Drei gelbe Pfeile mit unterschiedlicher Transparenz vor blauen mRNA-Molekülen.

Project Lightspeed

The German Museum of Technology is presenting the special exhibition "Project Lightspeed - Using mRNA technology to produce a COVID-19 vaccine" now at its new exhibition space: on the second floor of the New Building. The exhibition module will be supplemented by the interactive website www.projektlightspeed.de.

A hybrid concept

The exhibition is based on film footage by director Michael Schindhelm, who interviewed the BioNTech founders and their team. The exhibition module in the museum presents selected objects from BioNTech such as a bioreactor for the clinical production of mRNA. In addition to the on-site exhibit, the website www.projektlightspeed.de features more than 200 minutes of video footage, animations, graphics and an mRNA technology glossary. The website will continue to be accessible even after the exhibition module is no longer in place.


The underlying technology of the vaccine

Der Ausstellungstisch im Lokschuppen, dahinter die Kabinen in denen Filmsequenzen gezeigt werden.
Auf dem zentralen Ausstellungstisch werden die wichtigen Etappen der Impfstoffentwicklung anhand von Texten und Objekten nachgezeichnet.
SDTB / Foto: G. Güler

When Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci saw the first data and scientific reports from the Chinese city of Wuhan in January 2020, they quickly recognized the risk of a global pandemic. Together with their team, they began work on their so-called "Project Lightspeed", which was their plan to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 at virtually the speed of light.

"Project Lightspeed" shows both on-site and online how it was possible to produce the first Corona vaccine in record time. The exhibition provides insight into the crucial stages of vaccine development, from the first steps in the laboratory and clinical trials to the approval, production and worldwide distribution of the vaccine. It shows that mRNA technology, based on decades of research, was a crucial prerequisite for the success of vaccine development.

The exhibition was sponsored by BioNTech SE and supported by exhibits on loan.

The agency C4 Berlin was responsible for the design and implementation of the hybrid concept for a special exhibition with a digital logbook (website) in the Deutsches Technikmuseum.

The interactive website

With the help of film sequences, the interactive website vividly traces the development of the Corona vaccine within a very short time in nine chapters. The glossary explains important terms related to mRNA vaccination.

Michael Schindhelm was awarded the 2022 Herbert Quandt Media Prize for his documentary "A Vaccine at the Speed of Light  - The BioNTech Project" (Arte). The film footage serves as the basis for the exhibition at the Deutsches Technikmuseum.


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