31. July 2020

PCCL Successfully Enters the Next Funding Period

In 2009 Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL) won approval for a K1 competence centre under the COMET top-level research scheme. On the basis of a comprehensive assessment by a panel of experts from the FFG, the centre’s achievements to date were confirmed and the next four-year funding period (2021–2024) was approved with funds totalling approximately EUR 23 million.

Since the K1 centre started, Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL), whose workforce has now reached around 120, has become Austria’s leading centre for cooperative research in the field of plastics engineering and polymer science.

PCCL defines itself as a research centre with the task of conducting research of the highest quality at international level and pursues the objective of increasing industry’s capacity for innovation (“from research to industry”). This is reflected by the Leoben polymer experts’ list of prominent customers: they have collaborated for many years with numerous leading companies such as AT&S, Semperit, Borealis, SKF, BMW and many more.

As a highly sought-after international research partner, PCCL will be taking up the major global challenge that is the circular economy of polymers in the coming years. This is reflected in projects that deal with topics such as avoiding microplastic by using biodegradable polymers, sorting recycled polymers, using recyclates in technological products, and energy-efficient and zero-waste manufacturing methods and which therefore contribute to achieving sustainability goals.

PCCL’s two CEOs, Elisabeth Ladstätter and Wolfgang Kern, are delighted about the project funds that have just been granted and thank the funding agencies and numerous partners from industry as well as the participating universities and research institutions. The COMET centre’s research activities will continue to be carried out with the support of the Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) and the Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) with funds provided by central government and the provincial governments of Styria, Lower Austria and Upper Austria, and are administered by the FFG. “It is only with the cooperation of our partners and the financial support of the public sector that work can continue on topics with great potential and promise for the future such as functional and adaptive polymers, and the international profile of Leoben as a centre of research can be raised.” 

So-called “smart” materials open up new and revolutionary areas of application, from intelligent prosthetics that automatically adapt to the wearer’s movements and so significantly increase their quality of life, to shock absorbers in the automotive industry that react automatically to any impact (collision with a pedestrian or vehicle) and so increase safety.

Photo: Elisabeth Ladstätter, CEO
(c) Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH