Our History

Our History

Our History

The Rhine-Main region, historically known as the "pharmacy of the world", has spawned a number of innovations and drugs. To name just a few:

  • Knoll, Humira®
  • Paul Ehrlich, Salvarsan
  • Emil von Behring and Hoechst, serum therapy (antibody therapy)

In the early 1990s, Ci3 developed from a focal point that was academic in origin. During this period, the scientific foundation for a variety of new innovations and businesses was being laid. Today, the cluster presents itself as an entrepreneurial organization with a specific technological and economic focal point and economically measurable success.

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  • From academia to business

    The 90s - 2005 Establishment of immunological research in Mainz

    Cutting-edge immunological and disease-oriented research has a long tradition in Mainz. For more than 30 years, clinical departments have been working closely and in an interdisciplinary fashion with institutes at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz focusing on basic research in the fields of medicine and biology. One goal is to study basic immunological principles and their deregulation during disease pathogenesis, and to develop strategies for immune intervention which can help lower the morbidity and mortality of the relevant target diseases. Among others, immunologically-based and disease-oriented collaborative research centers (SFB 432 - Tumor Defense, SFB 490 - Persistent Infections, SFB 548 - Autoimmunity and Allergy) join forces.

    2005 Launch of the "Immunology Cluster of Excellence" (ICE)

    Relevant collaborative research centers (SFB), clinical research groups and international research networks merge in the "Immunology Cluster of Excellence" (ICE) of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. One of the goals is to develop translational structures within the framework of closely-linked and focused collaborations between public and private institutions. Its activities also focus on successfully establishing, funding and developing new spin-off biotech companies in the region, and on helping companies with funding through strategic investors and venture capital firms.

    2008 Maturation into the "Cluster for Individualized ImmuneIntervention" Ci3

    Based on the successes of the "Immunology Cluster of Excellence" (ICE) and in order to foster long-term and sustainable development, the Cluster for Individualized ImmuneIntervention (Ci3) is founded. Ci3 continues the work of the ICE and focuses on building bridges between business and academia. The cluster expands its network in the Rhine-Main area and finds new partners so it can take part in the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) for the first time.

    2009 Ci3’s first Leading-Edge Cluster initiative

    Participation in the second Leading-Edge Cluster Competition of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF): Ci3 is a finalist, but not the winner.

    2010 Ci3 e.V. is founded

    The non-profit organization Ci3 e.V. is founded in order to promote the expansion of the cluster. The aim of the organization is to promote individualized immune intervention. PD Dr. Özlem Türeci and Prof. Dr. Christoph Huber are voted into the volunteer board of directors.

    2010 TRON is founded

    “Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz GmbH" (TRON) is established to strategically complement the research performed at Mainz University Medical Center. With its focus on translation, the institute makes a significant contribution to addressing current challenges in the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. At TRON, public and private stakeholders collaborate closely in projects in order to close the gap between scientific knowledge and its economic use.

    2010 Ci3’s second Leading-Edge Cluster initiative

    Ci3 strengthens the cluster’s management structures and processes and enlarges its network to include other outstanding partners. Thus prepared, it submits its application for the third round of the BMBF’s Leading-Edge Cluster Competition. In June of 2011, the jury of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) selects Ci3 as one of 11 finalists.

    January 2012 Ci3 wins the BMBF’s third round

    For its strategy, the BMBF selects Ci3 as a leading-edge cluster in the competition’s third round in January of 2012.

    April 2012 BMBF-funded research and development projects begin

    Prior to the strategic phase, the Scientific Advisory Board had already selected three flagship projects which were representative of Ci3’s strategy. These focus on studying stratified and/or individualized vaccines for treating solid tumors, as well as on new therapeutic agents for treating celiac disease. The flagship projects start with preliminary developmental activities on April 1st, 2012.

    Another 25 (joint) projects selected by the Scientific Advisory Board are approved in the following months and are launched in 2012.

    December 2012 The Ci3 Management Company is founded

    To enable further professionalization and sustainable development of the cluster’s management, including important services, the Ci3 Management Company is established as a subsidiary of the Ci3 e.V. in December of 2012.

    2014 Positive interim evaluation and start of second funding period

    After a successful interim evaluation of the cluster in May 2014 by the German government,
    the first new project of the second funding phase started in December 2014.