The participation in the Scientific Networking Event „Smart Cities & Urban Development” in New York, the UFZ was successful. Furthermore the UFZ took part in Smart Cities Asia and Smart Cities Week. The idea was to entrench the network further. In December, the UFZ-scientists will visit also Smart the National Brownfields Training Conference. The process of the corporate network will be presented there and the setup of the network will be continued.
The role model of DE-US.net is Linkedin. DE-US.net is an expertise-network for experts and people who are interested in “Zukunftsstadt-Future City”. Its set-up is coordinated by the UFZ in the context of a project which is promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The UFZ supports the transfer of ideas and the access to expert knowledge and markets in Germany and the US. The members interchange in the network to bring forth solutions for sustainable and better life in the city of the future or to participate in international tender in the context of consortiums. Therefore, webinars are executed on the new established internet platform and partnering-offers are published.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Stephan Bartke (email@example.com).
The project is promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
To get to the root of this problem, a pilot project was launched at the UFZ. The scientifically recognized potential analysis instrument - DNLA Management (Discovery of Natural Latent Abilities) - was implemented to determine the potential of founder personalities at the UFZ. Six scientists, from different research areas at different educational levels had the opportunity to test this tool. First findings on the effectiveness of the DNLA instrument in the management of spin-off initiatives at the UFZ were thus obtained.
After an online appraisal of the test persons, a personal competence profile for each scientist was created. This served as a basis for an evaluation talk with the scientist. Based on the individual strengths and weaknesses that emerged, a personal development plan was developed for each scientist and concrete measures for improvement were proposed. The progress of the test persons will be examined around 6 to 12 months after the evaluation session via a yearly improvement check to determine whether the development plan has been successful and necessary competences developed or if further action is required.
The participant feedback on the use and effectiveness of the DNLA instrument was without exception positive.
Challenges in a circular economy: business talk of Cluster Team Environment highlights innovations and barriers
On the 23rd of August 2017, the 4th business talk of the Cluster Team Environment (NEU e.V.) brought together about 30 participants from industry, research, public administration and associations in order to discuss the challenges the recycling sector faces, and how research results and new business models can contribute to a more sustainable use of raw materials.
Each of the four presentations was complemented by intensive discussions. One recurring topic was how different legal frameworks for primary and secondary raw materials make life – and innovations – very difficult for numerous actors in different areas. Some participants made immediate use of the Cluster team as a platform to find new contacts and thus, potentially, opportunities to contribute to the public discussion and development of frameworks.
The next business talk of Cluster Team Environment will take place in the second half of April 2018 and will focus on soil and groundwater remediation.
As a working group of the city of Leipzig’s Network Energy and Environment (NEU e.V.), the Cluster Team Environment focusses on companies in the field of environmental technologies which are or wish to become active in Leipzig and the region. The cluster team is led by UFZ and aims to connect the abovementioned companies and to promote exchange with academia and local authorities.
New online brochure outcome 2016 – technology transfer at the UFZ
The UFZ carries out excellent research within a wide range of topics related to the environment. It generates sound knowledge and technological solutions to manage our natural resources in a way that society and environment can benefit from it.
The transfer of knowledge and technologies into society and business is an integral part of our activities and mission at the UFZ. The selected examples in this brochure will give you a first insight into our broad field of technology transfer. It comprises:
- the UFZ Technology Transfer Award 2016
- Top Stories
- innovative minds at the UFZ
- monthly updates on our transfer activities
- Technology Platforms at UFZ
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Joachim Nöller (firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 0341/ 235-1033)
"One of the big problems after each flood are the damp walls in the affected homes and businesses. Usually, the heating fans run for months. Our new method could be remedial."- Dr. Ulf Roland, Department of Technical Environmental Chemistry at the UFZ, reported in a radio contribution to MDR Sachsen – the Saxon radio on the masonry drying with the radio wave technology developed at the UFZ. Partners in the project are tHTWK Leipzig, Innovative Surface Technologies GmbH and the Otto Richter GmbH.
With the radio wave technology, moist building elements can be dried quickly and efficiently. High penetration depth, uniform heating of large formations in a cubic metre scale, energy-efficient heat input as well as a high degree of flexibility with regard to the heating rate, the final temperature and the materials to be heated are typical characteristics of the direct energy input by radio waves.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Ulf Trommler (email@example.com, Tel. 0341/ 235-4673)
Chances for value-added products from wastewater discussed at 1st INCOVER Stakeholder wokshop
The European Commission-funded project INCOVER aims to turn biogenic waste and wastewater into valuable products. The 18-partner consortium has already been working on case studies in Spain and Germany for one year and looked into different use concepts.
This first stakeholder workshop was designed to provide researchers with feedback on their approaches and interim results, and also bring external ideas, especially from industrial sectors that may be of interest, into the further development of the work.
The focus of this workshop was on a case study implemented at the UFZ, which uses carbon-rich waste and wastewater from the food industry for the biotechnological production of organic acids, such as citric acid. The remaining process residues are partly energetically used (biogas) and, on the other, are converted to fertilizer by hydrothermal carbonization.
Discussions were lively and gave the researchers valuable cues for future tests and possible cooperation partners.
A second stakeholder workshop will follow in due course.
A Scenario Analysis for a Wood-based Bioeconomy
One of the focus areas of our work at the UFZ is research on transformation processes within the whole economic system. These transformation processes are triggered off by the ecological need to avoid mainly the use of fossil fuels in the future. This is possible by the use of renewable resources and efficient production and consumption structures.
