HERE. Impulse Magazine / Sustainability 2021

HERE we set our course. As a result of climate change, extreme weather events are happening more and more often. We need to create a climate-neutral economy in order to counteract global warming in the long term. Saxony-Anhalt is aiming to make the most of the resulting opportunities for growth and the state is starting from a very strong position. Many companies from the industries of the future, such as renewable energy, green chemicals, the bioeconomy and electric mobility, are already investing in the development of a more sustainable economy and creating new, mainly high-quality jobs.

HERE we set our course.

As a result of climate change, extreme weather events are happening more and more often. We need to create a climate-neutral economy in order to counteract global warming in the long term. Saxony-Anhalt is aiming to make the most of the resulting opportunities for growth and the state is starting from a very strong position. Many companies from the industries of the future, such as renewable energy, green chemicals, the bioeconomy and electric mobility, are already investing in the development of a more sustainable economy and creating new, mainly high-quality jobs.


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location for business and science







Big plans?



we chart our





YOUR SPECIALISTS ON SITE Contemporary, collaborative and connected –

in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt

we are your partner for success. As a promoter for economic development and a location

marketer, our interdisciplinary teams support you in all aspects regarding location,

expansion and future sustainability, clearing any obstacles out of the way. Outstanding

customer focus and cooperation are our credo. We passionately support the transition and

positive perception of Saxony-Anhalt as a business, science and tourism destination. We

use all our skills and strength to build bridges for you!

Barbara Weinert-Nachbagauer, Head of Marketing, Thomas Einsfelder, Managing Director of IMG and

Marc Pappert, authorized signatory and Head of Investor Services, are three of our location specialists here

in Leuna Chemical Park: a center of excellence, where big plans are part of our day-to-day business.

As a result of climate change, extreme

weather events are happening more and more

often. We need to create a climate-neutral economy

in order to counteract global warming in the

long term. Saxony-Anhalt is aiming to make the

most of the resulting opportunities for growth

and the state is starting from a very strong position.

Many companies from the industries of the

future, such as renewable energy, green chemicals,

the bioeconomy and electric mobility, are

already investing in the development of a more

sustainable economy and creating new, mainly

high-quality jobs.

We are seeing a boom in the solar industry

in particular, as demonstrated by recent investments

by Hanwha Q Cells and Meyer Burger in


The demand for renewable electricity will

grow rapidly in the future, which is why Saxony-Anhalt

is focusing on green hydrogen, particularly

for energy-intensive industries.

Major companies from the chemical

industry have already come together to turn Saxony-Anhalt

into a leading location for the production

and use of affordable green hydrogen.

A sustainable economy also implies the

responsible use of precious resources. This is the

goal of the bioeconomy in Saxony-Anhalt, which

is undergoing a period of dynamic growth.

The Finnish company UPM is investing 550

million euros in a biorefinery that is the first of

its kind in the world, where biochemicals will be

produced from wood from 2022 onward. Alongside

the development of sustainable products

and materials, it is also important to focus on

recycling valuable raw materials.

You can find out more about these and

other developments on the following pages.

Saxony-Anhalt is transforming itself into a

state for future technologies that is a rewarding

place to live, to work and, of course, to

invest in.











“No trees are felled to make our products”


High-tech solution for green biochemicals:

Siemens Energy



The separation experts:

The start-up saperatec

Objective: Drinking water for all –

the start-up Inflotec



Vials from Saxony-Anhalt:

BioPharmaPark Dessau


Phosphorus from sludge:



An established partnership:






Interview with Thomas Einsfelder,

Managing Director IMG Saxony-Anhalt

"Saxony-Anhalt is playing

a central role in the transition to

the hydrogen economy“



Meyer Burger Technology AG:

The cells of the future

Meyer Burger Technology AG:

„Here we have everything we need“

The batteries of the future:






Load-bearing lightweight:

C3 Technologies



Hy2Chem scaling platform:

Setting new standards

Green gas on a large scale:

Linde GmbH

100 percent ahead:

Zerbst Energy Park







Bitterfeld-Wolfen Chemical Park:

“As a chemical site with 130 years’

experience, we have good prospects”

Methods for the mobility of the future:

Center for Method Development

Otto von Guericke

University of Magdeburg:

“Our goal is to become a

leading research location”

Top-class forming technology:

Porsche and Schuler




The freezing experts:


Award-winning sustainability

Contacts and editorial information


AI meets PV:

Fraunhofer CSP and

GETEC green energy


Sunshine in Thalheim:





“Saxony-Anhalt is

playing a central role

in the transition to the

hydrogen economy”

Thomas Einsfelder, managing director of the Investment and

Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt, discusses the advantages

of Saxony-Anhalt as a business location and the outstanding

opportunities provided by the hydrogen economy in the region.

What benefits does Saxony-Anhalt

offer future investors?

THOMAS EINSFELDER: Many major industrial sectors

have become established in Saxony-Anhalt, including the

mechanical engineering, automotive and chemical industries.

