Fuel cells are excellent auxiliary means of extending the range of battery-powered vehicles. However, they are still very expensive to make. Fraunhofer planned to unveil some promising research into fuel-cell drives at the 2020 Hannover Messe. Its researchers are working towards a more cost-effective solution encompassing everything from hydrogen delivery and materials selection to heat regulation in the cell and throughout the vehicle.
A versatile source of energy, hydrogen is indispensable to the success of efforts to transition to renewables and achieve climate targets. Green hydrogen is the building block that enables sector coupling and the development of a sustainable energy system based on renewables. Fraunhofer aims to decentralize hydrogen production for industry, commerce and transportation with the hydrogen factory of the future.
Fraunhofer and its partners at the 2020 Hannover Messe wanted to show what secure, connected data infrastructure could look like when it is designed to comply with European digital sovereignty laws and enable interoperability to promote digital innovation. This project serves as the cradle for an open and transparent digital ecosystem that enables the delivery, pooling, and trusted sharing of data and services to readily commercialize digital services. The International Data Spaces (IDS) initiative has developed basic aspects to underpin secure data sharing. The German government, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and around 100 companies and research institutes from 17 countries have joined forces in this collective.
Another stepping stone on the way to scalable data sovereignty is the start-up German Edge Cloud. The Friedhelm Loh Group, in an alliance with other industry partners, offers solutions for the (manufacturing) sector. They are supported by Fraunhofer’s AI-enabled Manufacturing Edge Cloud solutions. This alliance works with Fraunhofer to combine edge cloud computing with local 5G campus networks to provide real-time support for industrial use cases, in compliance with data sovereignty laws. One of the first real-world applications will be the Fraunhofer edge cloud to be set up at some 20 Institute sites.
There is enormous potential for industry to tap by digitalizing and connecting machines, products, and logistics, ordering, warehousing and accounting processes from end to end. Competitive approaches to industrial digitalization will have to be based on a new cognitive Internet that unifies key technologies such as IoT communication, trusted data spaces and machine learning. A collective of 13 Fraunhofer Institutes specializing in microelectronics, information and communication technology, and manufacturing are pooling their expertise in Cognitive Internet Technologies (CCIT), a Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence, to research technologies for this cognitive Internet. Three research centers – IoT-COMMS, Data Spaces and Machine Learning – have developed manufacturing and logistics use cases.
Fraunhofer research teams are putting the capabilities of quantum imaging, a field that scientists just recently began to explore, to good use in medical applications. Quantum imaging with minimal doses of radiation could allow tissue cells to be observed and analyzed in high definition and in a non-destructive way. This would be a tremendous advance in tumor diagnostics.