The InnovationLab (iL) – an innovation platform for collaboration between universities and industrial partners – will continue its work until the end of 2024 with a new focus on three-dimensional printing technologies. To this end, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have extended a corresponding usage agreement.
Located in Heidelberg, iL offers its own infrastructure to bring research and development together with companies as users and producers in one place and to promote technology transfer. In addition to Ruperto Carola and KIT, the shareholders of InnovationLab GmbH are three strong companies in the region.
For 15 years, iL has acted as a bridge between science and industry to promote technology transfer and put innovative solutions directly into practice. Originally, the focus was on printed electronics, but with the new orientation, investments are being made in a state-of-the-art microfabrication tool in particular. This is based on two-photon polymerization (2PP) technology, which makes it possible to create microstructures with nanometer-level precision. Such advances open up new avenues in areas such as photonics, microfluidics and biology.
Particular attention is being paid to the Cluster of Excellence “3D Matter Made to Order” (3DMM2O), a joint initiative of Heidelberg University and KIT that has been in existence since 2018. The cluster pursues an interdisciplinary research approach in 3D additive manufacturing techniques, ranging from molecular to macroscopic dimensions. The aim is to fully digitalize the 3D manufacturing process and material processing.
“With the extension of the contract, the course has now been set for the expansion of the InnovationLab as an important platform for technological developments from Heidelberg University,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller, Vice-Rector for Innovation and Transfer at Ruperto Carola.
In addition to the Cluster of Excellence “3D Matter Made to Order”, Prof. Weidemüller says that other university research alliances will also benefit from the infrastructure in order to develop scientific innovations into market-ready technologies.
“The expansion of iL activities in the direction of 3D printing opens up new opportunities to drive forward technology transfer in this area. This is of great importance for the Cluster of Excellence,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel, Deputy Cluster Spokesperson on the Heidelberg side.