Research made in NRW

Minister Brandes opens FutureLab.NRW


In the picture: Minister Ina Brandes and UDE Rector Barbara Albert cut the ribbon.

Also pictured: IUTA Managing Director Dr Stefan Haep (left), Dr Linda Gehrmann (2nd from left), Project Manager Dr Thorsten Teutenberg (centre), IUTA Director Prof Dieter Bathen (2nd from right) and IUTA Director Jochen Schiemann (right).

A digital model laboratory for the analytics of the future: On 19 February, NRW Minister for Culture and Science Ina Brandes opened the FutureLab.NRW at the Institute for Environment and Energy, Technology and Analytics, an affiliated institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen, in front of over 100 guests from business and science. In doing so, the member of the Johannes Rau Research Association is strengthening its expertise in the fields of chemical analysis, automation and digitalisation.

The FutureLab.NRW living and demonstration laboratory of the Institute for Environment and Energy, Technology and Analytics (IUTA) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is open to technology developers and users in order to automate laboratory systems to a greater extent: "Our aim is to combine isolated laboratory systems, which are already highly automated in themselves, into a communicating and interacting overall system and at the same time to link them with the building peripherals and building services," explains Dr Thorsten Teutenberg, head of department at the IUTA and the main person responsible for implementing the project. Thorsten Teutenberg, head of department at IUTA and the main person responsible for realising the project.

This includes, for example, the development of miniaturised separation and analysis methods, the coupling of devices from different manufacturers and the standardisation of data and communication interfaces. The FutureLab.NRW offers users the opportunity to test new concepts before they find their way into routine laboratories and industrial practice. This allows new and innovative products to be evaluated within a real laboratory environment in order to identify potential weaknesses in the development of software and hardware. This also includes mobile robotic systems that interact autonomously with analysis stations, as well as AI solutions that enable predictive maintenance and quality assurance using metadata.

The Rector of the UDE, Prof. Dr Barbara Albert, emphasises the importance: "The FutureLab.NRW opens up new opportunities for cooperation between IUTA and the University of Duisburg-Essen in the field of chemical analysis. As an affiliated institute, IUTA is an important partner for our university, especially when it comes to transferring research results into application."

At today's opening, it became clear that the FutureLab.NRW strengthens the potential of the state of NRW. Minister Ina Brandes: "Cutting-edge research 'made in NRW' contributes significantly to overcoming the major challenges of our time. Bright minds are working at our universities and research institutions to make people's lives better. With the FutureLab, we are building a bridge to companies in the region and thus making the transfer of science into application easier and faster. In this way, we are strengthening North Rhine-Westphalia as a centre of science and business."

CENIDE associate Prof. Dr Dieter Bathen, member of the board of IUTA and the Johannes Rau Research Association, emphasises the importance of the project: "FutureLab.NRW sharpens IUTA's profile as a transfer institute and we are making an important contribution to the innovative capacity of the German economy. Cooperation with SMEs in particular and the utilisation of research results are at the top of the agenda."

FutureLab.NRW is funded by the NRW Research Infrastructures Initiative to promote research and innovation potential and by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).