The bio-based economy is expected to play an increasingly important role worldwide. Within the BioEconomy Excellence Cluster, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), partners from science and industry (the timber and forestry sectors, the chemical industry, the plastics industry and the plant construction sector) in Central Germany are working closely together on researching the material and energy-related use of non-food biomass, wood in particular.
The Working Group “Law and Governance for Bioeconomy” recently presented the results of a scenario analysis in a brochure titled “Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for Germany”. Based on expert opinions, it illustrates potential future developments in wood-based bioeconomy in Germany and shows key influencing factors, thus making it significant for strategy development not only for the BioEconomy Excellence Cluster but also for future bioeconomy policy.
A comprehensive version of the scenario analysis is available as a scientific paper in the journal “Sustainability”:
HAGEMANN , N./GAWEL, E./PURKUS, A./PANNICKE, N./HAUCK, J.: Possible Futures Towards a Wood-
Based Bioeconomy – A Scenario Analysis for Germany, in: Sustainability, Vol. 8 (2016), Issue 1, 98.
The article is available as open access and can be directly downloaded:
Within the frame of the project DE-US.net, the UFZ participated in the scientific networking event "Smart Cities & Urban Development" in New York on 2nd of May. Dr. Stephan Bartke from the Department of Economics presented the project to around 200 interested people from science, politics and businesses. This event is part of the campaign “Research in Germany” inaugurated by the German Research Centre for Education and Research (BMBF) and the “German Centre for Research and Innovation (GCRI)”.
DE-US.net is an expert network for professionals and interested people on the topic of “Future Cities”. The UFZ coordinates the expansion of the network. It supports the transfer of ideas and promotes access to expert knowledge and markets in Germany and the USA. The members exchange their knowledge in the network to promote solutions for a sustainable and better life in the city of the future. DE-US.net supports its members by:
- highlighting people and projects that offer innovative solutions and research activities,
- providing a platform to discuss ideas and innovative approaches to make cities in Germany and the US fit for the future,
- providing a marketplace for the creation of new partnerships for further optimisation, adaptation and implementation of innovations,
- creating a portfolio of funding options that promote bilateral projects and exchange.
The project is supported by the BMBF with the promotion code 01DD17004.
For more information, please visit the website http://DE-US.net or contact Dr. Stephan Bartke directly at: Department Economics,
Under the motto "learning from others", employees of the Helmholtz Association and the Max Planck Society undertook an inspiring excursion to London and Cambridge as part of the PEP (Professors as Entrepreneurship Promotors) promoter program to explore the London start-up ecosystem - a starting point for many successful spin-offs. Among the participants was Milina Alber, a UFZ employee, who coaches and supports spin-off initiatives within the framework of SMILE [Self-Management Initiative Leipzig] at the UFZ.
During the 3-day trip in May 2017 and under the headship of Prof. Dr. Klaus Nathusiusthe visits to research institutes, business schools, start-ups, venture capital companies, incubators and accelerators in London and Cambridge were planned. Highly motivated entrepreneur personalities as well as leaders and supporters of the British start-up scene were available for inspiring discussions. Even the exchange among the participants from the many home research facilities provided inspiring insights and ideas for all fellow travellers. Each participant was thus able to take home many ideas to help initiate and support spin-off activities within their daily scope of work.
The PEP project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, explores measures and structures to support spin-offs from the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association.
SMILE is a co-operation between the University of Leipzig, the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), which is funded by the European Union, the Free State of Saxony and the participating institutions.
Innovative4water - UFZ actively participated in the WaterVent Conference in Geneva
On the 8th and 9th of June 2017, Dr. Joachim Nöller, head of the Department for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, represented the UFZ at the WaterVent Conference in Geneva. WaterVent is a Corporate Venturing Forum enabling exchange within the water tech nexus. The platform’s objective is to create a global network with access to all important water tech experts, corporates, incubators, clusters and innovators.
Under the slogan “innovative4water”, the conference hosted 130 pitches on two days, giving room for discussion and partnering.
In order to find cooperation partners, Dr. Nöller presented the ARSOlux Biosensors, invented by UFZ scientist Prof. Hauke Harms and had a talk on research for sustainable water resources management. As a result, relevant businesses showed interest in commercialising innovative ideas from the UFZ.
Many important players in the water tech sector were present, such as representatives from the United Nations Environmental Program, World Intellectual Property Organisation, Environmental Protection Agency of United States of America, as well as investors and companies from all around the world.
On 27.4.2017, Karsten Kauffmann and Stefan Geisenberger, patent attorneys at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, took their audience of scientists and knowledge & technology transfer specialists on a one-day excursion through the world of patent specifications.
This very entertaining seminar gave all participants valuable insights into the prerequisites for patentability, the structure of a patent, patent enquiries, the significance of claims, and the whole process from application to grant.
A participating junior scientist especially liked how the contents of the seminar were structured, and how examples from the experts’ working life helped to illustrate technical terms such as novelty or inventive step. He also expects to profit from the seminar in future studies of patent literature and drafting own patent claims.
One of the experienced researchers who participated emphasised that the view of the patent examiner was very interesting and helped to sharpen his own view regarding future claims.
The relatively small circle of participants allowed everyone to actively engage in discussions on examples from their own sphere of work and ask all sorts of questions, so that the “fear of patent claims” some may have felt in the beginning had, in the end, turned to respect and included the knowledge that patent examiners are human after all.
Any questions regarding this seminar? Interested in a similar event?
Please contact Milina Alber from Knowledge and Technology Tranfer ( )!
The former biotechnology-focussed trade fair BIOTECHNICA saw a re-branding in 2017 as LABVOLUTION, a European trade fair for laboratory equipment. Nearly all attendees (99%) were trade visitors, with an international share of about 15 per cent.
