© Fraunhofer IPA

Material innovations come and go. New materials have always been heralded as innovation drivers. But only a few materials have made the arduous journey from an invention to a successful innovation in the marketplace.  The reason for this is that material development is extremely complex, time-consuming and expensive. Once the material has been developed, the processes, approval methods and products have to be refined. In some cases, this takes decades.

On the other hand, we need new materials to produce better, sustainable products. We need to find a way to develop resource efficient and CO2 neutral product innovations - fast!

Digitalization offers us not only the chance to communicate across borders, but also to jointly develop, identify and seize market opportunities.

The international workshop ASM21 takes a holistic view of material innovations. From synthesis to recycling, it covers the entire product life cycle.  Top international speakers from research and industry present the latest innovations for discussion and thus contribute to an efficient technology transfer and the increase of innovation rates.

Development of Biobased Energy Storage Systems

Glanz, Carsten
Fraunhofer IPA, Group leader

International research teams have been trying for years to use biocompostable materials (e.g. cellulose, corn starch or enzymes) as parts for energy storage devices. Laboratory investigations have demonstrated the general feasibility of such materials, but the industrialization of the manufacturing principles and material handling processes is currently still a challenge. 

Researchers at Fraunhofer IPA, as part of a joint collaboration focussing on biodegradable paper electrodes, have presented up-scalable production methods for such materials. It was revealed that compostable paper electrodes may be mass-produced on a roll-to-roll coating system.

The cell bodies of such energy storage devices are still encased in pouches made of  aluminium- polymer compound films. These encapsulation materials can not yet be replaced by biodegradable materials. A range of biopolymers are currently investigated, which have similar sealing and encapsulation properties. They ensure a safe operation of the energy cells and, after the end of their cycle-life, may be disposed as compostable bio-trash. 

During the presentation, the state of the art of international research activities will be shown. 


Multifunctionality in Energy Scavenging Textiles

David L. Carroll PhD.
irector: Nanotech, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials│Wake Forest University, U.S.A.

The development of high performance energy scavenging textiles holds much promise in transportation, home appliances, and furnishings, and more. However, recent work into ion transport within such textiles has revealed the potential of an impact in battery technologies that was unimagined before. In this presentation I will give a simple overview of the thermodynamically-entangled materials systems that led to the first thermo-piezo-electric (T/PEG), and textiles made from them. Then more recent applications of these Onsager principles to the T/PEG material structures will be shown to allow for novel battery approaches that have the potential for a significant impact in current industry.    


Exiting Industrial Applications of Graphene

Münzing, Bernhard
BePaMü GmbH, Managing director

It is known that graphene can enhance corrosion protection on metal substrates. Latest results for corrosion protection primers will be presented, demonstrating that a graphene enhanced primer can withstand 4000 hours and more in a standard salt spray testing scheme. Graphene film can be used in heat dissipation. Aside from electronic devices graphene films can also be used on metal structures. Also highly conductive polymer filaments usable in additive manufacturing will be presented.

Examples from industrial applications.

Now available on the market are graphene-metal powder composites. When used in additive manufacturing flowability, electrical and mechanical properties are improved. Examples including the circuit breaker technology developed within the Graphene Flagship* will be mentioned. 

*The Graphene Flagship is a Future and Emerging Technology Flagship by the European Commission


Production Methods of Electro Active Polymer Actuators

Kolaric, Ivica
Fraunhofer IPA, Head of Department Functional Materials

Automation is an integral part of our value creation processes and contributes to maintaining competitiveness. Soft actuators for handling systems and robots, so-called soft actuators, play a major role here. These soft actuators not only enable the reliable gripping of sensitive goods, but can also make a significant contribution to smart and self-learning robots due to their sensory properties. In this context, actuators made of electroactive polymers can play a decisive role. The actuators are soft, quiet, efficient and enable cognitive grasping. Within this presentation, however, the key question of how EAP actuators can be manufactured industrially will be addressed. Today, EAP actuators are only produced by hand in the laboratory. This leads to high costs and quality variations. The Fraunhofer IPA will present the first results of an industrial production of EAP actuators within this lecture.

Information and Communication Technology

  • New materials, such as graphene or topological insulator
  • Battery materials
  • Heatsink for energy management
  • EMI shielding materials
  • Large area sensors

Environment and Energy

  • Electrode materials for batteries
  • New emitters with high efficiency and low cost
  • Corrosion protection with graphene
  • Thermoelectric generators
  • Smart packaging
  • Electro-spinning polymers

Life Sciences

  • Bio-sensors
  • Wearable medical sensors

Target groups

Developers from, amongst others, environment and energy, life science, communication technology and technology scouts are welcome.


  • Representatives from the industry and scientists will have the opportunity to discuss the possibilities of co-operation.
  • The presentations show the technological possibilities, development potentials and thus the chances for new products and markets.


Interviews with speakers

Münzing, Bernhard,

The Sixth Element


Interviews with speakers

Lee, Moon Sook,

GyoRin Incorporation


Wie KMU die Früchte der Digitalisierung ernten können

Interviewpartner von Ivica Kolaric: Ulf Köpke

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