Paper submission from the T-PATHS Team accepted for the 36th Annual Conference of the "Consortium for Higher Education Researchers" (CHER)

The paper is titled "Transfer Paths in Biomedical Research. The Role of Universities from an Ecology of Translation Perspective" and focuses on preliminary quantitative and qualitative results from the T-PATHS project.

Translational medicine and research have emerged as a new paradigm in the context of innovation and the transfer of basic research into clinical treatment in the biomedical field. The study investigates this paradigm, particularly focusing on the transfer paths originating in German universities, notably university medicine, leading to patents or drug developments. The study adopts an ecology of translation perspective, examining how long cooperation chains and transfer paths across different organizations contribute to bridging the gaps between the phases from bench to bedside.

The empirical research is mixed-methods and combines quantitative network analyses of co-publications and co-patents with qualitative organizational case studies to identify transfer paths. The quantitative part reconstructs the overall German network of biomedical collaborations and provide detailed analysis of selected organizations' transfer paths. The qualitative case studies on German universities focus on collaborations within university medicine, drug development breakthroughs, and patenting for specific diseases and illuminate the organizational conditions facilitating established transfer paths and faced by actors.

The findings are very preliminary at this stage. Quantitatively, tentative results on transfer paths in German biomedical research from a macro-level perspective, comparing different types of ecological environments and going into detail on the type of spatial hub will be presented. Qualitatively, the presentation will delve into the details of the ecological environment and its development around the University of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), which both are located at a central campus – Campus Im Neuenheimer Feld – and are surrounded by many other R&D organizations.