EU projects at the Fraunhofer IST.
© Fraunhofer IST, Jan Benz
EU projects at the Fraunhofer IST.

EU Research activities

The Fraunhofer IST can draw on years of experience with EU projects of the most diverse kinds. Within our core competencies we make full use of our networks throughout Europe to create the best conditions for collaborative projects for our international partners as well.

We are always on the lookout for new and interesting problems to solve and for transnational projects. If you would like to learn more about Fraunhofer IST research projects or to start joint projects with ourselves, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Ultrahard optical diamond coatings

Duration: 1.1.2020 - 31.12.2021

Transparent optical glasses with high scratch protection are required in many industries today: from the watch industry to optical instruments and sensor systems to medical technology. These industries are under pressure to continuously improve their products. Existing solutions for transparent scratch protection are reaching their limits, there is a need for optimised systems for longer lifetimes, scratch-free surfaces and anti-reflective properties. Anti-reflective coatings are typically achieved by a combination of high and low refractive coatings. However, today's ceramic hard coatings show heavy wear and optical clouding under mechanical stress. The aim of the "ULTRAHARD" project is therefore to develop an ultra-hard optical diamond coating with extreme scratch resistance for anti-reflection applications.


Solid state sulfide based LI-Metal batteries for EV applications 

Duration: 1.5.2020 - 30.4.2024

The overall aim of SUBLIME is to significantly increase electric vehicles (EV) adoption by taking on the technical challenges that are presented by the consumer needs. SUBLIME concept entails development of a complete value chain, from requirements to testing, for new sulfide electrolyte based solid-state battery cells which will be inherently safe and operative at room temperature or lower; thus facilitating the start of the vehicle in broad operating conditions. The project will bring the sulfide electrolyte solid-state battery technology to TRL 6. Besides, the scale-up to pre-industrial volume will ensure that results are scalable to large-volume commercial manufacturing. Ultimately, SUBLIME will deliver a roadmap to 2030, enabling eventual market entry by a very strong constellation of European partners, to bring about the transition towards electric.

Completed EU Projects


Virtual Coater for Industrial Applications

Duration: 1.9.2017 - 31.8.2019

For optimizing the layer quality in the industrial application, it is essential to be able to predict film homogeneity and composition as well as intrinsic film properties as a function of process parameters. To achieve this, a simulation framework is needed, which covers nine orders of magnitude between the typical dimensions of the coating plants and the atomic film structure. Consequently, a multi-scale approach is necessary in order to perform a full simulation of common coating processes including both, transport and plasma as well as the atomistic film growth mechanisms. The long term goal of VICIA is to establish the virtual coater as development tool in deposition technology for an increasing number of process configurations and material combinations.


Self-Sustaining Cleaning Technology for Safe Water Supply and Management in Rural African Areas

Duration: 1.6.2016 - 30.11.2019

The SafeWaterAfrica project will research and develop an autonomous and decentralized water treatment system for rural and peri-urban areas which is highly efficient in the degradation of harmful pollutants and at the same time very effective in killing microbiological contaminants. Besides, SafeWaterAfrica will generate the technological basis for innovative business models related to the development of water treatment products, which are produced, installed, operated and maintained in Africa.  


Functionally graded Additive Manufacturing scaffolds by hybrid manufacturing

Duration: 1.12.2015 – 30.11.2019

Scaffolds production for tissue regeneration is one of the main fields where the “Design for Function” feature of Additive Manufacturing (AM) make the difference relative to the other production techniques if in the production process all the needed “Functions” can be introduced: mechanics, geometry (porosity and shape), biomaterial, bio-active molecules and surface chemical groups. The FAST project aims to integrate all these “Functions” in the single AM process. This integration will be obtained by the hybridisation of the 3D polymer printing with melt compounding of nanocomposites with bio-functionalized fillers directly in the printing head and atmospheric plasma technologies during the printing process itself. Final objective of the project is to realize a demonstrator of the proposed hybrid AM technology in order to achieve a small pilot production of scaffolds for bone regeneration with the novel smart features to be tested in some in-vivo trials.


Tailored photocatalytic purification systems for industrial and municipal waters 

Duration: 1.6.2016 - 31.8.2018

The disinfection of water for drinking water production is one of the most important requisite of today’s society. The consortium aims to introduce to the market an innovative, chemical-free, highly efficient and economic water purification solution, in which a powerful photocatalytic oxidation is generated by UV light and a semiconductor (TiO2) interaction.


Reactive Atmospheric Plasma processIng – eDucation network

Duration: 1.10.2013 - 30.9.2017

RAPID is an interdisciplinary initial training network (ITN) at the intersection of chemistry, physics and engineering aimed particularly at the development of non-equilibrium reactive processes in atmospheric pressure plasmas.



Industrial innovations based on EU intellectual property assets in the field of atmospheric plasma technology

Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2016

The IP4Plasma project aims to bridge the gap between IPR protected laboratory-scale innovations in the field of atmospheric pressure plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition (AP-PA-CVD) technology and its industrial implementation for advanced surface treatment and nano-scale coating of materials. This will be done by demonstrating the suitability of the technology for existing and new industrial applications in the medical products and diagnostics sector.


Life Green Plasma

Green plasma process technology for manufacturing of flexible electronics

Duration: 1.7.2013 - 31.12.2016

Main objective of the Life Green Plasma (APG-CVD plasma) project is to demonstrate and disseminate to European Industrial Community a new environmental friendly process technology for manufacturing of flexible electronic components. This innovative technology platform has the promise to substitute traditional vacuum PE-CVD technology, substitution affects reduction of raw material (precursor) usage and CO2 emissions with more than 90%.



Life time increase of tools for fine blanking operations by optimized tool materials and coating system

Duration: 1.8.2013 - 31.1.2016

The aim of the project is the development of PVD tool coatings to improve the service lifetime of blanking and punching tools for heavy duty applications. It includes a study of heat treatment as well as cryogenic cold treatment to obtain a stable wear-resistant structure of the steel substrates.



Ionized magnetron sputtering of CrN for improved corrosion and wear resistance on complex tools and components

Duration: 1.1.2014 – 31.12.2015

Hard chrome electroplating processes faces a ban in the future due to serious health and environmental risks when using Cr6+ compounds during processing. Chromium Nitride (CrN) coatings deposited by non-hazardous Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) could serve as a very good alternative. Drawbacks of the common PVD techniques are the limited thickness of the coating which has a negative effect on corrosion resistance and the typical line-of-sight processing which implies rotation of the substrates for good conformal coating thickness. The new “ionized PVD technology” (iPVD) enables to overcome the mentioned drawbacks of the PVD technique by pulsed power sputtering. By combining the expertise of Sirris and Fraunhofer on different iPVD and hybrid processes, this project aims at increasing the deposition rate to 80% of the traditional PVD process with a focus on a breakthrough industrial uptake of the technology. Demonstration of the developed high rate and high performance coatings directly on industrial tools and components will give the SMEs the essential knowledge on technical and economic feasibility to start business development and technology transfer.



Alternative coatings to cadmium and hard chromium with potential for second generation developments

Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2015

Due to the European directive on chemicals (REACh), cadmium and hard chromium (VI) coatings, produced from highly toxic and carcinogenic baths, are to be replaced by “green” solutions until 2016. The present project aims at preparing the second generation of environmentally-compliant coatings for steel components in the aeronautic sector. Different coating processes and materials will be investigated and combined for optimum results:

  • Substitutes for cadmium coatings: Al-Mn based coatings, produced by thermal spraying, galvanic deposition PVD and CVD techniques
  • Substitutes for hard chromium coatings: thermal spraying of carbides embedded in a “green” Co-free matrix and via thin film techniques generating carbide, nitride and DLC coatings.



Computer Aided Process Refinement for Intelligent Coatings

Duration: 1.7.2013 – 31.10.2015

Reactive magnetron sputtering is a key technology for high quality functional coatings. A broad range of technical applications on various substrates (glass, metal and plastic) includes large area products such as architectural and automotive glazing, energy management and construction, photovoltaics but also smart functional products such as transparent displays, high-precision optical filters, or photo catalytically active layers. All involved technical applications are characterized by an increasing complexity of coated products and at the same time by increased demands on precision and throughput.

As a result, the development of competitive products requires to control coating technology not only in terms of film thickness homogeneity and stoichiometry but also with respect to intrinsic film properties such as crystalline phase composition, photo catalytic activity, density, elastic and wear properties, refractive index or surface morphology.

Within this project, a “virtual PVD coater” simulation model will be established by combining competences in simulating film structure formation with modeling low-pressure plasma physics of three research groups, and with the association of a research center focused on the experimental synthesis and evaluation of coatings. The developed package will be generic, and among possible coatings, the reference one will be TiO2 because of its numerous applications and high interest.



