Knowledge Transfer, the Transatlantic Fraunhofer Way

Fraunhofer USA Knowledge Transfer © Fraunhofer USA

Fraunhofer USA Center Midwest CMW hosted staff from Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT (Aachen, Germany) during a knowledge exchange visit.

The three-day visit from Fraunhofer IPT’s Integrated Production Machinery Group provided visitors with unique insights into the U.S.’s existing business climate and current capabilities of Fraunhofer USA CMW.

“We get to know the other half of the planet a little bit more,” said Dennis Meelkop, group manager for Fraunhofer IPT’s Integrated Production Machinery Group. Mr. Meelkop added the knowledge exchange enables Fraunhofer IPT to “get in contact with [CMW] and get to better know what we [Fraunhofer IPT] do and get a broader view of the U.S. customer’s perspective.”

Beyond broadening perspectives, Fraunhofer USA continues Fraunhofer’s primary mission of technology transfer via applied R&D and bringing innovative products to market that address tomorrow’s technological challenges faced by industry customers.

Fraunhofer IPT staff visited Fraunhofer USA CMW’s Coatings and Diamond Technologies Division and Laser Applications Division to learn more about their current project work with bipolar plates for fuel cell applications and the associated process and production stages for industry customers.

With coatings, Fraunhofer IPT staff discovered the variety of precoated materials processed during bipolar plate production, learning more about the associated processes such as how Fraunhofer USA applies coatings and the different materials that are favorable to certain coatings when used in bipolar plates.

Additionally, because Michigan State University is a partner of Fraunhofer USA, Fraunhofer IPT can benefit from the diverse perspectives offered by MSU students interning with Fraunhofer USA.

They add fresh perspectives, said Mr. Meelkop, who highlighted the importance of diversity in research projects, allowing for consideration of others’ viewpoints that may offer effective alternative solutions for technology challenges.

Fraunhofer projects have addressed critical and emerging technology challenges in the U.S. and development aligns closely with Fraunhofer USA’s Science and Technology Advisory Council growth suggestions. These include further collaboration amongst Fraunhofer USA’s research Centers as well as the strategic utilization of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institutes for large-scale project execution.

“Fraunhofer USA can be a bridgehead for the Fraunhofer network in Germany,” said Dr. Wicklein. “Engaging in joint business development activities, project execution and pre-competitive research makes winners of all participants.”

“Be open minded and give time to get to know each other,” added Mr. Meelkop.

About Fraunhofer USA

Fraunhofer USA, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Rhode Island that is dedicated to the advancement of applied research and technology transfer. Fraunhofer USA was founded in 1994 to conduct applied R & D for customers from industry and state governments and the federal government in the United States.

Working closely with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest application-oriented research and development organization, Fraunhofer USA can offer both domestic and international resources to enhance its portfolio of R & D services.

Through a vast global cooperation network, we are well positioned to be a vital part in overcoming regional and global challenges, to uncover potential research areas and support economic development.

In an international competitive environment, together with an extensive network of Fraunhofer institutes in Germany and strategic partners, we strive to strengthen transatlantic collaboration in education, applied research and innovation.

More information on the supporter page.