A year that was special in many respects is now drawing to a close, and we can look back on an eventful period. One particular highlight: On 18th February 2021, the NASA rover "Perseverance" successfully landed on Mars - and with it an optical interference filter from the Fraunhofer IST.
In March 2021, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer ITEM and the Fraunhofer IMTE, we launched the High-Performance Center Medical and Pharmaceutical Engineering. Together with local partners, we are creating a platform for research and for the transfer of innovation to patient care. In the coming year, the Fraunhofer IST will commence operation of a translational laboratory “Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Production”. In cooperation with the Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering (PVZ) at the TU Braunschweig, we will develop production processes for individualized medicines in this laboratory.
Battery technology and technologies for a hydrogen economy are key elements for sustainable development. At the Fraunhofer IST, we are conducting intensive research in these fields, in particular at the Fraunhofer Project Center for Energy Storage and Systems ZESS, whose research building is situated in Braunschweig, and also at the Wasserstoff Campus Salzgitter (Hydrogen Campus).
The digitization of process chains all the way through to model factories is an important driver of our work at the Fraunhofer IST. Under the heading ”Reinigung 4.0” (Cleaning 4.0), we are using the example of aqueous cleaning to demonstrate how cyber-physical production systems can be implemented in industrial practice. In collaboration with businesses, we will successively transfer the fundamental concept to other processes and process chains.
The Corona pandemic continues to influence our work - also in terms of content. We were able, for example, to successfully complete so-called anti-Corona projects. Just two examples are a mobile cleaning robot with a plasma module, and a disinfection sprayer in which ozonated water is generated by means of our diamond-coated electrodes. Furthermore, as a research partner of a local company, we are participating in the successful development and production of sustainable FFP2 masks made from bamboo. By treating them with atmospheric-pressure plasmas, we are able to optimize the surface properties of these masks.
Sustainability is a central guiding principle for our research. We were therefore delighted that the ”SafeWaterAfrica” project was honored with the Solar Impulse Label, which is awarded for clean and cost-effective solutions. This provides us with encouragement regarding our goals of continuing to devise future-proof product and associated production systems, with sustainability as a key consideration, in the coming year.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to you for the trust you have placed in us and for the excellent collaboration, as well as to our employees for their hard work and commitment. We look forward to new projects and hope, of course, that we will be able to meet regularly in person again, rather than just virtually.
On behalf of the entire staff of the Fraunhofer IST, we wish you a relaxing time, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022. Stay healthy!