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Fraunhofer ILT expands cooperation with Korea

08 Sep 2022

Agreement to work on “green” manufacturing methods for electromobility and storage technologies.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen, Germany, has been cooperating with the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials KIMM for many years – on projects including laser welding or micromaterial processing.

The institutes this week announced the joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, and said that their “cooperation will become even more effective”. The partners plan to work on environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes for electromobility and new storage technologies, among other things.

The announcement stated, “Comparatively small countries – like Korea and Germany – have been so successful economically because they have developed cutting-edge technologies in demand around the world. This also applies to laser technology, which has significantly helped the automotive industries in both countries succeed, for example.”

The ILT, which is Europe's largest institute for applied laser technologies, has been collaborating with the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials KIMM for many years. The president of KIMM, Dr. Sang Jin Park, visited the Fraunhofer ILT on his trip to Europe on May 5, 2022. Together with Fraunhofer ILT’s director, Professor Constantin Häfner, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion.

“With this agreement, we are taking our cooperation to a new level. Knowledge is transported by people, and with the MoU the exchange of personnel should become faster and easier,” is how Professor Häfner described the agreement. This is also to be strengthened by joint events such as symposia and conferences.

Dr. Park expressed the hope that “KIMM's international collaborative research will be further enhanced by expanding cooperation with Germany, where mechanical technology is traditionally strong.”

Processing metallic bipolar plates

With the MoU, both partners expect visible advantages when applying for internationally funded projects for the research and development of new laser technologies. Currently, they are jointly developing a laser process for welding and cutting metallic bipolar plates.

“Particularly in environmentally friendly technologies for fuel cells and electromobility, we want to do more together in the future,” commented Professor Häfner. The first project applications for this have been submitted.

KIMM is a non-profit, government-funded research institute under the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT. Since its establishment in 1976 in Daejeon, KIMM has contributed to the country's economic growth by conducting research and development on key technologies in the field of machinery and materials, carrying out reliability tests, and marketing the products and technologies developed.

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