)

Links: Novaled GmbH, Dresden, Germany • Institute for Applied Photophysics (IAPP), Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

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