The Thuringian Water Innovation Cluster ThWIC

Current research

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Automated, robot-assisted degradation and analysis of water pollutants.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Networking of ThWIC with other local and national partners.

The Thuringian Water Innovation Cluster (ThWIC) is one of the winners of the Zukunftscluster Initiative by BMBF. Led by the spokespersons Prof. Michael Stelter and Dr. Patrick Bräutigam an interdisciplinary center will be built over the next nine years, develop­ing new solutions for the sustainable use of water, including their industry transfer. 45 million euros are available for this.

Fraunhofer IKTS is involved in the ThWIC as a co-submitting institution across the entire width of the Water business division and also through its strategy department.

In the first funding period, 22 projects will befunded, 10 of them with direct or indirect participation of IKTS. They range from real-time COD sensors and membranes as technical kidneys to oxidation and cavitation-assisted ozonation, switchable ceramic adsorbers and artificial intelligence for predicting the remov­ability of pollutants in technical processes. The ThWIC’s innovation-supporting measures in the area of sustainability and outreach show particular potential for synergies. They enabled Fraunhofer IKTS to position itself in the public, industry and political spheres well before the start of the project, and to demon­strate its capabilities in water technology. The IKTS also has access to data science and socio­logical research at ThWIC.

ThWIC impressively demonstrates the potential for collaborative technology development and technology transfer across all technologyreadiness levels (TRL), which lies in the close cooperation between local universities, Fraunhofer IKTS and the numerous local com­panies. The Chair of Technical Environmental Chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and its Advanced Water Technology working group led by Dr. Patrick Bräutigam have become a hub for water research in recent years.

In ten years, ThWIC will be one of the world’s leading centers for water issues: pioneering technology and outreach, with a comprehen­sive range of data and powerful scientific and commercial offers.