Sensorized Future - Sensing of temperature and pressure in harsh environments

Duration: 1.1.2013 - 30.06.2015

The in-situ and real-time capture of process data offers tremendous possibilities for many industrial processes and applications. Process data can be used to get a deeper understanding of the many manufacturing processes with the consequence of an increased performance and lifetime of the manufacturing devices. Durable, heavy-duty sensor coatings offer the potential for an ideal solution to these problems.



Inside Coated Pipes, Development of a cost-effective production technology for inside coated pipes with high fouling resistance

Duration: 1.4.2012 - 28.2.2015

Fouling represents a serious technical and inherent economical problem in the production, in all the areas of the process industry, like petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industry. Especially pipes are affected for transporting liquids or gases, e.g. cooling water, acids, crude oils, polymers, foodstuffs, suspensions, vapours or exhaust gases. The target of the project is to develop a cost effective process to apply antifouling coating on the inside of pipes.



Sustainable Cleaning and Disinfection in Fresh-Cut Food Industries

Duration: 1.1.2012 - 31.12.2014

SUSCLEAN will contribute to the development and implementation of a new generation of environment-friendly equipment sanitation and food product decontamination technologies ensuring food safety.



Oxide Materials Towards a Matured Post-silicon Electronics Era

Duration: 1.10.2010 - 30.9.2014

ORAMA addresses the urgent industrial need to develop new high performance multifunctional oxide based electronic materials that have the potential to catapult the electronics industry into a new era of growth.



Process and material research for ultra-stable antireflective coatings on glass

Duration: 1.9.2011 - 31.8.2013

The main objective of NoScratch is to develop innovative thin film materials as well as an innovative thin film technology for the production of ultra-stable anti-reflective coatings on glass or sapphire substrates.


HIPP processes

Highly Ionised Pulse Plasma processes, COST Action MP0804

Duration: 25.6.2009 - 25.6.2013

Plasma technology today is a key technology for tailored surfaces. Especially new technologies of Highly Ionised Pulse Plasma processes (HIPP processes) bear an enormous potential for manufacturing coatings with properties exceeding those of state of the art by far. Improvement will be available in the fields of Photovoltaics, Mechanical Engineering, Automotive, Aerospace, Tribology, Decoration, Displays, Tools, etc. Thus lifetime, reliability, fuel consumption, performance, and cost in the named applications can be improved significantly.



Clean and resource efficient buildings for real life

Duration: 1.11.2008 - 31.10.2012

Clear-up aims to reduce energy use in existing buildings using environmentally sustainable components. It will deliver comfortable homes and workplaces at a cost that we and the environment can afford. Our primary needs in a building are for light, temperature and fresh air. Clear-up is responding to these demands using both natural and technological solutions.



Highly ionised pulsed plasma PVD deposition of MaxPhase on contact housings

Duration: 1.11.2009 - 31.10.2012

Electric contact housings demand much higher robustness and have a more complex geometry than connectors for consumer electronics. Novel PVD processes with highly ionised plasma (HiPIMS, MPP) have shown the potential to deposit uniform coatings of high quality on complex shapes. The overall goal of the project is to realize a novel industrial ionised physical vapour deposition process technology substituting conventional chromate containing coat-ings for electric contact housings, made of both metallic and plastic substrates.



Macro, Micro and Nano Aspects of Machining

Duration: 1.9.2008 - 31.8.2012

The MaMiNa project will combine the work of 19 European universities, research institutions and industrial companies to analyse and improve machinability of three selected alloys that are widely used in industry, namely, Ti15V3Cr3Al3Sn (a titanium-based beta-alloy), Inconel IN706 (a nickel-based superalloy) and X40 (a cobalt-based alloy).


Increase of Productivity, Safety, Greenness and Cleanliness in the Machining of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composites

Duration: 1.6.2009 - 31.5.2011

The main objective of ASPIRATE is to develop an innovative technology for machining carbon and glass fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP and GFRP) parts based on the internal extraction of the produced chip and dust particles through the whole machining system (cutting tool, tool holder, spindle), avoiding all the external devices and suction pumps used nowadays, which reduce the flexibility and leave an unclean part (they do not achieve a complete chip/dust extraction), with the consequent risk for the operator’s health and machine’s components.


