Transfer Highlights and Spin-Offs
Technology Transfer ─ Innovations for Industry
The aim of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf is to conduct world-class research in the fields of energy, matter, and health. In order to address topical issues of the modern industrialised society, we work together in strategic cooperations with partners from research and industry.
We transfer our scientific potential into society in many ways, e.g. through contract research, licensing and founding new companies. We also offer our high-tech research facilities for collaborative use. Here you will see a number of selected transfer highlights. For even more examples, take a look at the technology transfer broschure "Ideas at Work", which you will find in the top-right corner of this page.
Efficient raw material exploration from a bird's-eye view using innovative sensors
Spin-off project TheiaX receives support from the Helmholtz-Enterprise Program
Scientists at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) want to launch environmentally friendly applications for raw material exploration and production by the end of 2020. They rely on drones, special sensors and innovative digital mapping techniques. To advance the spin-off project with the name "TheiaX", the researchers in the team of Dr. Richard Gloaguen will receive for one year 100.000 euros funding from the Helmholtz Enterprise Program. Additional 70.000 euros will be supplied by the research center as own funds from its HZDR Innovation Fund. Further non-financial support during the incubation phase will be provided to the founders from the HZDR Innovation GmbH and the spin-off initiatives Dresden Exists and Saxeed.
Not so long ago mineral deposits were explored with excavators and jackhammers. Today, geologists work with so-called passive methods without interfering with the soil. This "soft" exploration is of great interest to the economy due to the increasing demand for high technology metals, for example for batteries and technical equipment. The growing supply of raw materials to industry requires energy-efficient and socially acceptable processes with low environmental impact. With over six years of experience gathered throughout international projects, HIF's Exploration Technology Division has successfully developed novel digital mapping techniques. Depending on their carrying capacity, drones will be equipped with high performance cameras and sensors.
"The drones provide us with the data for a mapping of the surface and indications for a raw material potential in the subsoil", explains Richard Gloaguen, Head of Exploration at HIF. "In feasibility studies, we have already successfully demonstrated the exact characterization of raw materials, for example by means of imaging sensors.” The developed technologies are now ready for the market. The spin-off is therefore the next logical step. "As TheiaX, from the end of 2020, we want to offer adequate products that will improve worker’s safety, decrease environmental pressure, and provide a timely availability of key information to geologists and engineers to improve their decision making,” says Robert Zimmermann, co-founder of TheiaX. Following the founding of the Erzlabor Advanced Solution GmbH in 2017, TheiaX is the second spin-off of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology.
Read more about "The Hunt for the Raw Materials" in the HZDR magazine "discovered" from January 2018.
Cooperation with Industry
The measurement of flow rates in hot melts is an issue of major interest for the steel industry. Such measurements are indispensable when it comes to optimizing the casting process. With Contactless Inductive Flow Tomography (CIFT), researchers at the HZDR have invented a method for obtaining the desired information. Primetals, a leading manufacturer of plants for the continuous casting of steel, aims to incorporate this technology into its products. Since 2016, the researchers at the HZDR have been commissioned by Primetals to work on the adaptation of these technologies to their specific industrial requirements.
Better Cancer Diagnostics with ROVER
Positron emission tomography (PET) makes metabolic processes visible. Researchers at the HZDR developed the powerful computer program ROVER to enable easy and fast processing of PET data. The program is mainly used for quantitative evaluation of PET images, but it also allows the combining of PET images with data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). The program is constantly being updated to adjust it to ongoing developments. The program, which is distributed by ABX Advanced Biochemical Compounds, is used in hospitals and clinical research worldwide.
DYN3D - Software for More Safety
Already in the 1980s, the researchers in Rossendorf developed the software DYN3D, which enables three-dimensional simulation of malfunctions in nuclear reactors. Together with partners from all over the Europe, the HZDR researchers have continued to work on the further development of the code ever since, adjusting it to suit the latest developments in research and technology. Given that Germany's neighbouring countries are planning to construct new nuclear power plants, the topic of reactor safety will continue to be relevant - although the use of nuclear energy is to be phased out in Germany.
THEREDA - Database for Nuclear Repository Research
Not only information from the academic literature, but also findings from the research conducted at the HZDR and partner institutitions are collected into the database. Anyone, whether they are a member of a federal authority, scientific organisation, engineering office, environmental association or simply a private individual, can access THEREDA free of charge, upon completion of a simple registration process.