Highly motivated and skilled staff are helping to

ensure their success. The future is happening now in 29

business-oriented research facilities. Engineers and scientists

are coming together in clusters to overcome the

challenges of the future. A state-of-the-art transport and

logistics infrastructure enables the fast turnaround of

goods and the state’s central location in Europe provides

easy access to the East European economic region. And

last but not least, Saxony-Anhalt is a rich center of German

cultural history, as its many historical monuments

demonstrate. The wide variety of beautiful landscapes

and the bustling towns which offer a good quality of life

make Saxony-Anhalt the perfect location to move to.

How does IMG support foreign investors and help

them to network here?

THOMAS EINSFELDER: The IMG investor service team

provides support during all the phases of companies’

relocation and expansion projects in Saxony-Anhalt.

IMG acts as the partner of investors in a range of areas,

including finding suitable sites, handling financial issues,

liaising with local authorities and managing approvals,

plus helping with the recruitment of skilled staff and

young talents. The clusters I have already referred to and

the close links between companies and research facilities

enable investors to make contact easily with potential

business partners.

Saxony-Anhalt markets itself as a center for

innovation, in particular in relation to the energy

transition. What makes the state different in this

respect from other European locations?

THOMAS EINSFELDER: The phase-out of coal is affecting

the south of Saxony-Anhalt in particular. The structural

transformation that is needed offers new opportunities

for shaping future changes and doing business profitably.

The availability of large industrial sites and a good

workforce, the possibility of cooperating with research

facilities and extensive state funding create an attractive

package for investors. But the unique selling point

of Saxony-Anhalt is its many years of experience as a

location for companies from the chemical, hydrogen,

renewable energy and bioeconomy sectors. The region

has significant potential for sustainable added value

and resource-efficient products, extensive experience of

renewable energies and close links between the worlds of

business and science.

Thomas Einsfelder, Managing Director of the Investment and

Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt

Saxony-Anhalt is part of a hydrogen master plan.

Which initiatives are already underway and how

are you supporting the development of a local

hydrogen industry?

THOMAS EINSFELDER: Saxony-Anhalt has the ideal

conditions for playing a central role in the transition to a

hydrogen economy. Many companies in the central German

chemical triangle have long experience of working

with hydrogen and no other region of Germany has such

a well-developed hydrogen infrastructure. In addition, the

companies in the industry are closely involved with national

and international research projects. Several flagship

H2 projects are already taking place. The Hypos network

of businesses and research institutions is running a pilot

project for a hydrogen network in the Bitterfeld-Wolfen

Chemical Park. A hydrogen storage facility is being created

in Bad Lauchstädt which is more than 700 meters

below ground level and surrounded by a stratum of salt.

In 2020, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft began building a

test plant for green hydrogen to investigate the economic

use of the fuel with the support of several global players.





energy in



The cells

of the future

Meyer Burger is manufacturing

highly efficient solar cells at its

site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen.

In Thalheim,

Meyer Burger is

producing a new

generation of

solar cells.

Efficient solar energy is a

key building block for a climate-neutral

future. There is

huge potential for expanding

the generation of solar energy

and, at the same time, it can

also play an important role in

reducing costs. At the Solar

Valley site in the district of Bitterfeld-Wolfen

in the south of

Saxony-Anhalt, leading companies

from the industry are

developing and producing the

technologies of the future.

In large parts of the world, photovoltaics

is by far the most affordable and

climate-friendly technology for generating

electricity. The Swiss solar module manufacturer

Meyer Burger believes that this marks

the start of an era of solar energy and plans

to help shape the solar future. In Solar Valley

in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the company has been

producing its solar cells with highly efficient

heterojunction technology since June 2021.

“Our work at the historical Solar Valley site represents

a milestone on Europe’s road to greater

strategic independence in the crucial technology

of photovoltaics. This is just one example of

how European industry can successfully move

to doing business sustainably,” says Gunter

Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. “We have a unique

opportunity to become an innovative global

pacesetter in the field of renewable energies,

to create high-caliber jobs in the region and

to supply attractive products for generating

competitive, climate-friendly electricity.”

The company’s newly designed solar cells are

being produced at the Thalheim site. Because

of their structure and their specific temperature

behavior, they have an outstanding energy

output. Meyer Burger developed and industrialized

the necessary production processes




“Here we have

everything we need”

The machines

needed for


are developed

in-house by the

Swiss company.

and machines in-house at its technology and

product centers in Hauterive (Switzerland) and

Hohenstein-Ernstthal in Saxony. The solar cells

produced in Saxony-Anhalt are destined for the

company’s own solar module manufacturing

facility in Freiberg. Meyer Burger has already

created hundreds of high-quality jobs as part

of the first 400-megawatt stage of development.

The solar module producer also relies

on local supply chains. For example, the most

important raw material in the production process,

polysilicon, comes from Europe.

At Meyer Burger’s plant in Thalheim

up to 200,000 solar cells leave the

production line every day. In the medium-term,

the solar cell capacity of the site in Solar Valley

will be expanded to 1.4 gigawatts. In addition,

other administrative departments are being

set up in Thalheim.

The Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Economy is

providing support for the plant in the form of

aid for environmental protection of up to

15 million euros and an investment grant of

up to 7.5 million euros.


Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger Technology AG, on the company’s

commitment to central Germany

Why did Meyer Burger choose Thalheim as the

location for its plant?

GUNTER ERFURT: We were looking for the perfect site

for our solar cell production facility because the option

of cell manufacturing was not available at our other

sites in Freiberg and Hohenstein-Ernstthal in Saxony. We

searched all over Germany and soon found exactly what

we wanted in Solar Valley. Here we have everything we

need. In particular, there are highly skilled employees in

the region who are enthusiastic about solar technology

and can operate our machines. The building in Thalheim,

which was previously a solar cell factory, saved us a lot of

time. We were able to start production after only eight

months of conversion work.

The trend for producing solar modules in Asia

seems to be coming to an end. Is that correct?

GUNTER ERFURT: It’s true that we are seeing a renaissance

of the solar industry in Europe. At Meyer Burger

we are supporting this change. We are a Swiss company

and our roots are in Europe. We cannot see any reason

for moving to Asia. Over the last twelve years, we have

developed our proprietary heterojunction smartwire

technology and we are no longer selling the machines

and equipment to third parties. Instead we are producing

highly efficient solar cells and modules ourselves. Germany

provides the ideal conditions, including skilled staff

and the opportunity to work with research institutions.

In addition, production and wage costs in Asia are rising.

Future developments will show that it makes sense to produce

modules where the market is, rather than shipping

them around the world.

Solar energy is the most environmentally friendly

and cost-effective form of energy generation.

What role does sustainability play at Meyer Burger?

GUNTER ERFURT: We provide a 30-year warranty for our

solar modules and we aim to fully recycle them when they

reach the end of their life. We are currently in discussions

with potential partners in this area. We want to achieve

a closed cycle with all the materials that we use being

reprocessed. In addition, we run our manufacturing plants

using green electricity. In the solar industry, we have to set

very high standards of sustainability.

We also aim to be technology leaders. Our modules have

an output that is 20 percent higher over the same surface

area than conventional panels. After the initial investment,

customers can generate more solar electricity on

their roofs over the service life of our solar modules than

with panels from other manufacturers. A Meyer Burger

system is sustainable in every respect.




Tesvolt batteries

from Lutherstadt

Wittenberg are in

use at a salmon farm

off the Norwegian


The batteries

of the future

Tesvolt from Lutherstadt

Wittenberg is one of the world’s

leading suppliers of innovative


To ensure the success of the global

energy transition, we urgently need to

generate clean electricity. However, it is equally

important to be able to store this energy on a

large scale. The young company Tesvolt, which

is based in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, recognized

this at an early stage and began developing

sustainable energy storage solutions.

The market for energy storage in industry is

growing rapidly. Demand is expected to increase

by almost 30 percent per year until 2030.

The innovative storage solutions developed by

Tesvolt not only benefit industrial and commercial

customers, but also the environment. With

capacities ranging from 10 kWh to 100 MWh,

the batteries can be combined with solar and

wind energy generation, hydropower, combined

heat and power plants and fuel cells. The storage

solutions are being produced in Europe’s first gigafactory

for commercial batteries in Lutherstadt


„What drives us is not the desire

to be innovative, but the

vision of bringing affordable,

clean energy into every corner

of the world by means of efficient

storage technologies. The

basis for this is innovation,“

explains Daniel Hannemann, managing director

of Tesvolt. He founded the company as a

start-up in 2014 together with Simon Schandert.

Today Tesvolt employs almost 100 people at its

site in Wittenberg.

Founders with

vision: the two

managing directors

of Tesvolt, Daniel

Hannemann and

Simon Schandert.

Tesvolt receives inquiries from all over the

world. For example, in the national park in

the Chacabuco valley in Patagonia, a battery

storage system from Wittenberg has replaced

the existing dirty diesel generators. It now

supplies facilities in the park, such as hostels,

campsites, the museum and the information

center, with electricity. The park now makes use

of energy from renewable sources. In winter and

spring when the rivers are full of water from the

Andes, two micro-hydro turbines meet the electricity

requirements. In summer a photovoltaic

system is used to charge the Tesvolt batteries.

It was important for the remote park to choose

high-quality systems that require little maintenance.

The family-owned business Kvarøy, which runs

five salmon farms off the coast of Norway, has

also opted for Tesvolt batteries. Until recently,

diesel generators were used to supply electricity

to the platforms in the sea. As they had to operate

around the clock in order to make efficient

use of the fuel, every kilowatt hour of electricity

involved significant costs. In addition, the fuel

had to be transported to the salmon farms by

boat, which consumed additional energy and

incurred further costs. The energy storage systems

from Saxony-Anhalt have enabled Kvarøy

to make much more efficient use of the energy

produced by the generators and to reduce the

number of hours that the generators are in operation

on the platforms from 24 to three. This

not only cuts emissions and fuel consumption,

but also improves working conditions, because

less diesel means less noise, exhaust gases and

vibration on the fish farm.

Tesvolt batteries are also in operation at the

Oktoberfest in Munich. At peak times, the kitchens

in the Tradition festival tent supply food

and drink for up to 8,000 hungry and thirsty

customers. The tent uses a lot of electricity,

which amounts to an average of around 200,000

kWh per season. The large kitchen is responsible

for about 70 percent of the consumption.

When the barbecues, dishwashers and heaters

are in operation, peak loads of 700 kilowatts are

normal. Using a Tesvolt battery, these expensive

peak loads can be reduced.

In 2020, Tesvolt was named top innovator of the

year in the Top 100 innovation competition for

medium-sized German businesses because of its

innovative ability. The jury was particularly impressed

by the intelligent battery management

system developed by the company’s engineers. It

ensures that the batteries operate at a very high

efficiency level of over 92 percent and have a service

life of 30 years, which is a technological USP.

In addition, Tesvolt received the German Entrepreneur

Award in 2018. The state of Saxony-Anhalt

has been supporting Tesvolt with venture

capital funding from its own investment company,

IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt

mbH, since 2017. IBG has invested four million

euros in the company.


Tesvolt supplies

energy storage

solutions from

10 kWh to 100 MWh.




Artificial intelligence can play an

important role in monitoring and

maintaining photovoltaic systems


in Thalheim

Q CELLS invests

in Solar Valley.

AI meets


The Fraunhofer CSP and GETEC

green energy are collaborating

on a system that monitors

photovoltaic systems.

Alongside wind power, photovoltaics (PV) is the

most important source of renewable energy.

Around 20 percent of renewable energy is generated

by photovoltaic systems. This means that solar energy

makes a key contribution to the supply of sustainable

electricity in Germany.

The Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP and

GETEC green energy GmbH are collaborating on a project

known as Mon-KI that will allow weak points and defects

in PV systems to be identified as early as possible. The

German abbreviation stands for “innovative status

analysis and forecasting for PV systems using artificial intelligence

methods.” Energy generators can be simulated

more effectively by means of artificial intelligence methods

from the field of data mining, plus maintenance

work on PV modules can be scheduled more accurately.

“The project resolves fundamental problems in current

photovoltaic monitoring and reduces the amount of very

time-consuming manual data analyses of defects,” says

Dr. Matthias Ebert, Group Manager Module and System

Reliability at the Fraunhofer CSP in Halle (Saale). “By

using AI, we can ensure that PV systems function reliably

and that maintenance is kept to a minimum. The results

will allow new business models to be developed”

The Fraunhofer CSP is using actual and target data

validation for monitoring purposes. Field inspections,

historic data and laboratory tests allow defect patterns

in the data to be used to train machine learning models.

This makes it possible to automatically record defects

that lead to a reduction in the output of the PV systems.

In the event of anomalies, the data structure changes

systematically and this enables the defect to be diagnosed.

PV panels on roofs in Magdeburg and Zerbst and in solar

farms in Amsdorf belonging to GETEC green energy

GmbH are being used in the Mon-KI project. The joint

project is being funded by the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry

of Economy via the European Regional Development

Fund (ERDF).



Q CELLS, Europe’s largest supplier of photovoltaic

systems, will be investing 140 million euros in its global

research and development center in Saxony-Anhalt over

the next few years. This includes 35 million euros for purchasing

the machinery and equipment that Q CELLS will

use to develop the next generation of leading photovoltaic


It is investing in particular in special equipment for developing

n-type cells and modules. The company has identified

this technology as being the most effective driver

for reducing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in

photovoltaics over the years to come. The LCOE is the cost

of converting energy of another form into electric current.

The new technology uses n-type cells with passivating

contacts that improve the efficiency and the performance

of the solar modules even further.

“The core values of Q CELLS have always

been technological excellence

and leadership. That is why I am so

pleased that we will once again be

bringing a ground-breaking PV technology

onto the market this year,”

says Dr. Daniel Jeong, CTO of Q CELLS. “We have planned

our investment roadmap carefully to ensure that we can

continue to play a leading role in designing the next generations

of solar energy technologies in the coming years.”

The research facility in Thalheim is in Solar Valley, which

was set up 20 years ago in the former chemical triangle

and is one of the largest centers of the solar industry in

Europe. The company employs roughly 475 people at its

Thalheim site. Q CELLS has a total of around 630 employees

in Europe. It supplies clean energy solutions throughout

the world in the form of solar panels, solar power

plants, batteries and electricity contracts. Its headquarters

are in Seoul in South Korea and in Thalheim near Bitterfeld-Wolfen

(center for technology, innovation and quality).

The company also has production facilities in South

Korea, Malaysia, China and the USA. Q CELLS is a flagship

company of the Hanwha Group, which is on the Fortune

Global 500 list and is one of the seven largest companies

in South Korea.

In 2020, 184,000 new solar power systems with a power

output of almost five gigawatts were installed in Germany.

Around 18 percent of this power output comes from

Q CELLS modules.


