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  • Institute management in tandem / 2021

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Thum has joined Fraunhofer ITEM as institute director

    Research News / January 12, 2021

    Prof. Thomas Thum has joined Fraunhofer ITEM as institute director
    © Fraunhofer ITEM, Ralf Mohr

    On January 1, 2021, Prof. Thomas Thum joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover as new institute director. He will hence-forth manage the institute together with Prof. Norbert Krug, who has been director of Fraunhofer ITEM for the past four years. In addition, Prof. Thum has accepted the call to a full professorship in “Translational validation of innovative therapeutics” at the nearby Hannover Medical School (MHH), a position that is linked to the Fraunhofer Institute directorship.

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  • BAU 2021 online trade fair: occupational health and safety / 2021

    A flow of fresh air protects against coronavirus

    Press release / January 11, 2021

    A new air lock is intended to protect people who work at counters and supermarket checkouts, who are particularly at risk of contracting COVID-19.
    © iStock

    People who are required to serve a large number of customers at a checkout or counter are at a particularly high risk of exposure to COVID-19. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, a type of air lock was therefore developed to shield work stations from the surrounding air using constant ventilation. This “protective canopy” will be unveiled to the public from January 13 to 15, 2021, at the online BAU trade fair.

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  • BAU 2021 online trade fair: MorphoColour and photovoltaic shingles / 2021

    Solar technology with the beauty of butterfly wings

    Press release / January 11, 2021

    The new photovoltaic modules can be manufactured in the desired colour.
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are not always considered aesthetically enhancing to a building. The coloured modules, however, being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE are refreshingly challenging this perspective. Inspired by the phenomen that causes the shimmerings shades of blue or green of the wings of the morpho butterfly, the underlying mechanism of spectrally selective reflectance allows the finished modules to be a homogenously uniform colour. Whether you want gorgeous bright tones or more subdued greys it is possible to design the solar module colour to enhance or blend with the building to which the module will be mounted. These colourful modules will be exhibited at the next BAU trade fair.

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  • BAU 2021 online Trade Show: Digital Interior Specifications / 2021

    Digital assistant for building owners

    Press release / January 11, 2021

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV’s new facility in Garching was a pilot project designed with digital inte-rior specifications.
    © Architekturbüro HENN

    Estimating the cost of a major construction project is complicated and time-consuming. That is why a Fraunhofer team developed a tool that makes the planning process and cost estimates in particular significantly easier – digital interior specifications, which will be exhibited at the online BAU 2021 trade show from January 13 to 15, 2021. It is especially suited for recording the specifications of complex research facilities that do not come off-the-shelf.

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  • Push for medical research / 2021

    New Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP

    Research News / January 07, 2021

    In 2012, a Fraunhofer project group for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology TMP was established at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in association with the LOEWE program (Hessian Initiative for the Development of Scientific-Economic Excellence). The aim of this group was to expand the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s portfolio in the field of drug research and development. Over the last number of years, the former Fraunhofer project group TMP has achieved international recognition in the area of immune disorders due to its extensive expertise in areas such as drug identification, pharmaceutical technology, highly differentiated and indication-specific pharmacological models, and clinical research. As a result of these advances, the TMP branch of Fraunhofer IME is set to become an independent institute with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and locations in Hamburg and Göttingen as of January 1, 2021.

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  • Sustainable soundproofing / 2021

    Fungus as a sound absorber

    Research News / January 04, 2021

    © Fraunhofer UMSICHT

    As healthy and tasty as mushrooms might be, they are good for much more than just the dinner plate. The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT has now teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP to investigate the use of fungus-based materials for the fabrication of eco-friendly sound absorbers.

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  • Toxicological risk assessment for chemicals / 2021

    Avoiding animal experimentation

    Research News / January 04, 2021

    Developed by Fraunhofer ITEM, the P.R.I.T.® ExpoCube® enables exposure to various classes of inhalable substances and their testing with high re-producibility and with the requisite dosage control.
    © Fraunhofer ITEM/Ralf Mohr

    It is still the case that data from animal studies is required in order to evaluate the safety of a substance for humans. However, the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM has teamed up with 39 partners from 13 countries on a range of projects, all of which have a common aim: to bring about a paradigm shift – away from animal experimentation and towards a deeper understanding of how chemical substances work.

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  • Enhanced safety for autonomous driving / 2021

    Microscanner mirrors replace human vision

    Research News / January 04, 2021

    A MEMS mirror from Fraunhofer IPMS.
    © Fraunhofer IPMS

    In autonomous vehicles, it is advanced technology that takes the wheel, allowing passengers to sit back and enjoy the ride. Yet such systems have to meet stringent safety standards. For example, an autonomous vehicle must be able to recognize obstacles and other hazards – and apply the brakes in an emergency. Such a vehicle could be equipped with a new microscanner mirror from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS. This performs a 3D scan of the vehicle surroundings to a range of over 200 meters. When integrated within a LiDAR system, it can obviate the need for human vision and thereby make a key contribution to the safety of autonomous driving.

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  • Product safety / 2021

    Microreactor for synthesis with Grignard reagents

    Research News / January 04, 2021

    View of the lab reactor for synthesis with Grignard reagents.
    © Fraunhofer IMM

    In 1912, Victor Grignard was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of what came to be known as Grignard reagents. Since then, these compounds have come to play a key role in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Now, in a development by Fraunhofer researchers, a new type of microreactor will not only make reactions with these reagents faster and safer but also yield a purer product. What’s more, the new microreactor is scalable and can be operated flexibly.

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