The UFZ participated in the fair in Hanover, Germany (16.-18.05.2017) as part of the joint Central German stand “research for the future”. Under the heading of “bio-electrosynthesis – a new application for bioreactors”, UFZ presented an innovative upgrading kit, which makes conventional bio-reactors usable (reversibly, if desired) for microbial bio-electrosyntheses such as the production of carboxylic acids from waste materials.
UFZ staff explained this and other UFZ technologies to interested companies and researchers and made new contacts.
If you would like any further information on the upgrading kit or other products/technologies developed at UFZ, please contact the Department of Science and Technology Transfer under
Cluster Team Environment discusses current developments
On Mai 17th, the 3rd business talk of the Cluster Team Environment (NEU e.V.) took place on the premises of Arcadis Germany GmbH, Leipzig. Short presentations gave the 26 participants from academia and especially industry a good overview of current developments regarding soil and groundwater remediation procedures and practical examples.
Each presentation was followed by numerous questions and lively discussions on the basis of the participants’ own experiences from practice or scientific work.
The programme was complemented by extensive opportunities for informal discussions and networking.
Due to the positive feedback and even some concrete suggestions, you can expect a follow-up event including a site visit next spring.
The very next business talk of Cluster Team Environment, however, will already take place in August 2017.
The event will focus on the area of recycling/circular economy, and be hosted by the UiZ Leipzig.
In case of any questions or interest in future cluster team events, please contact Karen Görner, Department Science and Technology Transfer, UFZ ().
During this year's EnergyDays on March 16, 2017, two decision-support tools in the area of wind energy, developed at the UFZ, were introduced and their usefulness and frameworks for practical application were discussed.
With planning and approval procedures being highly complex and dependent on state and regional rules, plus numerous social and nature conservation aspects to consider, the software MaxPlace is of interest to planners or operators of large wind parks and to regional planning associations, which focus on the designation of areas for wind power. MaxPlace serves to maximise the energy yield from wind power for any number of potential areas.
The tool FIND uses the results from MaxPlace as well as evaluation criteria such as "Distance to residential areas" and "Distance to red kite nests" as input values in order to determine potential areas allowing expansion goals to be achieved while minimising any negative effects.
Different scenarios can be compared with each other and with the status quo, thus illustrating the consequences of certain preferences and decisions.
In the lively discussion that followed the presentations, it became clear that MaxPlace and FIND can contribute to providing various interest groups with objective information during the planning process and to clearly visualise the results that can be expected from a certain decision.
In particular, representatives from regional planning authorities and engineering companies see wind energy tools as a major step forward in communication with municipalities and citizens.
For further information please contact Karen Görner, Department Knoledge and Technology Transfer;
For the first time, the fair TerraTec 2017 presented itself as a focal meeting point for the disposal, circular and resource economy. It took place at the Leipzig Trade Fair from 5th to 7th of April. More than 3,200 professional visitors gained information on current topics and innovations and networked with other industry representatives.
Among the 128 exhibitors from six countries, the UFZ was also present. It introduced its developed technologies and new research successes, e.g. from the business network "radiowave technology", contributing to chemical-free wood protection, masonry drying or asphalt recycling.
Further topics were metal recovery from sediment sludge via bioleaching and the remediation of groundwater and soil.
In different expert forums, innovative approaches such as phosphate recycling, bioenergy, raw materials and mining, were discussed. Dr. Björn Höhlig, representing the UFZ, gave a talk on asphalt recycling: "Green asphalt - production of recycled asphalt with renewable energies".
Did you miss the TerraTec fair and the UFZ stand? Or do you have questions about our topics? Feel free to contact us via email or phone.
Your contact at the UFZ for further information about the TerraTec is Hella Nietsch, Department Knowledge and Technology Transfer,
A seminar in collaboration with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
On 27 April 2017 (9:00 am - 4:00 pm), experts from the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), Karsten Kauffmann and Stefan Geisenberger, have been invited to the UFZ to present to the scientists the most important ways of protecting intellectual property in a practical and case-oriented manner.
The course content includes the introduction to industrial property rights, the structure of patent applications, pre-requisites for patenting of inventions (in particular the topics "novelty" and "inventor's activity") as well as a description of required application documents and the examination procedure. Furthermore, tips for the right formulation of patent claims and adaptation of patent claims during the examination procedure will be presented. The day will be round off by a discussion on the above-mentioned topics with the help of practical examples.
In addition, both the internet service platforms of the DPMA, DEPATIS net (research in the archive of patent documents) and DPMAregister with electronic file inspection (the official publication for the legal status of industrial property rights) will be introduced.
If you have any questions or wish to attend this seminar, please contact
Milina Alber (Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer, ).
On the 2nd of March, the second business talk titled "Smart Cities - Approaches for an Innovative, Sustainable Urban Development" took place in the frame of the Cluster Team Environment.
In the beginning, some brief keynote speeches on the current state of Leipzig’s integrated city planning concept, research contributions to a sustainable district development as well as innovative approaches in construction were presented. Afterwards, the 23 participants split into three groups to discuss the main challenges for cooperation between different actors in smart urban development and to work out where the greatest need for action prevails.
The results of this group work as well as the subsequent plenum contained specific project ideas, which will be now implemented in smaller consortia. The projects are still open to other interested persons.
For further information please contact Karen Görner, Department Knoledge and Technology Transfer;
On March 6, the first "Smart Sensor-based Digital Ecosystem Services" (S2DES) community meeting with 50 participants took place in Leipzig’s KUBUS. The four-year project, funded by the Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB) and the European Social Fund, deals with the cross-domain economic use of sensory data. The Institute for Business Informatics at the University of Leipzig is the project coordinator. Further partners are the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) e.V., six further companies as well as currently 20 associated partners from several fields of application.
