Funding notification received - The economic region continues to develop

Fraunhofer IST founds innovation center in Helmstedt

Press Release /

It was delivered this week: The next funding notification for the utilization of funds provided under the program for structural reinforcement. Once again, more than one million euros will flow into the further diversification of regional value creation. Specifically, the funds will be used for the project conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS entitled “Aufbau und Etablierung eines Innovationszentrums durch das Fraunhofer IST als Impulsgeber für Wissens- und Technologietransfer Maßnahmen” (Development and establishment of an innovation center by the Fraunhofer IST as a catalyst for knowledge- and technology-transfer measures).

Thomas Klein, Managing Director of  Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH (left) and Dr. Guido Hora from the Fraunhofer IST (right).
© Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt, Fotograf: Philipp Ziebart
Thomas Klein, Managing Director of Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH (left) and Dr. Guido Hora from the Fraunhofer IST (right).

In close cooperation with Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH and in collaboration with regional partners from business, science and politics, the project aims to help strengthen the local transformation in the areas of technology and services for the energy transition, resource efficiency through the circular economy and sustainable digital agriculture in order to increase value creation in the region. For this purpose, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will establish an office in the Haus der Wirtschaft, the home of Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, from 2024 and the flag of science will then fly prominently in the district town.

In collaboration with regional companies, fields of action in the energy, circular-economy and agriculture sectors are to be identified and, with the support of the Technische Universität Braunschweig and Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, new companies are to become established and project alliances formed. The funding stems from the so-called “Kohlemittel” (coal funds), which the federal government is making available for the management of infrastructural change in the former coal-mining regions. The funding is initially limited to four years. The findings and measures for a promising transformation resulting from this pilot project are to be made available in the future to other regions in Europe and throughout the world that are affected by the fossil-fuel phase-out, thereby also increasing the prominence of the Helmstedt region.

Dr. Guido Hora, born in Helmstedt and Business Development Manager at the Fraunhofer IST, will be responsible for setting up the HELMIZ innovation center.

Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony's Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport, Construction and Digitalization: “I am delighted that the renowned Fraunhofer institute, with its proven research expertise, is strengthening the process of structural change in the Helmstedt region. It is important that a transfer from research to the region takes place in order for innovation and, ultimately, sustainability to succeed. The funded innovation center is a further important step along the path to a successful transformation of the former coal-mining area.”

Thomas Klein, Managing Director of Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH: “A further building block of our work is becoming visible. The forthcoming entrance of science into our Haus der Wirtschaft symbolizes much more than just a flag waving in front of the door; it is a visible sign that the future has long since begun in Helmstedt.”

Dr. Guido Hora, Business Development Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and designated Site Manager of the planned innovation center in Helmstedt: “Since 2022, the Fraunhofer IST has been committed to initiating economically strong innovation projects in the Helmstedt region with a focus on sustainable energy management, resource-conserving circular economy and modernization of agriculture. In the process, we have built up numerous networks and I am delighted to take on the challenging new task of consolidating these approaches in collaboration with our partners, thereby providing – in my home town of Helmstedt – a contribution to the future viability of my home region.”

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