Economy & Politics

PodcastVa-Q-tec boss Kuhn: “We will work through Christmas”

Va-Q-tec boss Joachim Kuhn: “Our invention works like a very large thermos flask”Getty Images

Transporting and distributing the Covid19 vaccines will be a Herculean logistical task. Several German companies play a key role in this – at the forefront: Va-Q-tec. The medium-sized company from Würzburg specializes in thermal containers and boxes in which the vaccines and test kits can be sent around the world at constant temperatures – the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer requires around minus 70 degrees. Such temperatures can only be ensured by specialists, and Biontech and Pfizer alone want to produce 1.3 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

The founder and boss of Va-Q-tec, Joachim Kuhn, is confident that his company will master the challenge: “The numbers are big, but with effort, mind you, with great effort, it is within a manageable framework”, said Kuhn in the podcast “Die Null”. “I am hopeful. We will manage it. ”There are of course continents and countries where transport is becoming more difficult, for example Latin America, Africa, but also parts of Russia and Asia – because transport over the last few kilometers by land is particularly complicated. “But in Germany, Central Europe and the western countries, the supply is more or less guaranteed. And it’s not just us. “

Va-Q-tec was founded in 2001 as a spin-off from the University of Würzburg and now employs 500 people. The company, which specializes in vacuum insulation, played an important role in the transport of test kits, which also have to be cooled. “Our thermal containers work like a very large thermos,” said Kuhn. The Würzburg company is currently in talks with several pharmaceutical companies and wants to expand its capacities – currently 2500 containers. “We also have an international fleet of 20,000 to 25,000 boxes that are on the move all over the world,” reported Kuhn. The products are sold and rented.

The ramp-up of production, but also the negotiations, talks and contracts are pretty busy at Va-Q-tec. “Of course we also have Christmas here,” said Kuhn. “But we will certainly have to work through. We can’t afford to take a break. And of course I have to make sure that our team stays healthy. “But the employees are” really proud to be part of this story. “

Hear in the new episode of “The Zero Hour”,

  • how Va-Q-tec’s technology works and why it is so unique,
  • what Joachim Kuhn advises so that more researchers start companies
  • For which products Kuhn’s technology can still be used – for example for facade insulation.

You can find all episodes directly at Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.

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