20 years tailor-made polymer research

Fraunhofer IAP inaugurates Application Center and celebrates anniversary

Press release /

On June 12, 2012, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP inaugurates the "Application Ccenter for Innovative Polymer Technologies". At the same time, the Institute celebrates its 20th anniversary. Numerous guests from politics, industry and research are expected, including Brandenburg's Science Minister Prof. Sabine Kunst and Prof. Ulrich Buller, member of the Fraunhofer Executive Board. Covering an area of 2,800 square meters the expansion building offers space for new pilot plants, laboratories and offices. Above all, new materials and technologies will be transferred from laboratory to pilot plant scale. High-tech polymers with special electrical and optical properties, biocompatible materials and renewable plant raw materials are the focus of the research.

© Fraunhofer IAP, Photo: Michael Moser

High strength fibers for fast cars, organic light-emitting diodes for flat screens or artificial corneas for eye implants: For 20 years, Fraunhofer IAP has been developing polymers for various applications. Just in time for the anniversary, the second expansion stage of the institute was completed - the "Application Center for Innovative Polymer Technologies." Most modern devices open up new possibilities to the researchers. For the first time, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can be manufactured under industrial conditions in a pilot scale.

"The Application Center provides excellent conditions to transfer materials and technologies quickly from idea to market." says the Institute Director Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Fink. The researchers want to develop new implant materials for eyes and dental care. These materials must meet high requirements: they must not only be biocompatible but also mechanically and chemically stable. The interaction with the human body tissue is to be intensively studied with the aid of cell cultures. Furthermore, biotechnological processes will be developed in the application center in order to use renewable resources such as starch, cellulose or lignin more effectively in future. Biopolymers from by-products of agricultural and forestry sectors, are to be obtained biotechnologically with the help of newly developed enzyme systems. Efficient, carbon neutral bioplastics and various marketable applications will be the products of this research.

The cost of the second stage of expansion amount to EUR 23.3 million euros (construction and initial equipment). 50 percent are being subsidized by the EU Regional Fund EFRE. The state of Brandenburg and the federal government are bearing 25 percent of the costs each. Fraunhofer IAP's second building stage will make room for 94 new jobs.

After the ceremonial event, the guests can tour the new laboratories and pilot plants. The following lecture program covers topics ranging from 20 years of successful customized polymer research.



11: 00 Opening

  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Fink | Institutsleiter Fraunhofer IAP
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst | Ministerin für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur in Brandenburg
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Buller | Vorstand der Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Forschungsplanung
  • Jann Jakobs | Oberbürgermeister Potsdam
  • Henning Heidemanns | Staatssekretär, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Europaangelegenheiten
  • Hans-Peter Hiepe | BMBF, Berlin
  • Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Nagel-Hirschauer |Architekten SSP, München

12:00 Opening ceremony, VIP tour, imbiss, lab tours

14:00 Lectures – 20 Years Fraunhofer IAP

  • Opening
    Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Fink | Director of Fraunhofer IAP
  • 20 Jahre Fraunhofer IAP – Ein historischer Überblick
    Prof. Dr. Gerhard Koßmehl
  • Materialien aus Biopolymeren
    Dr. Waltraud Vorwerg | Head of division at Fraunhofer IAP
  • Organische Elektronik – Vom Material zur Technologie. Beispiele einer rasanten Entwicklung
    Dr. Armin Wedel | Head of division at Fraunhofer IAP
  • Biobasierte Kunststoffe – Herausforderungen und Chancen am Beispiel von PLA
    Dr. Mathias Hahn | Head of division at Fraunhofer IAP
  • Neue Chemie an »alten« Polymeren – Wasserlösliche Polymere auf dem Vormarsch
    Prof. Dr. André Laschewsky | Head of division at Fraunhofer IAP
  • Von der Forschung in die Praxis – F&E im Pilotmaßstab am Pilotanlagenzentrum PAZ
    Prof. Dr. Michael Bartke | Head of division at  Fraunhofer IAP