Founders of EU-funded BioNTech receive Order of Merit

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19/03/2021

Today Dr Sahin and Dr Türeci, founders of BioNTech, will receive Germany's Order of Merit, one of the country's highest honours.

The now world-famous company, which developed the COVID-19 vaccine, was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate), receiving a total of over EUR 2.2 million support between 2010-2013, mostly for research and development activities.

Founded as a start-up in 2009, BioNTech received EU funding in the context of individual innovation and technology support for carrying out research and development projects in the field of immunotherapy for cancer. This investment helped them to develop and grow at the start of their journey, and paved the way for their current global success. In addition, an EU grant of approximately EUR 350,000 was given to the then BioNTech AG and EUFETS GmbH under the RWB-EFRE Programme 2007-2013 for the takeover of a plant in Idar-Oberstein at risk of closure. The aim of the support was to maintain 35 permanent jobs and to create 11 new permanent jobs. 

Inspired by the success of their funding of R&D projects, the Rhineland-Palatinate region plans similar measures in the new 2021-2027 funding period, with a focus on facilitating exchanges between research and business, for example by providing office and laboratory spaces for technology-oriented start-ups in Mainz, in particular for spin-offs from University Medicine Mainz. 

More information on Cohesion Policy 2021-2027

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