S2DES suggests that the increasing extent and diversity of data from numerous sensors can be used not only in one but in several application fields or domains. For example, agricultural companies are not only exchanging data on soil quality, pest infestation and other growth-influencing factors among themselves, but also link environmental data with further data and results from research projects in order to improve their yields. The same holds for other application fields: data from home automation (smart home) can be used not only by the residents themselves (e.g. lighting control or energy saving by intelligent systems) but also by other service providers, such as ambulatory care services or family services.
Basis for the implementation are smart, highly flexible and modular information systems. They support the provision and use of sensor data by different user groups, process large amounts of data, integrate expert knowledge in the form of specific methods and offer cooperative marketplace functionality for economic use.
The necessary reference architecture as well as suitable integrated models for a company-wide platform shall be created in S2DES. Another goal of the project is to develop a qualification concept for businesses that want to use data and / or methods across all domains. Of particular importance are validation scenarios in the three domains of environment, energy and health, in which S2DES develops and tests comprehensive concepts.
Your contact at the UFZ for further information is Dr.-Ing. Jan Bumberger, Department Monitoring and Exploration Technologies (MET),
The WTT department organised an entrepreneurship seminar focusing on contractual law on the 17th of March 2017. The Seminar was organised under the flagship of the SMILE Initiative*.
The speakers Stefan Schreiber and Dr. Hans-Christian Woger from the international law firm CMS Hasche Sigle gave the participants an overview of the various different types of contracts and underlined their special features. Lively discussions on how one can draw up contracts within the legal framework and the resulting challenges faced by spin-offs were highlighted.
For questions or further information, please contact Milina Alber (Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer,).
* SMILE is financed by the European Social Fund, the Free State of Saxony and by the institutions involved.
The third-party funded project “Odour radar: Validation of a measuring system to localise and quantify diffuse sources of odours” which is led by Dr. habil. Helko Borsdorf was ranked third in the competition for the VIP / VIP+ Validation Award 2017. The review took place as part of the initiative “Validation of the technological innovation potential of scientific research” of the BMBF (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research). The award was presented during the VIP / VIP + innovation summit on 1 February 2017 by the parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Stefan Müller.
Odours become an increasingly important environmental factor in areas with industrial production, agricultural holdings or biogas plants and with regard to product monitoring. The quantification of odour emissions and their distribution is prescribed by various laws and regulations. Currently the determination of odours is carried out in a subjective manner by test persons and depends on their perception of the smells.
The project included the development of a measuring system which collects data with the help of Ion Mobility Spectroscopy (IMS). It also gathers wind data, measured turbulences and position data in areas with odour. With this data, conclusions can be drawn about the source and the odour’s intensity at the source, even in cases of diffuse sources. Successful validation has shown that this method is suitable for the detection of odour patterns and simultaneous source identification, whereas the required time and expenses can be reduced to a minimum. A special feature of the method: not only has its practical application already been proven but acceptance by the authorities has also been obtained. Thus, one of the key follow-up tasks of the project was to present the results to standardisers.
At present, the method is part of a discussion by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) about a potential standard for sensory odour detection. It has also been presented to a number of national VDI commissions. The system is currently applied in several locations and further development for market entry shall be achieved in an AiF project.
For further information, please contact: Dr. habil. Helko Borsdorf, Department Monitoring and Exploration Technologies,
On 9 February, the Dutch royals Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited the Science Park in Leipzig as part of their tour to Germany including the federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Following an invitation of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ), the royal couple attended the official signing of two cooperation agreements (Memorandum of Understanding) between Dutch and the German research institutes and visited the UFZ high-tech lab ProVIS. The Dutch king and queen were accompanied by a Dutch trade delegation.
Prior to the royal visit, German and Dutch companies from the sectors of green chemistry, recycling economy and bioenergy were invited to an internal network meeting at the Science Park Leipzig dedicated to “Green Chemistry & Biotechnoloy”. After six pitch talks, about 70 representatives from both nations were offered the opportunity to participate in 1:1 matchmaking talks on predefined topics, to establish new network contacts and to exchange research ideas.
Two cooperation agreements (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed: One agreement between the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), another one between the German top cluster BioEconomy e.V. and the Dutch company Biobased Delta. After attending the official signing, the Dutch royal couple visited the UFZ high-tech lab ProVIS. The extraordinary combination of devices in the lab makes it possible to analyse cells, the interaction between cells, microbial communities and all their metabolic activities in detail and, thus, creates the preconditions for their use in biotechnological applications. After this, the Dutch king and queen visited the Forced Labor Memorial of Leipzig which is located at the UFZ premises. The visitors were accompanied by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, by Saxony’s Minister of State for Environment and Agriculture, Thomas Schmidt, and by the directors of UFZ and DBFZ, Prof. Dr. Georg Teutsch and Daniel Mayer.
For further information, please contact: Dr. Joachim Nöller, Department Knowledge and Technology Transfer,
In preparing microbial cells, it is necessary to harvest cells from liquid cultures or aqueous samples and to wash off media components. Numerous methods are being used to achieve this, including centrifugation and different types of filtration. However, it has been recognised that major branches of the microbial world consist of very small cells < 0.2 µm. These are washed through filters and their density is too low for standard centrifugation. Consequently, they have been completely missed so far.
The new SandTrap technology is a method to separate even those microbial cells that are very small, that are sensitive to shearing forces or oxygen, or for which only low volumes are available.
SandTraps are silica-filled cartridges used to harvest and clean microbial cells. They allow working under strictly anaerobic conditions and with unusually small cells. They are especially suited for environmental applications which are characterised by small culture volumes or low cell densities.
The method collects and concentrates 50 – 98% of all cells, preserving enzymatic activity and cell viability.
SandTraps are scalable to different culture volumes and can be multiplexed in standardised systems. Differential harvesting of cells according to cell size is also possible.
The technology has been successfully tested at lab scale and will now be developed and standardised further.
Further Information: Dr. Lorenz Adrian, Department Isotope Biogeochemistry,
Jennifer Hauck has a doctorate in the field of human geography and has been working at the UFZ since 2009. With more than 10 years of experience with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary processes, she now offers services in this area through her start-up CoKnow (Co-producing Knowledge for Sustainability).
Precisely speaking, she organises interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary processes together with her clients, starting with the idea, planning, organisation, implementation and documentation. She also offers support for parts of the process such as stakeholder and network analysis or the moderation of scenario or strategic workshops. She transfers her knowledge and skills through seminars and trainings and accompanies processes as a coach. As small enterprise (SME), she is qualified to take on respective research work packages in third party funded projects.
Further information can be found on her homepage:
The RWTec network, involving a total of 15 companies from different industries, 6 research institutes and 2 foundations and currently supported by third-party funding, aims at transferring scientific results from the lab and pilot projects into practical and marketable applications via 7 current projects.
Three short films that impressively show how new products and services are developed on the basis of extensive experience and innovative ideas are now available. The films were produced together with the Leipzig film production company in-one-media.
The image films are currently available only for the most advanced projects in the RWTec media library under
1. Radio wave technology - brickwork drying
The short film (in German) introduces the network project "HF-Technologie - TMauer", which demonstrates the use of radio wave technology for thermal induced drying of wet brickwork, which has been damaged on account of continuous moisture exposure or acute events such as floods.
2. Radio wave technology - recycling of old asphalt
The short film (in German) introduces the network project "HF-Technologie – Asphalt” and illustrates the potential of radio wave technology for mild heating of old asphalt with the aim of a long term preservation of its material properties, increasing the recycled content in asphalt and minimizing harmful environmental influences.
3. High-frequency technology - emission reduction
The short film (in German) introduces the network project "HF-Technologie - Abgas" and explains the use of high-frequency technology for the thermocatalytic reduction of harmful emissions in small biomass combustion plants. Comparative studies with microwaves and radiowaves are presented here.
Dr. Ulf Trommler, Department Knowledge and Technology Transfer
On 15.12.2016, UFZ had the privilege of meeting two major shareholders of the Vietnamese AquaOne Group together with a representative of the City of Leipzig to discuss the possibilities of new joint environmental projects in Vietnam. The Tilia GmbH from Leipzig, a well-known and recognised cooperation’s partner of the UFZ, was the initiator of the excursion and the meeting.
The topics at the meeting ranged from innovative, decentralised waste-water purification systems, monitoring networks for monitoring water quality in dams to the modelling of control structures in these systems. The UFZ also showed the delegation the possibilities of simple detection of arsenic in drinking water sources with the help of the ARSOLux biosensor as well as results of field studies carried out in this field. About 10 million people are adversely affected by arsenic water contamination in Vietnam alone and probably over 137 million in the whole of Southeast Asia.
For more information on our technologies, please contact Dr. Lydia Woiterski under 0341 / 35-4778 or .
Dr. Joachim Nöller, Department Knowledge and Technology Transfer
On December 7, 2016, the first business talk in the new “Cluster team environment” took place.
Under the title “Environmental technologies for business and society: Identification of new business opportunities”, this first business talk combined lectures with room for discussion. The speakers were Annegret-Claudine Agricola from Tilia GmbH, Hannes Mollenhauer from the Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies and Karen Görner from the Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer. In individual lectures, the speakers talked about smart cities, sensor technologies for ecosystem services and industrial biotechnology, introducing the 50 participants to some of the topics the cluster team will address in the future. At the same time, participants had the chance to contribute and actively shape the future direction and emphasis of the cluster team. After the lectures, there was room for discussion, in addition to two guided tours through UFZ laboratories.
The next business talk will take place at Leipziger KUBUS on March 2, 2017. The emphasis of the next business talk will very much depend on the feedback of the first business talk and, in this way, it will be even more aligned with the interests and expectations of the participating companies.
The cluster team is a joint project by the city of Leipzig’s “Network Energy and Environment (NEU e.V.)” and the UFZ, and is aimed at environmental and/or energy technology companies from Leipzig and surrounding regions, or those interested in starting business here. Its purpose is to connect these companies and to foster an exchange with science and the local council.
If you have questions regarding this event or if you would like to attend future business talks, please get in touch with
Karen Görner, Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer
The Leipzig foam fester was developed by Dr. Lucie Moeller and Prof. Dr. Andreas Zehnsdorf at the UFZ department Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (UBZ). It is a test kit that allows substrates to be investigated for their tendency to foam in biogas plants. In order to test a substrate’s tendency to foam, the substrate is poured into the test kit’s glass container, half of which is filled with active fermentation material. Then, the device is turned on and within a few hours, the user can see the result: as soon as foam starts to form, it is clear that the substrate has a tendency to foam. Hence, the Leipzig foam tester allows for a unique and easy type of investigation and, in this way, helps to prevent material as well as economic damages. Foaming in biogas plants can block gas pipes, severely damage sensors, and destroy fermenter roofs.
The Leipzig foam tester is manufactured and sold by Eismann & Stöbe GbR. Eismann & Stöbe GbR is a Leipzig-based company that specialises in environmental assessment technologies.
