Prof.dr. Alex Friedrich
Chief Medical Officer & Chief Executive Officer
University Hospital in Münster, Germany
Prof.dr. Alex Friedrich will give his vision of the possibilities and challenges of cross-border collaboration in industry, hospitals, governments and science between Germany and the Netherlands. After all, (inter)national organisations are increasingly asking whether they can take a step toward the German market with the help of innovation clusters, such as the TechMed Centre. What are the challenges that come with this?
Friedrich started his education as a medical microbiologist in 1999 at the Universitätsklinikum Würzburg. In the period from 2001 to 2004, he followed part of the training at the Universitätsklinikum Münster (UKM). From 2006-2010 he was chef de clinique at the UKM and habilitated at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster. In 2011, he was appointed head of department at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and professor of medical microbiology at the University of Groningen. He held these positions until October 1, 2021. During the last 18 years he was coordinator of several large Crossborder networks in the Dutch-German border region addressing antibiotic resistance and infection prevention and control. In these projects he focused on bridging the border between Science, Health and Business.
From 2019 to 2021 he was chairmen of the board of head of departments (stafconvent) of the UMCG. Since January 1, 2022, he is chairman of the board and medical director of the UKM in Muenster.
Friedrich recieved the 'Thomassen à Thuessinkpenning' from the UMCG.
On the occasion of his departure from Groningen in 2021, Friedrich received a royal decoration: he was made a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He also received the Federal Cross of Merit from the German President.
At the start of the corona pandemic of 2020, Friedrich was in the news because of the testing policy in the Northern Netherlands. Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health criticized the use of then still scarce diagnostic tests for the screening of employees of the University Medical Center Groningen. From the outset, a strategy was chosen of containing, detecting and isolating infections with the COVID-19 virus through frequent testing. The architect of this policy was Friedrich. The UMCG countered the criticism by stating that, contrary to what was the case elsewhere, it was not short of test material. Moreover, the chosen strategy was in line with the advice of the World Health Organization. The minister withdrew his criticism on March 26, 2020, during a debate about the corona crisis in the House of Representatives.