Integrated design and product development for the eco-efficient production of low-weight aeroplane equipment

Duration: 1.1.2004 - 31.3.2007

The project aims at substituting aircraft components like seat frames and electronic casings by cast magnesium parts. Since there is a lack of knowledge on characteristics and advantages of Mg-alloys and a lack of approved standards for Mg-components, the project will inform aviation designers on usability of Mg-alloys and contribute to standardisation.



Leakless vertebral reposition therapy

Duration: 1.9.2006 - 30.11.2008

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, currently affecting nearly 200 million individuals worldwide. Our aim is to improve the treatment of the most common of all osteoporotic fractures: the Vertebral Compression Fracture (VCF).



Industrial implementation of MaxPhase coatings as substitute for gold as electric contact material

Duration: 1.12.2006 - 31.5.2009

Traditionell werden weiche Metalle wie Gold, Silber oder Zinn als Beschichtung für elektrische Kontakte eingesetzt. Die Hauptfunktion der Basismetalle ist die Leitung des elektrischen Stromes bei einem geringen Widerstand. Die Hauptfunktion der Beschichtungen besteht in der Realisierung eines geringen Kontaktwiderstandes und der Vermeidung von Oxidation und Korrosion. Leider versagen Goldkontakte hauptsächlich auf Grund von Kontamination, Korrosion oder abrasivem Verschleiß. Neue Untersuchungen zeigen, dass ternäre Verbindungen von Ti3SiC2 (sogenannte MaxPhasen) sowohl ausgezeichnete mechanische Eigenschaften, als auch elektrische Eigenschaften besitzen, ebenso wie eine thermische und chemische Beständigkeit. Ziel des Vorhabens ist es, Goldkontakte durch MaxPhase-Schichten für elektrische Kontakte zu ersetzen. Dazu soll die Beschichtungstechnologie von MaxPhase-Schichten in ein Stadium überführt werden, indem es den Anforderungen für elektrische Kontakte der Industrie genügt. Hierzu werden Randbedingungen wie Substratmaterial, Substratgeometrie, Herstellungsverfahren und Umfeld/Einsatzgebiet für verschiedene Applikationen untersucht.


Knowledge Based Functional Surfaces and Films

Duration: 1.2.2003 - 31.8.2003

SURFILM will study RTD issues related to industrial competitiveness and sustainable growth as a result of specific emerging technologies in the area of Surface Technology. The project will classify knowledge-based surfaces and films and propose European areas of R&D; map Centers of Excellence for knowledge based surfaced and films, involved in scientific, technological and industrial activities.


3rd GenLAC

3rd Generation Optical Coatings for large Area Architectureal Glazing

Duration: 1.1.2003 - 31.12.2005

There is considerable interest in high performance temperable low E coatings to decrease the U-value of vacuum glazing to approx. 1/3 of U-value obtained for conventional DGUs. The key technology necessary to achieve these goals is the technology of large area magnetron sputtering from ceramic targets. This allows for deposition of new materials such as complex ternary and quaternary spinell type layers, which cannot be deposited using conventional reactive processes. We will investigate into the material science and process technology for deposition of ultra durable spinell type layers, which are the key components for the deposition of temperable low E coatings.



Flexible Polymer Light Emitting Displays

Duration: 1.4.2002 - 30.6.2004

The ultimate goal of the FLEXled project is to demonstrate reliable flexible displays (RGB colour passive matrix) for consumer electronics applications, based on polymer light emitting diodes (PLED). The displays will be enabled by: new flexible substrate materials: transparent, hermetic to water/oxygen, with excellent transparent conductors. Processing of PLED on flexible substrates, including hermetic encapsulation, yielding reliable displays (long lifetime). Testing of the displays (performance, lifetime); measuring, modelling and understanding substrate materials properties (e.g. permeation, mechanics) and their limits. Integration of the flexible matrix displays demonstrators with driver integrated circuits.


Abrasion and Wear Testing of Coatings by Ball Cratering

Duration: 1.3.2001 - 28.2.2004

The take up of wear resistant coatings by European industry would be enhanced by meeting the need for a robust and reliable standardized wear test for wear resistant coatings. This project will achieve this goal and will thereby help European industry to improve their product design and performance to meet the challenge from international competition. The project will develop the emerging ball cratering (micro-abrasion) test and will draft a standard for the use of this test for submission to the relevant CEN committee. The standard will include agreed test procedures and specifications for the test. The project will evaluate different variants of the test system, examine the effect of changes in test parameters on test results, develop measurement and analysis methods, and will validate the reproducibility and repeatibility of the test.