At the suggestion of the Bavarian Minister-President, Dr. Markus Söder, our Institute Director, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl, was awarded the "Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany" by the Federal President, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Prof. Sextl was honored for his far above-average commitment and for his achievements on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany as a university professor at the CTMS chair and as director of the Fraunhofer ISC.
"This is a great honor for me and at the same time a great confirmation for you and your work, dear employees, that we are on the right track with our research and that this is also perceived in authoritative places," said Prof. Sextl.
The honoring was done by Mr. State Secretary Eck - due to corona reasons only in a small frame.
We all congratulate on this great success!
On July 09, 2021, Oliver Kaczmarek and René Röspel, members of the German Bundestag, visited the Fraunhofer ISC to talk to the institute's director about trends and the future of materials research.
Mr. Kaczmarek is chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, Mr. Röspel is chairman of the Enquete Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Mr. Sextl took the opportunity to explain the role of materials research in the face of the challenges of climate change, its contributions to the energy transition and the opportunities of digitalization. Both parliamentarians regretted that materials research is often undervalued by funding policies and expressed their gratitude for the vivid and comprehensible examples from the ISC's current research, which proved how important it is to start with the material itself when it comes to climate protection, sustainability and resource conservation.
A few more fans won ...
The friendly inaugural visit of the new Main-Tauber District Administrator to the Bronnbach branch office on 01 July 2021 was very positive. The Bronnbach colleagues of the Center of Device Development CeDeD and the International Convention Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation IZKK gave an insight into the fields of work of the branch office, Prof. Sextl presented the ISC with its fields of work to the new head of the district, colleague Victor Trapp the concept for the Green Innovation Lab in Bronnbach.
From the current newsletter of the district office, it says among other things:
"The new District Administrator Christoph Schauder is very pleased with the commitment of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC at the Bronnbach Monastery and is aiming for a long-term collaboration with the scientific institution. This is the result of an on-site visit. Together with Ursula Mühleck, Head of the Department for District Development, Culture and Education, he was informed about the work of the branch office."
On June 17, 2021, the German Convention Bureau - GCB for short - from Frankfurt was with us. The #Eventprofs were on the road all over Germany and presented different meeting locations.
On June 17, 2021, Würzburg was the last stop on the #MeetConnectDiscover journey as a conference location.
From the Kulturspeicher to the CCW, the Bürgerspital and the fortress, the film team also came to us in the afternoon.
© Fraunhofer ISC for the SUPERSMART project consortium I March 30, 2021
... the Fraunhofer ISC for the SUPERSMART project team! Congratulations to our colleague Gerhard Domann from the Center Smart Materials and Adaptive Systems CeSMA! He had entered the EU project SUPERSMART - printed sensors and smart labels on paper - in the category "best publicly funded demonstrator". With the support of the PR colleagues and the project partners, a project video was produced and submitted to the demonstrator competition of the OE-A (Organic Electronic Association). The project convinced the jury - printed electronics, processes suitable for mass production (R2R, automated process steps), sustainable paper substrate, easy handling of the sensors, recyclability, LCA with impressive results. A great success for the whole project team!
On March 18, 2021, the committee of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs met on the topic of "Energy Storage of the Future".
Our institute director was also present as an expert at the hearing in the Bavarian state parliament. The Economic Committee appreciates the expertise of the Fraunhofer ISC, and Prof. Sextl was therefore able to make a case to the parliamentarians for the necessary linkage of the energy transition, sector coupling and storage technology, well prepared with facts and figures from the Fraunhofer Research and Development Center for Electromobility Bavaria FZEB. Key points here: development of future battery technologies, establishment of production capacities, closed value-added cycles, intelligent recycling.
For the ISC, such top political appointments are always an important opportunity to provide impetus for future funding strategies and investments.
With tenacity and great commitment, ISC colleague Johanna Leissner has been fighting for many years for the topic of cultural property protection at the project funding switchboards - at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, at the DBU, at the BMBF and at the EU Commission. Now she has been sent to Brussels by the German government. She officially represents the Federal Republic in the new EU working group "Strengthening Cultural Heritage Resilience for Climate Change (2021- 2022)".
And no sooner had the group started its work on January 19, 2021, than Leissner was elected chairwoman by all delegates, a task that is both honorable and demanding. After all, she must now ensure that the group is able to work and balance the different interests of the member countries in the protection of cultural property in times of climate change.
