17. November 2020

COMET: EUR 4 million for 3 New COMET Projects With Upper Austrian Involvement

“The government of Austria is granting EUR 4 million to three research projects with Upper Austrian involvement,” says Upper Austria’s economy and research minister Markus Achleitner. “This gives the Upper Austrian research community another significant boost in the context of cooperation between science and industry. Innovative techniques for industrial production, optimization of hydrogen technologies, and e-batteries – these important topics are being explored by three new research projects launched under COMET, the Austrian government’s competence centre programme, and co-financed by the Upper Austrian government. Upper Austrian research institutions and companies are playing a central role in all three.”

 In Upper Austria, for instance, LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen, a member of the UAR Innovation Network, will drive the development of wire-based 3D printing in lightweight construction forward as the consortium leader.

“Rapid implementation of research findings in production is crucial to the competitiveness and success of Upper Austria as a business location,” continues economy and research minister Achleitner. “Research in our region forms a strong network with industry in our province. The three new projects that deal with important innovation topics with the aim of making industry even more competitive are yet another example of this. The programme’s name, Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies, COMET for short, also defines what is expected of the innovation projects – research excellence. Close cooperation between science and industry should ensure that the findings go straight into industrial applications.”

The new innovation projects are so-called COMET K projects that were approved under this nationwide funding scheme following the 8th call for projects issued by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). A total of seven projects were approved for federal government funding amounting to EUR 10.4 million. EUR 4 million of this goes to the three innovation projects with Upper Austrian involvement. The government of Upper Austria will contribute an additional EUR 640,000. Science and industry will invest a further EUR 2.1 million.

A member of the UAR Innovation Network and the consortium leader, LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen is taking the development of wire-based 3D printing in lightweight construction to the next level with the participation of the RECENDT research centre. The project “We3D” explores an innovative manufacturing technique: wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is seen as a future key technology in the manufacture of sophisticated geometries that meet the highest standards of stability in batch size 1 and small series production. With this technology, large 3D components can be manufactured out of new WAAM-compatible aluminium and magnesium welding rods in a way that ensures high quality and at the same time reduces the amount of materials, energy, costs and time required. The research undertaking, which has a total budget of approx. EUR 5.3 million, aims to take development of the technology to the next level for new applications in a wide range of industrial sectors such as the automotive, aerospace and mechanical engineering branches. Among the companies involved in this network of strong partners from science and industry centred in Upper Austria are Fronius International, INOCON Technologie, Linde Gas and x-technik IT & Medien.

PROFACTOR, a member of the UAR Innovation Network, contributes its expertise in quality assurance in production – especially production of fuel cells – to research into hydrogen technologies in the project “HyTechonomy”. Fronius International is participating in all three of the approved innovation projects – and in the third project with Upper Austrian involvement, “SafeLIB”. This research undertaking aims to put e-car batteries to good use once their original use has come to an end. Among the partners involved are the JKU’s Law Lab, Fill and Wacker Neuson.

“The COMET funding programme plays a vital role in strengthening cooperation between science and business and is therefore an important instrument for cooperative research,” says Dr Wilfried Enzenhofer, MBA, CEO of UAR. “We are delighted that research institutions from the UAR Innovation Network are involved in these important innovation projects and that LKR is lead company in one. Besides the projects co-financed by the Upper Austrian government, research centres in the UAR Innovation Network are also contributing their expertise to other approved COMET projects involving more than one province.”