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Hereon is joining HOLII

Scientists of our center are participating in a program that helps to implement new ideas of potential founders

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon is now partner of HOLII. This acronym stands for Holistic Impact Incubator. It is a business incubation program for startup ideas that address key societal challenges of our times such as climate change, sustainability and health. Over four months, the program supports eleven teams in realizing their impact ideas. “Participants learn core competencies, increase their self-efficacy and proactivity, and expand their network,” the HOLII website points out. The program starts on Wednesday with a kick-off meeting.

Photo sLAAO Team

The team is happy to be part of the program (from left: Markus Reinthaler, Kate Polak-Kraśna and Marcin J. Kraśny). Photo: Hereon/ Hanin Alkhamis, Kate Polak-Kraśna

The Hereon-team participating in the program consists of three members: Dr Kate Polak-Kraśna is a biomedical engineer with expertise in medical devices, leading the Department of Digital Design and Manufacturing at the Institute of Active Polymers of Hereon. Dr Markus Reinthaler is a clinical expert working part-time at Hereon, and the director of Structural Heart Department at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Dr Marcin J. Kraśny is an electronics engineer from Translational Medical Device Lab at the University of Galway, Ireland. The three are part of a team developing smart cardiac implants to lower stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation.

The goal of participating in the program is to develop a feasible business idea for the concept of smart Left Atrial Appendage Occluder (sLAAO) and make it possible to spin-off and create a successful line of products improving cardiac patients’ outcomes. The concept brings disruptive innovation into medical implants field to make cardiac surgery safer, implants outcomes better, and enable patient’s health monitoring during minimally-invasive catheter-based procedures and after implantation. At Hereon, we are striving to translate research into real life applications, also for improving health, using expertise, novel materials, advanced infrastructure and creativity.

The HOLII program starts on Wednesday at the Leuphana University Lüneburg with a kick-off meeting where all selected teams get to meet the experts and organizers, pitch their ideas, and prepare for a large pitch event later in March. After that, there will be eight coaching days and events.

Further Information


Dr Kate Polak-Kraśna


Phone: +49 (0) 3328 352-303

E-mail contact

Institute of Active Polymers
Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

Christoph Wöhrle

Press Officer

Phone: +49 (0) 4152 87-1648

E-mail contact

Communication and Media
Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon