Hamburg Invests in 3D Printing and Nanotechnology

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3D printers at Fraunhofer IAPT [Image: Max Oberländer]

3D printing and nanotechnology are frequently found together, and the city of Hamburg has made a commitment to focus on them both over the next five years. This week, Katharina Fegebank, Deputy Mayor of Hamburg, and Dr. Raoul Klingner, Director of Research at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, signed a location agreement for joint expanded activities in the two technologies in the next five years. The agreement came after the senate’s approval of more than €30 million in funds, and after two major Hamburg research institutions were officially transferred to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft following negotiations with the German government and the state.

Optical specialist Laser Zentrum Nord (LZN) officially joined the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as the Institute for Additive Production Technology (IAPT). The other institution transferred in is the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN).

“Innovations are guarantors of economic development and prosperity. Linking outstanding science with commerce, Fraunhofer’s model for success, is crucial to Hamburg’s innovative and competitive ability,” said Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg.

“Two excellent institutes, the Fraunhofer IAPT and the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN), will gain even more clout now that they have been transferred to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The expansion of Fraunhofer’s activities, documents the nascent, but very successful co-operation between Hamburg and the Fraunhofer.”

[Image: Hamburg News]

Nanotechnology is more a part of everyday life than most people realize, and is responsible for everything from solar cells to sunscreen, medical equipment to displays. 3D printing is often used in conjunction with nanotechnology, in materials science and biotechnology, and even as a novelty. It makes sense that the two would work well together; part of the purpose of nanotechnology is to be able to fabricate objects of any geometry at the nanoscale, which is defined as one billionth of a meter. 3D printing is known for its ability to fabricate objects of any geometry, and that includes at the nanoscale thanks to specialized 3D printers developed by companies such as Nanoscribe.

By investing in both technologies, Hamburg is making known its intention to become one of the most technology-forward cities in the world. There will almost certainly be some crossover between 3D printing and nanotechnology within the research taking place in the city, but even taken separately, the two technologies are among the most advanced there are. Additive manufacturing and nanotechnology research aren’t new to Germany; the Fraunhofer institutes alone have already led a great deal of research into both, with several of them launching a major additive manufacturing focus project just last month.

“Hamburg is well on the way to become a leading centre of research and innovation in Europe,” said Katharina Fegenbank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality. “3D printing and nanotechnology are future-orientated fields which are important catalysts of innovation and our city’s development.”

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source: Hamburg News]

 

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