If you have further questions regarding the Leipzig foam tester, please get in touch with.
Dr. Lucie Moeller, Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (UBZ)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Zehnsdorf, Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (UBZ)
The UFZ is pleased to announce the registration of Capraferm as a trademark.
Capraferm was invented by Dr. Heike Sträuber who studies the microbiology of anaerobic systems at the UFZ department Environmental Microbiology. Capraferm is an innovative and sustainable process based on anaerobic fermentation. It is used for the production of medium-chain fatty acids, mainly caproic and caprylic acid. Capraferm works without sterilisation of substrates or the reactor, and different kinds of raw material can be utilized. Variations regarding the substrate quality are tolerated. Furthermore, it is not necessary to apply expensive inhibitors for undesired methane production. The process can be coupled to other processes in the sense of a biorefinery, for example to the production of biogas. In order to develop Capraferm into a marketable product, the UFZ is going to collaborate with different partners in research projects.
If you have further questions regarding Capraferm, please get in touch with.
Dr. Heike Sträuber, Department of Environmental Microbiology
On October 21, 2016, the Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer organised the seminar “How to write a patent” with Dr. Jens Glienke as guest lecturer. Glienke is a patent lawyer at Gulde & Partner, a Berlin-based law firm specialising in patents. He studied biology and worked in oncological research and development before becoming a patent expert at a pharmaceutical company, thereby shifting his career from research to legal protection. During the seminar, Glienke shared his expertise in patent analysis and registration and talked about property rights and the opportunities of and requirements for patenting, while offering a practical guide to drafting claims and filing patent applications. Glienke particularly focussed on the wording, structure, and content of patent applications, while also pointing out potential pitfalls.
This seminar was organised as part of the department’s advisory service for entrepreneurs.
If you would like to know more about this seminar or future events, please contact.
Milina Alber, Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer
For further information, please visit the following websites:
The UFZ is happy to announce its collaboration with Intrapore. Intrapore is a company founded in 2015 and funded through the EXIST grant, specialising in nanoremediation. Nanoremediation is a relatively new field in environmental technology and includes the use of reactive nanoparticles and microparticles for the purpose of in situ groundwater remediation.
Intrapore is benefiting from the long-time experience of the UFZ department TUCHEM, which serves as scientific partner for the development of material solutions. TUCHEM developed Carbo-Iron®, a composite material made from reactive carbon and iron nanoparticles, which Intrapore will use in groundwater remediation.
In addition, TUCHEM and Intrapore are collaborating on the project ContaSorb, which aims at developing composite materials based on carbon and iron for the sorption and destruction of "conventional" and "new" halogenated groundwater pollutants. Intrapore has expressed interest in other UFZ materials such as Trap-Ox Fe-zeolites, which are currently being registered as a trademark.
If you would like to know more about this collaboration, please contactfrom TUCHEM.
Dr. Katrin Mackenzie, Department of Environmental Engineering
For further information, please go to the following websites:
In 2014, the Isodetect GmbH changed its headquarters from the campus of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Health in Munich to the UFZ in Leipzig. As a joint spin-off of both research institutes, Isodetect is active in the field of groundwater microbiology and isotope biochemistry and is looking at the extent to which isotope analysis can provide insights into the formation of methane and its variability and process stability in biogas plants. With the help of this research, Isodetect and the UFZ want to develop a monitoring concept for biogas plants to help improve process optimisation and reduce the frequency of blackouts. In addition to co-edited conference papers and publications in journals, Isodetect and the UFZ will work together on a project funded by the BMBF grant Zwanzig20 and as part of the consortium Hydrogen Power Storage & Solutions East Germany (HYPOS). This collaboration aims at investigating the microbial stimulation potential during the underground storage of hydrogen.
If you would like to know more about this cooperation, please contact.
Dr. Katrin Mackenzie, Department of Environmental Engineering
For further information, please go to the following websites:
A long-term cooperation between UFZ scientists Dr. Tobias Schulze and Dr. Werner Brack (Department Effect-Directed Analysis) and the company MAXX Mess- u. Probenahmetechnik GmbH, Rangendingen, has borne fruit in the form of the market launch of an innovative solid-phase extraction device for the automated on-site sampling of up to 1000 liters of water (Large Volume Solid Phase Extraction, LVSPE).
Sampling device and procedure were developed and validated in the course of several joint research and development projects. The LVSPE device is customisable and available in various configurations, having been established for an effect-based and chemical analysis of water resources by Dr. Schulze . The new device makes it possible to sample large volumes of water on-site by way of solid phase extraction and after separation of suspended organic matter, i.e. transport to a laboratory is no longer necessary. The LVSPE device thus expands the product portfolio of classical automated water samplers of the MAXX GmbH. The device was successfully presented at the world-leading fair for environmental technologies, IFAT, in June 2016.
The two partners will continue to co-operate in the future, in order to optimise the LVSPE device and improve or newly develop system components. The LVSPE was successfully applied in the UFZ Integrated Project “Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems” and the international EU-funded project “SOLUTIONS”. The main objective of both projects is to provide solutions for a holistic water management with the goal to significantly improve the functionality and status of aquatic ecosystems.
Dr. Tobias Schulze, Department Effect-Directed Analysis
For further information, please contact:
denkmal Leipzig is a major biannual fair for conservation, restoration, and old building renovation. This year, the UFZ will present the innovation network RWTec and its radio wave-based technology for the drying and decontamination of building materials and for chemical-free wood protection.