"Along the way," however, she is also - as already reported - landing exciting projects such as KERES, which deals with the effects of climate change on cultural property, e.g.:
On December 04, 2020, "political" visitors came to Bronnbach: MdL Stephen Brauer, accompanied by FDP district chairman Benjamin Denzer and district council member Jürgen Vossler, informed himself on site about current research activities. Colleague Dr. Andreas Diegeler with "his" Bronnbachers, supported by colleague Johanna Leissner (our woman in Brussels), made a good impression and won a new fan. A press release from the MP's office says: "Furthermore, the central research fields include questions of digitalization, climate, energy and resource management, as well as biomedicine. The FDP delegation was impressed by the facility's performance and innovative strength. The employees are all specialists and are among the best in their field. It is particularly important for a diverse and high-performance research landscape in Baden-Württemberg... that facilities such as the Bronnbach ISC are further strengthened...."
If the name "Denzer" sounds familiar, Benjamin Denzer is the son of long-time former district administrator Georg Denzer, who was very involved in the renovation and revitalization of Bronnbach Monastery during his time in office. Denzer senior retired in 2005 after 24 years as district administrator.
What extreme weather events can be expected in Germany in the future? How can damage to irreplaceable historic buildings and garden landscapes be avoided? Which measures are successful in the long term and also make economic sense?
Researchers are investigating these and other questions in the KERES project, which started on December 01, 2020 and is funded by the BMBF with 1.97 million euros. Four Fraunhofer institutes from the Cultural Heritage Research Alliance (Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC) are collaborating on the project with the Climate Service Center Germany of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg. The research project is coordinated by colleague Johanna Leissner from the ISC together with the Fraunhofer EU Office in Brussels.
In May, the DiMaWert project was launched at the Fraunhofer Center for High Temperature Materials and Design HTL in Bayreuth. It is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy with 7 million euros.
In order to achieve the agreed climate protection targets, measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be introduced in the short term. The most effective lever for this is to increase energy efficiency in the energy-intensive industries. Heating processes require around two-thirds of the total energy used in the manufacturing sector and almost 90% of this energy is generated using fossil fuels, so in principle there is high potential for savings. However, the development of new energy-efficient processes currently takes far too long from the first pilot plants to implementation on an industrial scale.
Researchers at the Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg are now using their many years of experience in the field of human tissue models to develop a powerful test system based on a new long-lived cornea model in collaboration with experts from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Goethe University Frankfurt, and the companies Clariant Produkte GmbH and Courage Khazaka Elektronik GmbH. "The project is not only intended to completely replace the 'Draize Eye Test', but also to allow more reliable predictions, since the tissue model is based on human cells," says Institute Director Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl, outlining the goal. The ambitious project is being financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the "Alternatives to Animal Testing" funding program.
On September 23, Sabine Amberg-Schwab received the Sustainability Award 2020 for the development of bioORMCOCER® coatings in the categories "Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation" and "Bio-Based Packaging".
Dear Sabine, congratulations on this award! It now joins the ranks as award number 4:
- German Packaging Award GOLD
- German Packaging Award 2020, Sustainability Category
- 3rd place for "Bio-based Materials of the Year!" Nova Institute
The Executive Board project KlimaAktiv kicked off at the end of March. Initiated by the Corporate Responsibility Board (CR Board), the project aims to develop a climate strategy for Fraunhofer that will enable it to significantly reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and gradually cut its energy consumption. To this end, relevant emission sources and data are first collected and, on the basis of these, measures for CO2 reduction are identified and evaluated, and a roadmap for implementation is drawn up. The first interim results are now available.
The recently launched, European collaborative project ASTRABAT aims to develop safe and high-energy solid-state lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles and other applications in Europe.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg with its Research and Development Center for Electromobility FZEB is involved in ASTRABAT as a partner. Fraunhofer FZEB is working on more than a dozen projects in the field of battery research and development at national and European level. The core component of the ASTRABAT project is the development of a solid state electrolyte with organic and inorganic components. The hybrid approach allows the electrolyte to be optimized in each case for application at the interfaces to the anode and cathode. At the same time, the material properties play a key role in the processability of the components made from it. In the project, Fraunhofer ISC has taken on the task of developing materials that meet these requirements, thus making an essential contribution to the success of the project as well as to the development of a European solid-state battery.
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is disrupting public life and the economy in unprecedented ways. Accordingly, worldwide research efforts are underway to fill the gaps in knowledge about the new pathogen and to develop effective therapies. In Würzburg, too, researchers from the Fraunhofer Translational Center Regenerative Therapies are working together with virologist Prof. Dr. Bodem from the University of Würzburg to identify active agents against the virus.