The research and

development center

of Q CELLS is based in





The bioeconomy




“No trees are felled

to make our products”

NOVO-TECH in Aschersleben produces sustainable,

long-lasting products from an innovative wood-based


nature and our objective is to make sustainable use of natural

resources. The driving force behind the development of

our material has always been to protect the rainforests by

replacing tropical timber with local natural fibers.”

NOVO-TECH manufactures

its products from sustainable,

environmentally friendly

wood-based material.

The responsible use of resources

is one of the key issues of our era.

Saxony-Anhalt takes its responsibility

in this area very seriously. More

than half of the electricity generated

in the state already comes from

renewable sources. Saxony-Anhalt

is a traditional location for the

food, chemical, timber and agriculture

industries and the companies

here, which are familiar with natural

cycles, are setting new standards

for the bioeconomy.

The future is the consequence of the decisions we

make today. At NOVO-TECH, Europe’s largest manufacturer

of wood materials for outdoor use, a fundamental

decision was taken in as early as 2005. The company from

Aschersleben manufactures the environmentally friendly

GCC (German Compact Composite) wood-based material,

which has a natural fiber content of up to 75 percent. Using

this innovative material, NOVO-TECH extrudes sustainable,

long-lasting products for use in the home and in the

garden, including decking, fencing and facade components.

The patented manufacturing process is unique to


“The responsible use of resources is a key part of our

philosophy. The raw material consists of woodchip from

the regional sawmill industry and a minimal quantity of additives.

The wood comes from sustainably managed forests

and no trees are felled to make our products. In contrast

to a business world based on a rapid turnover and high

levels of consumption, we have always aimed to develop

long-lasting products that can be recycled and have made

use of the opportunities offered by the circular economy

right from the start,” says Holger Sasse, founder and CEO

of NOVO-TECH. “Our vision is to live with rather than from

The company, which has 170 employees, takes its products

back at the end of their useful life and returns them to the

production process. The old materials are used to create

new products without the need to use new raw materials.

In addition, by improving the design of the products it has

been possible to reduce the amount of materials required.

NOVO-TECH also takes a sustainable approach to heat

recovery. The waste heat from the production machinery

is used to heat the factory and office building and, in addition,

the plant runs on green electricity.

As a result of the company’s commitment to sustainability,

in the summer of 2020 it was awarded “Cradle to Cradle

Certified Gold” certification for its forward-looking woodbased



“The responsible

use of

resources is a

key part of our



16 17

High-tech solution

for green biochemicals


Siemens Energy electrifies UPM’s

first-of-its-kind biorefinery.

Ground-breaking ceremony in Leuna: Dr. Michael

Duetsch (UPM Biochemicals), Dr. Reiner Haseloff

(Minister President of Saxony-Anhalt), Jyrki Ovaska

(Executive Vice President Technology UPM) and

Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister for Economy, Professor

Armin Willingmann.

At the Chemical Park Leuna, the Finnish company

UPM Biochemicals is building the first biorefinery

of its kind in the world. The biochemicals that will be

produced from wood will allow for the move from fossil to

sustainable raw materials in a number of areas of industry.

The refinery will create a new generation of sustainable

basic chemicals from hardwood. This will allow UPM to

provide alternative substances that will significantly reduce

the carbon footprint of end products such as PET bottles,

packaging materials, textiles and rubber products.

UPM chose Siemens Energy to provide the electrification,

automation and digitalization solutions for its innovative

biorefinery. Siemens Energy will supply the plant-wide medium-

and low-voltage power distribution system and drive

system (including the motor control center, variable speed

drives and motors). In addition, it will install a distributed

control system for multiple process areas and control cabi-

nets with a total of 9,000 process objects, including safety

and ATEX functions for potentially explosive atmospheres.

Siemens will also program a digital twin of the whole

biorefinery, which will cover its entire life cycle.

“We are confident that the renewable functional fillers

made in Leuna will meet the high level of demand from

customers and end-users who are looking to move toward

a truly sustainable portfolio. By implementing Siemens Energy’s

digitalization solutions and digital twin, we can help

ensure that our operations are safe and efficient,” says

Juuso Konttinen, Vice President UPM Biochemicals.

“We look forward to helping UPM reduce the world’s reliance

on chemicals produced from fossil fuels as we move

toward creating a more sustainable world,” says Jennifer

Hooper, Senior Vice President, Industrial Applications Solutions

for Siemens Energy.

Leuna is a European center of the chemical industry and

it is the ideal location for the biorefinery because of its

proximity to important customers in Germany. The start of

production at the refinery is planned for the end of 2022.

The total annual capacity will be 220,000 metric tons. UPM

is investing around 550 million euros in the construction

of the biorefinery and plans to create about 200 new jobs.

The Ministry of Economy of Saxony-Anhalt is providing

around 20 million euros of investment funding and aid for

environmental protection.



The separation experts

The start-up saperatec from Dessau-Roßlau has developed a technology

that allows complex composite materials to be separated.

