Putting impulses for resource efficiency into industrial practice

If the German economy makes use of existing potentials for more resource efficiency, puts new efficiency technologies into practice quickly and decouples its growth more from the use of raw materials, then this can in future lead to a reduction in the dependency on raw materials and a stronger competitive edge. To realize these ambitious targets the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) started the funding program “Innovative technologies for resource efficiency - Impulses for resource efficiency” in short “r+Impuls” at the beginning of the year. In cooperation with the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI accompanies the funding measure “r+Impuls” with the technology transfer project “r+TeTra“. The focus is on investigating the success factors for the implementation of innovative resource efficiency technologies and the support of the companies involved in r+Impuls when exploiting the results.

The funding measure r+Impuls is part of the framework program “Research for sustainable development (FONA)” of the BMBF, and provides targeted support for the transfer of research results on resource efficiency and its implementation into industrial practice. In this way positive ecological and economic effects are to be achieved for the partners of the joint project and -in the long run – for raw material dependent industrial enterprises all over Germany. According to Dr.Dr. Christian Sartorius, project manager at Fraunhofer ISI, “Fraunhofer ISI and the TU Freiberg investigate together the technological, economic and ecological impacts and potentials of all individual projects of the funding measure r+Impuls. This includes the further development and implementation of insights into more resource efficiency, particularly by way of industrial demonstration or reference plants. We are thus making an important contribution to the dissemination of resource-saving technology approaches and help that they quickly reach the market”.

“The accompanying project r+TeTra helps enterprises with their strategic planning by investigating the profitability and environmental impacts of the individual projects, analyzes technology approaches and provides information on the financial resources which have to be made available in future“, says Professor Magnus Fröhling of the TU Freiberg. In order to establish the technologies in the long run also non-financial barriers, for example administrative barriers, are described. In addition to identifying the advantages of r+Impuls regarding resource efficiency potentials the technology transfer project r+TeTra focuses on implementing practical solutions into wide industrial applications and transferring them to other industries.  

r+impulse continues the BMBF’s research funding in the field of resource efficiency which it began in 2009. This time the main objective is to bring new innovations to the market. In addition, important issues are the recovery of high-quality materials from waste streams, recycling and the substitution of raw materials of strategic economic importance as well as the material use of CO2 for chemical products and for energy storage.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.