Jan 29, 2018 | By Benedict

The Fraunhofer Society, a German research organization with 70 institutes spread throughout Germany, has signed an agreement with Katharina Fegebank, Deputy Mayor of Hamburg, to jointly explore 3D printing and nanotechnology over the next five years.

January 1 was a big day for Hamburg and the Fraunhofer Society. Not just because it signaled the start of 2018, but because it also saw the Fraunhofer Society acquire two leading Hamburg research institutions as part of a 30 million euro ($37 million) deal. The deal was closed following lengthy negotiations with the German government.

Of that 30 million euros, around 20 million will go into the planned construction of Fraunhofer Institute for Additive Production Technology (IAPT), a new institute being formed from the acquired optical specialist LZN Laser Zentrum Nord.

Another 10 million euros will be invested in the growth of the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN), formed from the previously independent Center for Applied Technology, as well as further development of IAPT.

CAN has been integrated into the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) as a new field office, and will cover functional materials, life science, and home and personal care with a research focus on quantum dots and OLEDs, biofunctional nanoparticles, and nanoparticle synthesis.

Excitingly for us, a big part of this investment in the two new Fraunhofer institutes will go toward the exploration of additive manufacturing technologies and nanotechnology systems over the course of the next five years.

“With the transfer of LZN Laser Zentrum Nord and CAN into the Fraunhofer Society, we are further expanding our competences in the fields of additive manufacturing and nanotechnology,” said Professor Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Society. This allows us to better support our customers and partners in the near future.”

Neugebauer said that, with the two new facilities, Fraunhofer will develop new 3D printing technologies and solutions that will strengthen the German and European economy while helping Fraunhofer sustainably position itself in numerous areas such as aviation, medical technology, and mechanical engineering.

“Hamburg is well on the way to become a leading centre of research and innovation in Europe,” added Katharina Fegenbank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality. “3D printing and nanotechnology are future-orientated fields which are important catalysts of innovation and our city’s development.”

As part of the LZN Laser Zentrum Nord integration, a Competence Center for Additive Manufacturing is being established in Hamburg, which aims to further develop 3D printing technology through applied research and development services.

This will benefit not only researchers already working in Germany, but could dramatically improve the reputation of the already well-regarded institutes.

“With the transfer to a Fraunhofer Institute, the course has been set for the development of one of the most influential production technologies of the future: additive manufacturing,” said Professor Claus Emmelmann, head of Fraunhofer IAPT. “This, in turn, has positive infrastructural implications, since many companies will opt for the Hamburg location in future in order to utilize the extensive know-how of the Fraunhofer IAPT.”

Emmelmann says the IAPT could double its number of employees over the course of the coming years.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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