Drink cartons are made from aluminum,

plastic and cardboard. Until now, separating these

materials has proved to be problematic. It is not only drink

cartons that are made of composite materials such as glass,

metal, plastic and paper, but also a wide variety of other

types of packaging and technical products. They generally

end up in landfill sites or in waste incinerators, despite the

fact they are made of valuable raw materials. In Germany

alone, raw materials worth more than one billion euros are

discarded every year.

The start-up saperatec has come up with a solution to this

problem. The company has developed a technology that

allows many of these composite materials to be separated

to produce clean secondary raw materials. This closes the

raw material cycle and, at the same time, creates significant

added value.

The method developed by saperatec is both simple and

sophisticated. A separation liquid penetrates between the

layers of the composite materials and separates them from

one another. This enables the materials to be processed to

produce pure material fractions that can be recycled. The

company’s core competence is the formulation of the separation

liquids that are designed for individual applications

and also meet high environmental standards.

saperatec’s industrial pilot plant is in Bielefeld and it is

here that the separation process has undergone intensive

testing. The special separation liquids are first developed

in the laboratory and are subsequently used in larger

quantities in the pilot plant. The materials are shredded

to give the separation liquid a contact surface that is as

large as possible. The shredded material is then immersed

in the liquid, while being stirred and heated. Later the

individual substances are cleaned, sorted and dried. The

method has made the company into a technology leader

in the separation of bonded and coated structures.

The next step for the company is to build an industrial-scale

plant for recycling composite packaging made

from aluminum, plastic and paper. The planned site for the

plant is Dessau-Roßlau and the approval process is already

underway. From 2023, the company intends to provide

a commercial solution for returning composite packaging,

which is currently difficult to recycle, to the material

cycle. The start-up’s plans have received support in the

form of venture capital from IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft

Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, the investment company of the state

of Saxony-Anhalt.





The drinking water treatment

solutions function independently

and can be used in a variety of


According to an old saying, clean water is the first

and most important medicine in the world. At the

same time, many conflicts all over the globe are caused by

the lack of clean water. This essential raw material is something

that many people cannot take for granted. Around

ten percent of the world’s population has no access to clean

drinking water..

The growing global population and the massive increase in

the consumption of fresh water will exacerbate this problem

even further in the future. “During my foreign deployments

with the German Army, I experienced for myself how

difficult the access to an adequate supply of clean drinking

water can be,” recalls Martin Drewes, development director

at Inflotec.

Martin Drewes and Martina Findling are the

founders of the Magdeburg-based start-up



Drinking water

for all

Inflotec, a Magdeburg-based start-up,

has developed treatment systems that

produce clean water.

The treatment systems developed by the start-up can turn

contaminated surface water into drinking water completely

independently. These treatment systems are particularly

ideal for developing countries and crisis zones where the

infrastructure has been destroyed, because they do not

need an electricity supply and can be transported relatively

easily. However, the systems can also be used in remote

settlements and research stations and in boats and other

outdoor settings.

The “Waver” system, for example, can produce around

2,000 liters of drinking water per day using ultrafiltration,

simply by being placed in a current of water. The current

drives a water wheel that starts the water treatment

process. The structure of the Waver is similar to that of a

catamaran. A paddle wheel between two floats drives a piston

pump via belts, which sucks in the contaminated water

and pushes it through the filters. Suspended particles and

contaminants are removed by the filters, which also add

minerals to the water. When the purified water is transferred

to the bank of the river, it can be put into tanks and

used as drinking water.

Another model is known as the “Mobile Purification

System.” This is a small, portable drinking water treatment

system for ten people that is independent and flexible. It

produces 150 liters of drinking water per hour from contaminated

surface water.

The “Green Fields” model uses the pumping power of the

floating system to pump river water to nearby fields without

the need for an external energy supply. This makes the

lives of farmers much easier in areas where they have to

carry water to their fields in heavy containers.

“The drinking water market is highly

competitive, but there are plenty of

applications for our systems. Our aim

is to provide a wide variety of products

so that we can sell them in different

market segments,”

explains Martina Findling, marketing director at Inflotec.

The name Inflotec stands for innovative flow technologies.

The starting point was a university project. The

company was a spin-off from this and was established

to bring the systems onto the market. The products

are not only innovative but also visually appealing. The

young company was presented with the Saxony-Anhalt

Bestform Design Award for the design of its products in

2017. In addition, the company has also received a startup

grant from the Ministry of Economy of Saxony-Anhalt

as part of the ego.-START program.




Phosphorus from sludge

Seraplant in Haldensleben has developed a process for recycling

phosphorus from sewage sludge ash.


Natural fiber


open up new





The plant in the port of Haldensleben is the only

one of its kind in Germany.

The element phosphorus, a name which means

“light bearer,” is an important mineral that forms an

essential component of fertilizer. It is also a critical resource

because almost 90 percent of the extractable deposits

are found in only six countries. Germany relies entirely on

imports of phosphate fertilizer.

