Review

Fraunhofer IAP inaugurated Application Center and celebrates 20th anniversary

Press release /

On June 12, 2012, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP inaugurated the "Application Ccenter for Innovative Polymer Technologies" and celebrated its 20th anniversary. Above all, new materials and technologies will be transferred to from laboratory to the near-industrial scale in the expansion building. High-tech polymers with special electrical and optical properties, biocompatible materials and renewable plant raw materials are the focus of the research activities.

© Fraunhofer IAP, Photo: Mario Hoffmann
Opening ceremony with H.-P. Hiepe, Prof. H.-P. Fink, Prof. S. Kunst, Prof. U. Buller, Ch. Nagel-Hirschauer, J. Jakobs (v.l.t.r.)

"The step from laboratory to industrial production is great," said director Professor Hans-Peter Fink at the opening. Hence, the Application Center constitutes an evolutionary leap for the institute, Prof. Fink emphasized and thanked for the support, notably through the EU, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the BMBF and the state of Brandenburg. About 250 guests from politics, industry and research gave the honor, including the Minister for Science, Research and Culture of Brandenburg, Prof. Sabine Kunst, Potsdam Mayor Jann Jakobs, Henning Heidemanns, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy and European Affairs, Hans-Peter Hiepe, BMBF, and architect Christoph Nagel Hirschauer from Schmidt-Schicketanz and Partner GmbH, Munich.

"The Fraunhofer IAP is celebrating not only 20 years of polymer research, but also 20 years enthusiastic and hardworking employees." said Professor Buller, who headed the institute from 1997 to 2006 and is since 2006 the Fraunhofer board for research planning. In 1992, work began initially in Teltow-Seehof, recalled Buller. Praised "We have built up a lot of good." Science Minister Sabine Kunst praised the work of the Fraunhofer IAP and spoke of a success story. "Nobody would have thought that it was developing like this." She stressed that the institution increases the competitiveness of the region. "A hallmark of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the applied and industrial research. We cooperate with partners all over the world, increasingly in Brandenburg," Fink supplemented.

Following the speeches and the opening ceremony with Minister Kunst, the guests were able to gain an impression of the facilities and research topics of the application center. Division Head Dr. Armin Wedel presented a pilot plant for the production of organic light-emitting diodes and organic solar cells. Also flexible systems will be realized here. Department Head Dr. Joachim Storsberg develops biocompatible materials for implants. In particular, artificial corneas of the second generation are the focus of his work. Furthermore, the researches will make by-products of agriculture - such as oat hulls or wheat bran - usable for the manufacture of plastics. "This could make the plastics industry more independent from crude oil," said scientist David Dietz. A lecture meeting in the afternoon completed the festivities. Renowned Fraunhofer researchers spoke about the highlights from 20 years of polymer research, after Prof. Gerhard Kossmehl which was Deputy Chairman of Trustees for many years, reviewed the story of the Fraunhofer IAP.