10 million euros for lightweight construction research Second funding phase for Open Hybrid LabFactory confirmed
In June 2019, the jury of the “Research Campus – Public-Private Partnership for Innovation” funding initiative voted to continue funding the Open Hybrid LabFactory (OHLF). The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) follows this recommendation. According to this recommendation, future research projects can be funded with a total of 10 million euros over five years. The OHLF was initiated in 2012 under the auspices of the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFF) at Technische Universität Braunschweig together with industrial partners.
With funding from the BMBF, the Open Hybrid LabFactory research campus can apply for two million euros per year for projects over a period of five years. The establishment of an external international scientific advisory board is planned to control the projects. The BMBF also recommends strengthening the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Our research work over the last few years has enabled us to produce vehicle parts that are 30 percent lighter and do not incur any additional costs. In the future, we want to focus even more on topics such as the sustainability of products and production as well as digitisation. A prerequisite for this is successful evaluation by the high-ranking jury and further funding from the BMBF,” says OHLF spokesman Professor Klaus Dilger.
In the first funding phase from January 2015 to December 2018, OHLF developed new concepts and manufacturing processes for lightweight construction in the mass production of motor vehicles. The aim was the economical production and use of hybrid materials and multifunctional vehicle components. A special feature of OHLF is the complete consideration of components over the entire product life cycle. In the next funding phase, questions relating to ethics, sustainability and CO2 emissions will become more important in addition to technological development and economic considerations. The mechanical functionality that is the focus of research is supplemented by electrical, thermal, acoustic and sensory function integrations. The aim is, among other things, to support the digitalisation of products and production through the corresponding functionalisation of semi-finished products and components. A further focus of future research work will be the individualization of series production. Here, conventional mass production processes are used together with newly developed additive processes.
About the OHLF research campus
The public-private partnership Open Hybrid LabFactory based in Wolfsburg was initiated in 2012 under the leadership of the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFF) of the TU Braunschweig together with industrial partners. The aim of the partners is to accelerate research and development processes.
The technological activities focus on simultaneous material and production technology development in multi-material systems for hybrid lightweight construction. The LeichtbauCampus offers optimal possibilities and resources for research, development, production and testing of hybrid components for the central future topics of the automotive industry, digitization and resource efficiency.
In addition to the institutes of TU Braunschweig, Leibniz Universität Hannover and other universities, this facility is supplemented and strengthened by the Fraunhofer Project Center.
The Open Hybrid LabFactory is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the “Research Campus – Public-Private Partnership for Innovations” funding initiative. Other industrial partners, the state of Lower Saxony and the city of Wolfsburg are promoting and supporting the lightweight campus.