Since 2010, Fraunhofer IZI has maintained a close cooperation with Chonnam National University Hospital Hwasun (CNUHH) in several areas. With 700 beds, the CNUHH is one of the largest university hospitals specialized in the treatment of cancer in South Korea. A vibrant biotech and medtech industry has established itself in the local area. The JLCI facilitates the collaboration with external partners from academia and industry in Asia. For example the Fraunhofer IZI’s ligand development group is using the regular access to fresh tumor materials from patients to identify tumor binding peptides, which already have been validated in tumor models. The laboratory management is oriented at the standards and rules of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. This shall guarantee a common basis when dealing with patents and contractual matters.
The JLCI was financed until 2017 by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, as part of an initiative to strengthen international cooperation. Since 2018, additional funds have been authorized by the provincial government of Jeollanam do and the district of Hwasun gun in order to facilitate stronger connections within the industry and with other research institutes in Korea and Germany through professional business development.
Various projects have been conducted to date at the JLCI, e.g. in the field of senescence and cancer research, also as part of funding measures associated with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s Central Innovation Program for SMEs. Several Fraunhofer IZI delegations have already taken part in conferences and research stays in Korea and a number of Korean colleagues have also worked at Fraunhofer IZI. The joint research work is documented in many joint publications. German-Korean symposia have so far taken place on an annually rotating basis.