Else Kröner Fresenius Stiftung

Translational research

The direct application of new research findings to benefit human health and well-being was always a primary objective of the Foundation’s founder, Else Kröner.

There is a wide gap in Germany between successful fundamental medical and scientific research and its real-time, direct application in routine clinical practice for the benefit of patients. This is due, among other things, to the scarcity of funding for gathering the necessary preclinical data and for initial clinical trials. In the case of therapeutics that require a considerable amount of investment to bring them to market, for example, financially sound investors are often only interested in financing further product development with risk capital after the successful completion of clinical phase 1 and 2 trials.

The EKFS’s aim through its non-profit subsidiary For Tra gGmbH für Forschungstransfer is to fund and actively support research projects, in order to bring promising developments to the application stage as quickly as possible to help the sick or prevent diseases. The translational research funding line is open to all patient-side applications, regardless of market size.

Funding programme

The translational research funding line is aimed to support innovative projects with high translational potential, for which the respective patient-related application potential is clearly defined and for which the first convincing research findings have already been demonstrated. The EKFS supports translational research projects by funding of key experiments or studies that are required to validate the medical approach or the product (drug). In addition, projects that are funded from  the translational research funding line have the possibility to receive close expert support for project development and technology and knowledge transfer into application.

Applicants can apply for validation and advancement of their project, for example by

  • payment for external research services, such as a toxicity study, large animal model, etc.
  • financing of further validation studies in cohorts for a new clinical diagnostics
  • start-up financing for an initial clinical trial (e.g. “first-in-man” trial)

As most application-oriented projects are at different stages of development and require very different measures to advance them, the projects approved within the scope of the translational research funding line can receive further support via individually tailored support measures, e.g.:

  • financing of consulting service, e.g. from a patent attorney or with regard to regulatory matters 
  • financing of costs to patent promising inventions
  • assumption of the costs for professional advice on technology and knowledge transfer to the relevant technology or innovation by an external advisor recognized by the EKFS
  • assumption of the costs for professional and intensive consulting with regard to project development and/or spin-off coaching for new spin-off projects by an external consultant recognized by the EKFS

The subsequent continued financing of an advanced-stage translational project supported by the EKFS, for example by an industrial partner, is expressly encouraged. One exception is direct or indirect (co-)financing of the development work of a commercial partner, who, for example, owns the property rights to the product to be developed, meaning that the project manager has no FTO (freedom to operate).


Project Pool for the Translational Research Funding Line


Approval Process of Project Applications


If you have any further questions about this line of funding, please contact Prof. Dr. Martin Zörnig (Head of Translational Research Funding at EKFS) at the EKFS office in Bad Homburg.

Phone: +49 (0)6172 8975-12
Email: m.zoernig(at)ekfs.de