Adding value through biointelligence

“I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one [...]”

Steve Jobs

In the future, biological transformation will merge nature with technology, i.e. the biosphere and technosphere. Optimized during a period of evolution of over three and a half billion years, principles, processes and organisms will increasingly find their way into the industrial value chain. Thanks to innovations in bioengineering and information technology, these can now be cultivated and implemented in numerous industrial processes. This will make value adding more effective, more efficient and more sustainable.

Technical factory systems that are spatially separated from one another will become self-organized, networked and adaptive value-adding systems, making them ideally suited for tomorrow’s demands. Fraunhofer IPA is already taking on a key role in the development of these so-called biointelligent value-adding systems today.

Potential of biointelligent added value

Research projects across the globe are striving to replace products which are dependent on mineral oil. To achieve the goal of a bio-based economy, the world needs future-proof concepts and technologies for the industrial value chain that are based on natural material cycles.

The development of innovative, evolvable solutions and products is an important driver of sustainability in the industrial world. Biointelligent value-adding systems pay a valuable contribution to solving the essential challenges of society.

However, the biointelligent value chain is not only more sustainable but also improves products and processes, i.e. Making them more efficient, more functional, more variable, more adaptable, more intelligent, more affordable and more robust. Consequently, this is currently one of the most interesting fields of development for manufacturing companies, and one where Fraunhofer IPA can play a supporting role.

Knowledge and expertise

Drawing on a wealth of experience in the areas of manufacturing engineering and management, automation, digitization, surface engineering, biomimetics, bioengineering and sustainability, Fraunhofer IPA can make a decisive contribution to biologically transforming the industrial value chain. Developing biointelligent value-adding systems is a core element of the future research strategy of Fraunhofer IPA and the Fraunhofer Institute Center in Stuttgart.

Examples of research work include developing biomimetic solutions for industrial production processes, as well as automating laboratories for bioengineering. Furthermore, in the research fields of networked and resource-efficient value-adding, the institute is renowned throughout Germany for its exceptional contribution towards implementing digitization and designing sustainable value-adding systems.