The economics minister of Lower Saxony visited the Fraunhofer IST
Insights into the top-level research from Lower Saxony
During his annual summer journey the economics minister of Lower Saxony Olaf Lies visited the Fraunhofer-Institute for Thin Films and Surface Engineering IST in Braunschweig for the first time. His visit accompanied by Klaus-Peter Bachmann, vice president of the Lower Saxony Parliament, Dr. Christos Pantiazis, SPD provincial council delegate, and Matthias Wunderling-Weilbier, regional representative for regional development Braunschweig, on July 29, 2016 was focused on the topic plasma surface technology in Lower Saxony.
During a tour of the institute the visitors could get an impression of the enormous range of research activities of the Fraunhofer IST – from thin film sensor systems for applications in the field of industry 4.0 to large-scale glass coatings for a transparent window heater or transparent sun protection to the electrochemical metallization of light weight antennas in the field of aerospace and to the plasma treatment of plastics for applications in medical engineering.
Minister Lies was visibly impressed: "The example of the Fraunhofer IST once again confirms that application-oriented research institutes constitute an important economic and competitive factor for the region. Not only large companies but especially small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from the cooperation and can gain access to innovations." The Land of Lower Saxony provides additional support to regional companies by grants and loans within the innovation support program. In March such a subsidy was also given to CINOGY GmbH, which is developing a plasma based wound dressing in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IST. The director of the Fraunhofer IST, Professor Dr. Günter Bräuer points out that the Land of Lower Saxony has sent an important signal with these funds because the so called plasma medicine is a new and very interdisciplinary growth area of medicine whose potential is currently far from being fully exploited.