However, phosphorus can be recycled as well as being

mined. It is found in large quantities in wastewater and

sewage sludge. Despite this, around two thirds of municipal

sewage sludge is currently combusted without the

phosphorus it contains being recovered. The huge potential

offered by the 1.8 or so million metric tons of sewage sludge

produced by wastewater treatment plants every year is

currently unexploited.

If Seraplant, a company based in Haldensleben, has its way,

this situation will soon change. The firm has developed a

highly innovative process for recycling phosphorus from

sewage sludge ash. The process not only helps to protect

the environment and reduce resource use, but also increases

the efficiency of phosphorus in agriculture. Another

benefit of Seraplant’s process is that other nutrients can

be added as required. The multi-nutrient fertilizers can be

adjusted to meet the needs of different plants. This results

in optimum growth, helps to protect the environment and

keeps run-off losses and salt damage to a minimum.

The production plant at the port in Haldensleben, which

is the first of its kind in Germany, officially came into

operation on May 31, 2021. The Ministry of Economy of

Saxony-Anhalt has invested more than 4.95 million euros

in the plant from the Joint Task for the Improvement of Regional

Economic Structures (GRW) and another 3.5 million

euros from the Environmental Innovation Program of the

German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation

and Nuclear Safety. In addition, IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft

Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, the state’s investment

company, has also invested in the facility.

The recycling process produces 60,000 metric tons of

phosphate fertilizer every year and the recovery process

is completely waste-free. No hazardous interim products,

residues or exhaust gases are produced. In the future, the

company aims to manufacture a fertilizer for organic farms

and to play an active role in shaping the market for phosphorus



Load-bearing lightweight

C3 Technologies from Halle (Saale) is developing composites from

renewable raw materials.

Renewable composites are the materials of

the future. The greentech company C3 Technologies

has been committed to this trend since 2010 and is developing

composites from renewable agricultural raw materials,

preferably from the local region, and from recycled materials

available at its production site.

One of the important cornerstones of the industrial production

of natural fiber composites has been the company’s

targeted cooperation over a period several years with the

Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and

Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale). In addition, specialists from

the relevant industries, such as architects, civil engineers

and furniture designers and makers, have been involved in

the process of developing the materials and the resulting

construction components right from the start. The natural

fiber composites have a variety of potential applications in

the field of lightweight design and also contain no substances

that are hazardous to health, such as formaldehyde or

bisphenol. This means that they meet high construction and

environmental standards.

The lightweight panels made of natural fiber composites

developed and produced by C3 Technologies are ideal for

applications in the furniture industry and for exhibition

stands and shopfitting. However, the special sandwich

design means that the benefits of the material are increasingly

being exploited in housebuilding and for adding floors

to existing structures. The C3 composite system is characterized

by simple installation, high levels of stability and

flexible use in all areas of life and work.

For example, the A-2 module was used to construct a complete

building with a monocoque structure from natural

fiber composite components (sandwich panels). The panels

were bonded together to create a high-strength building

and this dispensed with the need for a supporting structure.

As a result, buildings can be constructed very cost-effectively

and efficiently. These structures are also extremely

stable, in particular in the case of external influences such

as major storms, earthquakes or floods.





Hydrogen in


Setting new standards

The Hy2Chem scaling platform in the chemical triangle

of Saxony-Anhalt allows technologies for producing

renewable hydrogen to be tested.


Saxony-Anhalt is one of the most

attractive locations for the global

chemical industry. Companies from

the sector have been working on new

developments in the state for more

than 100 years. A good infrastructure

and well-functioning networks create

profitable synergies. The companies

and research institutions that

are based here are leading players

in the field of hydrogen. The investments

in this technology have turned

Saxony-Anhalt into the center of the

German hydrogen industry.

In 1874, in his novel ‘The Mysterious Island’,

Jules Verne wrote: “The energy of tomorrow is water

broken down into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

These elements will secure the earth’s power supply for

an indefinite period.” Almost 150 years later, it is clear how

far-sighted Verne was, because hydrogen is now seen as

the fuel of the future.

If it is produced using green electricity, hydrogen is

climate-neutral and has a wide range of potential applications.

A unique research institute, the Fraunhofer

Hydrogen Lab Leuna HLL, will bring together innovative

technologies for producing renewable hydrogen on an

industrial scale using the excellent infrastructure of gas

pipelines and gas storage facilities at the Chemical Park

Leuna. The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological

Processes CBP in Leuna and the Fraunhofer Institute

for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in

Halle (Saale) will work together on developing and scaling

up new electrolysis systems and on the chemical use

of green hydrogen produced using renewable energy.

The researchers will focus primarily on reproducing real

operating conditions that can provide application-based

engineering data concerning the design and cost of the


“The Hydrogen Lab Leuna is Germany’s first electrolysis

test facility that is fully integrated into the material flow

networks of the chemical industry. For example, we

can carry out systemic tests of electrolyzers and obtain

valuable experience of feeding hydrogen into the pipeline

systems,” says Dr. Sylvia Schattauer, deputy director of the

institute, who is responsible for the hydrogen and carbon

activities at the Fraunhofer IMWS.

