Andreas und Thomas Strüngmann, two of Germany’s richest investors, have committed $29m to help expand TU Munich’s tech transfer operation.

UnternehmerTUM, the commercialisation and innovation arm of TU Munich, secured a commitment for €25m ($29m) from Andreas und Thomas Strüngmann on Thursday.

The money will be supplied over a period of 10 years and will specifically drive the further development of the TUM Venture Labs, an initiative launched in October 2020 to support deeptech startups and connect them to researchers, investors, mentors and industry.

There are currently eight labs focused on distinct sectors: software and artificial intelligence, robotics and artificial intelligence, quantum, aerospace, built environment, chemistry, healthcare, and foodtech, biotech and agtech.

Another three labs are planned to target the fields of additive manufacturing, smart mobility, and sustainability, bioeconomy and energy. Some 100 teams are already taking part in the Venture Labs.

Prof Helmut Schönenberger, founder and chief executive of UnternehmerTUM and vice-president, entrepreneurship, of TU Munich, said: “The unique selling point of Munich’s innovation and startup scene is the joining of forces between universities, startups, the public sector, established businesses and entrepreneurial families.

“The Strüngmann family’s commitment to UnternehmerTUM and TUM Venture Labs is a wonderful example of the spirit of cooperation at Munich’s innovation and startup location.” [translated from German by Global University Venturing]

The Strüngmann brothers are among Germany’s richest investors after their early bet on vaccine developer Biontech that gave them a pre-IPO majority stake in the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz spinout currently worth around €25bn.