The Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Science, Clemens Hoch, believes that Rhineland-Palatinate is on the right track when it comes to developing into a leading location in biotechnology. "My vision is that in ten years people will think of Mainz when it comes to their immune system. Just like we automatically think of Heidelberg when it comes to cancer treatment," said the SPD politician in an interview with the German newspaper Press agency in Mainz. "Vaccination against cancer is still above everything."
Mainz definitely has "something to offer" for the planned Helmholtz Center for Aging Research, emphasized Hoch. "We already have the nucleus. We are already an important center of aging research." Research on the influence of the immune system on strokes was cited by Hoch as an important example.
"The Federal Research Ministry has now set up a top-class working group and is working flat out on it," reported Hoch. "It's supposed to be the center for aging research in Germany. Thorough preparation makes sense."
So far, Rhineland-Palatinate has "a structural disadvantage" when it comes to research funding. "We are the only state next to Thuringia that does not yet have a Helmholtz Center," said the minister. "And when it comes to the distribution of research funds, Rhineland-Palatinate is in last place by a wide margin." The federal state was not a historically grown research location. "Now we are the research hub the world is looking to in immunology and biotechnology."