HAWK and Application Center for Plasma and Photonics of the Fraunhofer IST present developments which will soon conquer the households.

Lower Saxony’s premier Stephan Weil: Plasma research is a driving force for innovation for the region of South Lower Saxony

Press Release / 2.11.2016

The fact that the plasma technology is a cross-sectional technology which can be used in almost any field makes it that fascinating, said the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil during his visit of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Goettingen (HAWK). At the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology as well as the Application Center for Plasma and Photonics, located at the Zieten Terraces in Göttingen, he stressed how unusual it was that an University of Applied Sciences has developed such a research strength. ”We will continue to support this as a federal state,” explained Weil.

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg

F.l.t.r.: Prof. Dr. Günter Bräuer, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Viöl, Prof. Dr. Christiane Dienel, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil

In addition to other fields of application, plasma technology is becoming more and more relevant for everyday life. In the presence of guests from science, industry and politics Prof. apl. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Viöl, HAWK vice president and head of the Application Center for Plasma and Photonics explained products such as PlasmaDerm®, the plasma vacuum cleaner and the plasma lice comb to the Prime Minister: ”These devices increase the people’s quality of life and will soon conquer the households”, said Viöl.

Viöl explained, ”With the 6.5 million Euro BMBF project ‘Plasma for Life‘ the HAWK is one of the ten best researching universities of applied sciences within the federal programme FH Impuls. In addition, the Application Center for Plasma and Photonics of the Fraunhofer IST is the first positively evaluated Center of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany and is now operated as an official department of the mother institute, the Fraunhofer IST in Braunschweig. ”

Prof. Dr. Günter Bräuer, head of the Fraunhofer IST, emphasized, ”With the establishment of the Network of Competence INPLAS (Industrial Plasma Surface Technology) in 2005 – the initiative came from the Fraunhofer IST – we took the first important step to make the region a stronghold of plasma technology. Today the network comprises about 50 members from all over Germany, of which more than half are from the industry. With this we have made the plasma respecatable in Lower Saxony.

The project ‘Plasma for Life‘ is another step to establish plasma research in everyday life. The project is financed by 13 companies, including eight from South Lower Saxony. The Application Center of the Fraunhofer IST in Göttingen receives almost half of all orders from the region of South Lower Saxony. The HAWK and the Application Center are driving research for this region.

‘Plasma for Life‘ is not only the title of the BMBF project in the FH Impuls competition, but is also being filled with life in Göttingen. Plasma – the fourth physical state of aggregation – already has a tradition in the southern city of Lower Saxony. Thus Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, the first professor of physics, identified the plasma in Göttingen in 1777. Now this discovery is also being implemented in Göttingen in technological processes and products.

”We are very proud to belong to the international top players in the field of plasma research as a small regional university of applied sciences,” said the president of the HAWK Prof. Dr. Christiane Dienel. The vice president of the state parliament of Lower Saxony Gabriele Andretta paid tribute to the HAWK as the best ‘engineering forge‘ of South Lower Saxony. ”Ideas for Lower Saxony and the world come from here.” The Lord Mayor of Göttingen, Rolf-Georg Köhler, described plasma technology as a driving force for innovation and highlighted the special collaboration between the research facilities.

With a positive interim evaluation the promotion of the HAWK as part of FH Impuls will be extended by a further four years, so that a total of 13 million Euros of research funding is available for the period of eight years.