The way from a discovery / invention as a result of the basic research to a commercial product or process is protracted and leads only in certain cases and under certain circumstances effectively to the commercial success. The transfer of basic research results in product innovations represents, therefore, a complicated, sequential process, the so-called "innovation chain".
The objective of the Profile Area is to identify and analyze the influence and factors for the successful transfer material discoveries to a product innovation. New developments of the last two decades show, that the innovation chain has to be considered as a non-linear, more interactively and systemic process, which requires intensive communication and cooperation between various disciplines ranging from natural science to engineering. The Profile Area hence, is based on an detailed analysis of added value and innovation chains.
Key research focus of the Profile Area progresses from reliability analytics via materials criticality and substitution to novel product innovations related to paper-based materials.
Presently, three major lines of future research are pursued, through a number of initiatives. They follow the current guiding idea of the Profile Area to link materials science closely with engineering, but also pursue novel research directions towards the design of “cognitive” materials and components: