Press release

Research team from HOFZET and IfBB wins BMBF Canada Day workshop idea competition

Hannover / 26.10.2017

A team made up of young scientists from the Fraunhofer WKI Application Center HOFZET® and the IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites of the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts has won the Canada Day competition. On 17th October in Bonn, the team secured the win, which is worth 15,000 euros, with its workshop idea “Bio-Composite Materials for Technical Applications”. The Canada Day competition is initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

© © Photo Friedemann Call

Simon McGowan from the IfBB with Kate Maleike, presenter of the Canada Day.

© © Photo Friedemann Call

The winning research teams at Canada Day 2017.

After two successfully mastered selection rounds, the HOFZET®/IfBB team is one of the three winners who have asserted themselves with their proposals concerning the orientation of a scientific workshop in Canada. The research team from the HOFZET® and the IfBB was represented by Simon McGowan and Madina Shamsuyeva. At the Canada Day, the two scientists used their workshop idea to demonstrate how the application-oriented development of more sustainable, bio-based composite materials can not only contribute towards the bioeconomy but also simultaneously promote international research. Through the workshop, both institutions hope to provide a stimulus for international project partnerships in order to promote the scientific exchange between researchers and students from Germany and Canada.

The six finalists each presented their workshop idea in a ten-minute short presentation to the Canada Day audience, some of whom were unfamiliar with the topics. The most significant aspects thereby were the topicality and relevance of the addressed issues, the reason why the finalists considered cooperation with Canada to be important, what the goals of their workshop were and how these should be achieved.

The final decision in favor of the concept from the scientists from HOFZET® and IfBB was made by the around 100 participants of the event by means of a vote.

In addition to the successful HOFZET®/IfBB team, the Heidelberg University Hospital and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg also won.

All three winners can rejoice in the fact that they will each receive funding of up to 15,000 euros from the BMBF under the trusteeship of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

The scientific workshop of the Fraunhofer WKI and the IfBB will be held before 31.10.2018 at the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research at the Western University in London, Canada.

The workshop itself is directed at engineers and application-related developers - but also explicitly at other research institutions, in order to secure their participation within the framework of a presentation and in the mutual exchange of expertise and competence.

The planned topics include, for example, the application-oriented, commercial processing of bioplastics and biocomposites, the development and optimization of new future-oriented products and manufacturing processes as well as the characterization and analysis of products and materials by means of, amongst other things, non-destructive testing methods such as computed tomography. Further focal points for the workshop team include the fields of recycling and ecological evaluation of the innovative materials and the corresponding process chains.

The employees of the Application Center HOFZET® develop hybrid (bio) fiber-composite materials with thermoplastic and thermosetting matrix. Focus is thereby placed upon the higher-value utilization of natural fibers and derivatives for technical applications in various sectors, such as the automotive, construction and environmental industries. Organizationally, the HOFZET® is integrated into the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI, Braunschweig.


Program for Canada Day 2017