RWTec is currently working on a variety of projects which are funded through the BMWi and the DBU. For the long-term sustainable preservation of major cultural property sites, RWTec is seeking to develop both stationary and mobile devices which will help to eliminate pest infestation, while reducing pollution, caused by the intensive use of organic wood preservatives.
Are you interested in the innovation network RWTec? If you want to find out more about RWTec, come and meet us in hall 2 (stand 14) from November 10 to 12, 2016.
Dr. Ulf Trommler, Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Dr. Ulf Roland, Department of Environmental Engineering
Or send an email to:
For more information, please visit the following websites:
The UFZ provides free access for scientists at research institutions and private companies to an online database which allows the calculation of a variety of equilibrium distribution coefficients for neutral organic chemicals such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals with the help of the pp-LFER model.
Professor Michael Abraham from the University College London has helped the UFZ to extend this online database to roughly 8000 chemical descriptors and 200 distribution systems. A QSAR will also be added. Based on the molecular structure, this QSAR will allow scientists to calculate those chemical descriptors which are not listed in the database, and thus significantly extending the field of application of the pp-LFER model. In a workshop on November 14 and 15, 2016, the UFZ will present this database and its application in more detail, also taking into account ionisable chemicals. This workshop will be free of charge.
If you are interested in attending this workshop, please send an email to .
Dr. Nadin Ulrich, Department of Analytical Environmental Chemistry
For further information:
As part of its research question “How can stable isotope readings assist the understanding of the fate of chemicals in anoxic environments such as soil-aquifer systems, freshwater and deep-sea sediments and bioreactors?” UFZ has decided to expand its long-time partnership with the US-American biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Matthias Gehre and his research group from the Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry developed a new method for the exact detection of hydrogen isotopes through mass spectrometers in environmental samples. Thermo Fisher Scientific took over the international property rights and, together with UFZ, will transfer them to the market.
Dr. Matthias Gehre, Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry
For further information please contact:
Dr. Matthias Gehre
Phone: +49 (0) 341 235 1361
As part of the Federal Republic of Germany’s Visitors Programme, the Ecologic Institut organised a themed trip with the title “Greentech (made) in Germany” which took place from September 4 to 10, 2016. The 20 participants of the programme were international experts from the fields of journalism, politics, economics, and science, and thus important multipliers in shaping Germany’s image abroad. The one-week programme focused on the principles of German environmental legislation and on the chances of green research and technologies. After the start of the programme in Berlin, participants visited the UFZ on September 9, 2016. Here, Andreas Staak from the unit Press and Public Relations presented the work and history of the science park and Dr. Lydia Woiterski (WTT) gave an overview of the UFZ’s knowledge and technology transfer activities. Afterwards, Dr. Heike Sträuber (UMB/UFZ and DBFZ) talked about the extraction of recycable materials and energy from biomass and Prof. Dr. Bruno Bühler (SOMA) gave a talk about the future of solar materials and innovations in biotechnology.
If you want to know more about this event, please get in touch withfrom the Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer.
For further information please visit the following websites:
As molecular tools, aptamers are often applied in clinical diagnostics, environmental and food analytics, and as therapeutics. Aptamers are short, single-stranded nucleic acid oligomers with a complex, three-dimensional secondary structure. This structure allows aptamers to bind to non-nucleic acid targets with high specificity, sensitivity, and selectivity, similar to the antigen-antibody reaction. Aptamers, however, are much more stable than antibodies and can, therefore, be selected for almost all target molecules. As RNA or ssDNA oligonucleotides, aptamers can be easily modified, for example for the fixation on surfaces, with analytical markers, or for the improvement of their stability in harsh environments. Hence, there are multiple fields of application and attractive markets for aptamers.
UFZ’s long-time research and extensive know-how have produced a group of patents, the following of which are offered for transfer:
- Aptamers, which bind antibiotics (aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, 4-7), for example for the development of biosensors for the detection of antibiotics in food and environmental samples.
- Aptamers, which specifically bind protein A (2,3), for example for the purification of protein A or for the development of assays for the detection of Staph. aureus.
- Aptamers, which bind ethylamine, for example for biosensors that help to detect ethanolamine in blood or environmental samples.
The UFZ is the owner of these property rights. For further information please contact:
Dr. Joachim Nöller
Department of Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Phone: +49 (0) 341 235 1033
Dr. Beate Strehlitz
Centre for Environmental Biotechnology
Phone: +49 (0) 341 235 1764
The start-up support at UFZ and the SMILE Initiative Leipzig organised another entrepreneurial workshop, which took place on August 26, 2016.
Stefan Mayer-Ehrling is a tax advisor at Ernst & Young GmbH, a leading consultancy in business, taxing, financial transactions, and management. At UFZ, Mayer-Ehrling presented key aspects of the German tax law and was happy to answer all sorts of questions. Without technical jargon, Mayer-Ehrling covered topics such as the fiscal motivation behind certain corporate structures, the advantages of fiscal optimisation, and choice of the legal form when starting a business. Due to the lively discussions in this workshop and the positive feedback, UFZ is planning a follow-up seminar on the same topic.
If you have any questions please contact:
*SMILE is funded through the European Social Fund, the Free State of Saxony, and the participating institutions.
For further information:
The Zukunftsforum Biotechnologie is an interdisciplinary association of young scientists at DECHEMA. Its goal is to identify cross-cutting issues and trends in biotechnology research and to shape processes on the interface of natural sciences, engineering, and society.
At the forum’s biannual meeting, which took place at UFZ, Dr. Florian Centler from the Department of Environmental Microbiology was admitted as new member, Dr. Falk Harnisch from the same department was newly elected as one of two chairmen, and Prof. Dr. Bruno Bühler from the Department of Solar Materials will be leaving the forum after a long-time commitment.
The Zukunftsforum Biotechnologie held a meeting in Leipzig on May 25, 2016.
This meeting was jointly organised by the above departments and addressed current developments such as the digitalisation in biotechnology as well as the planning of future events. As a replacement for the members who will be leaving the forum, several candidates introduced themselves and presented their research, five of whom were elected in a ballot and admitted to the forum as new members.
Dr. Florian Centler, who is one of the new members, wants to contribute his expertise in systems biology: “Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the Zukunftsforum, I hope for a stimulating exchange and new opportunities for collaboration.”
Prof. Dr. Bruno Bühler is one of the members who will be leaving the forum. Having made substantial contributions to the forum, he says: “I have always appreciated both the academic and personal exchange in the Zukunftsforum and I believe the forum is an important platform for networking and for the development of a successful career.”
Finally, Dr. Falk Harnisch from the Department of Environmental Microbiology was elected as new chairman, a post that he will share with Dr. Jochen Schmid from TU Munich. “Over the past two years, I already had the chance to get to know the Zukunftsforum in its various facets and I hope that this new position and the opportunities that arise from it will also benefit UFZ.”
Dr. Falk Harnisch, Department of Environmental Microbiology
For further information:
How can UFZ contribute to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity?
The UFZ is particularly active in the field of biological diversity and in global policy consulting, e.g. as contributor to TEEB, the world council on biological diversity IPBES, and GLUES. Members from across four departments met with David Cooper to discuss how UFZ can contribute to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). David Cooper is Deputy Executive Secretary of the CBD and was visiting Leipzig on the occasion of the GEO BON 2016 Open Science Conference at Leipziger KUBUS.
David Cooper has been working for the CBD for 15 years, first serving as Scientific Director before being appointed to Deputy Executive Secretary. At the GEO BON 2016 Open Science Conference, David Cooper gave a talk about CBD’s need for scientific data and indicators. Afterwards, he met with different members of the UFZ to share his experience and to exchange ideas.
In this meeting, different members of the UFZ presented the UFZ to David Cooper. Ralf Seppelt from the Department of Computational Landscape Ecology gave an outline of UFZ’s research in the field of biological diversity and land use, while Irene Ring from the Department of Economics and Julian Rode from the Department of Environmental Politics gave an overview of UFZ’s current TEEB activities. Carsten Neßhöver from the Department of Conservation Biology presented UFZ’s work at the interface between science and politics. An emphasis was placed on the support of the CBD through the UFZ-based network on research in biological diversity (NeFo) as well as on UFZ’s role at the IPBES. David Cooper said he was impressed by the breadth of UFZ’s expertise in biological diversity, especially by the combination of social and natural sciences and the implementation of knowledge into practice.
In the course of the discussion, it became clear what the major challenge is: on the one hand, to support a global initiative like the CBD in implementing its goals on a national and subnational level, while on the other hand, taking insights from local projects to the CBD and formulating larger goals and policy recommendations. Since the goals formulated by the CBD are becoming more and more intertwined with the social and economic aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), David Cooper emphasised the need for social science expertise in supporting the IPBES and the CBD. More specifically, he talked about the implementation of integrated management approaches and policy measures in land management and forestry, but also about more fundamental questions regarding consumption or barriers to integrated management approaches.
UFZ and David Cooper agreed to continue this exchange in the future, which we, at the UFZ, are very much looking forward to.
Dr. Carsten Neßhöver, Department of Conservation Biology
For further information:
In collaboration with Leipziger Wasserwerke, the UFZ and BAUER-Umwelt GmbH developed a mobile device for root zone sewage treatment. This root zone sewage treatment plant was first put into operation in Leipzig's sewage treatment plant at Rosental on April 11, 2016. First measurements prove the excellent performance of the plant, which is going to be further improved for the treatment of communal wastewater until September 2016. The optimisation of the mobile root zone sewage treatment plant is funded by the participating partners and through the technology transfer fund at UFZ.
Mobile, i.e. decentralised root zone sewage treatment plants have a better cost-benefit ratio than central sewage treatment plants. They operate close to nature and can be used exactly where wastewater arises and where it needs to be cleared.
For further information:
On May 26, 2016, the UFZ and the SMILE Initiative Leipzig were happy to welcome Prof. Dr. Jörg Gabert to speak at their latest start-up counselling class. Prof. Gabert is managing associate at Genolytic GmbH, an innovative, Leipzig-based business which operates in molecular biological diagnostics.
At UFZ, Gabert shared his experience of the challenges, risks, and hidden opportunities for young scientists. In a small circle, participants had the chance to ask questions and get first-hand advice.
* SMILE is financed by the European Social Fund, the Free State of Saxony, and the participating institutions.
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Against the background of flood events, increasing scarcity of affordable housing in metropolitan areas, and growing real estate prices, the restoration of old buildings is gaining more and more importance. One of the greatest challenges in the restoration of old buildings is moisture, which can affect different building components.
The research group of Dr. Ulf Roland from the Department of Environmental Engineering is member of the and has worked together with different partners from business and science in order to develop an innovative solution for the fast and efficient drying of masonry walls, based on radio wave technology. In the water soaked basement of an apartment building in Radeberg, the tested the newly developed prototype under real-life conditions. Measurements of energy input, drying process, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMV) have shown that this type of flexible, fast, and safe method is very well applicable in the restoration of old buildings and that it bears tremendous economic potential, especially in case of damages through moisture. Hence, the next steps are the transfer of this technology into a practical device and a market launch through our partners Otto Richter GmbH - Die Feuchteklinik®, IOT GmbH, and HTWK Leipzig.
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