The first project at the Hy2Chem scaling platform, which

is funded by the state of Saxony-Anhalt, has just started

and involves the mineral oil company TotalEnergies and

a number of other partners. This project, which is known

as e-CO2Met, aims to produce methanol from low-carbon

hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. TotalEnergies

manufactures around 700,000 metric tons of methanol

from fossil fuels every year at its refinery in Leuna. The

company now intends to produce climate-neutral methanol

at the site. With this aim in mind, it intends to run

a demonstration project that will test the interaction of

three processes: the use of CO 2

from the refinery and of

green hydrogen produced using high-temperature electrolysis,

plus the subsequent synthesis of methanol

in the Hy2Chem scaling platform.

“The innovative process for manufacturing synthetic

methanol will allow crude oil and natural gas to be

replaced in the chemical industry and the necessary

raw materials to be produced using a climate-neutral

method,” says Thomas Behrends, managing director of

the TotalEnergies refinery in Leuna. “This allows us to

contribute to decarbonizing the production of basic





Linde has been


hydrogen at the

Chemical Park

Leuna for several


Green gas

on a large scale

In Leuna, Linde GmbH is building the world’s

largest hydrogen electrolyzer as an investment

in the fuel of the future.

In the field of hydrogen, Linde is working

closely with the Fraunhofer institute in Halle





Hydrogen is one of the most promisingsolutions

for meeting the world’s growing

energy needs and, at the same time, alleviating

the consequences of climate change. The Linde

Group is now taking a major step forward in

hydrogen technology and building the largest

hydrogen electrolyzer in the world at the Chemical

Park Leuna. The 24-megawatt plant will come

into operation in 2022 and will operate using

certified green electricity and later wind and

solar energy generated in the region.

Linde’s long-term aim in opening the

electrolyzer is to quadruple its revenue from

hydrogen. The group is already one of the world’s

largest hydrogen producers. Using technology

for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen,

up to 4,200 metric tons of green hydrogen is

produced every year at the Linde facility in the

south of Saxony-Anhalt.

The site in Leuna is the perfect location for this

project. “A huge amount of expertise in the field

hydrogen has been built up here in the chemical

park over the years, so new skills are not needed

in this area. The safety systems and the pipelines

are of very high quality. The liquid nitrogen

needed for the preliminary cooling process is

produced cost-effectively on the site. In addition,

there are several well-established cooperative

projects underway. In the field of hydrogen we

are working closely with ITM Power and the

Fraunhofer institute in Halle (Saale),” says

Andreas Dietrich, head of the Linde site in Leuna.

The construction of the new facility, including

a new hydrogen liquefier, will cost the gas

company around 60 million euros. The Ministry

of Economy of Saxony-Anhalt is providing

funding of 15 million euros as part of the Joint

Task for the Improvement of Regional Economic

Structures (GRW). Green hydrogen is one aspect

of the National Hydrogen Strategy, which has

identified hydrogen as a key element in the

energy transition. In addition, the commitment

by Linde GmbH to the production of hydrogen

fits perfectly with the hydrogen strategy of the

state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The state’s existing energy

infrastructure puts it in an

excellent position to become a

forward-looking, zero-carbon

model region for hydrogen.

There is considerable potential for renewable

energy generation in Saxony-Anhalt, together

with a well-developed hydrogen infrastructure

that can be used for green hydrogen. Central

Germany also has the second largest hydrogen

pipeline network in the country and salt caverns

in Bad Lauchstädt that are suitable for use

as large-volume hydrogen storage facilities. In

addition, many of the companies based in the

area have extensive experience of producing

hydrogen and using it for industrial purposes.

There is also an established research infrastructure

with institutes and firms that have

joined together to create the HYPOS network

with the aim of identifying innovative uses for















100 percent


Green hydrogen will

be produced in Zerbst

and sold via a regional

trading platform.

At a former airbase in Zerbst, the future is just

around the corner. If everything goes to plan, hydrogen

will soon be produced at the site. GETEC green energy

GmbH is currently working with a number of partners to

develop a plant that will manufacture 100 percent green

hydrogen. The site is already home to an energy park

that produces electricity from solar and wind energy and

biomass. Now an electrolysis plant and the accompanying

logistics infrastructure for producing and distributing

green hydrogen for regional use are being built.

Chris Döhring, CEO of GETEC green energy

GmbH, points towards the area where an

electrolysis plant for green hydrogen production

will be built over the next year.

Zerbst Energy Park is located on

the site of a former airbase. On the

horizon, aircraft hangars built by

the German Luftwaffe can be seen.

The construction of the plant is also being underpinned

by research and development activities. “During the process

of implementing and, in particular, supporting new

applications, it is essential to have prominent research

and development facilities on board,” says Chris Döhring,

CEO of GETEC green energy GmbH, emphasizing the

importance of the cooperation between the partners.

For example, the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation

and Automation (IFF) in Magdeburg is supporting the

H 2 -Regio project.

“Sustainably produced hydrogen

will play an important role in the

energy transition. In the future, it

will be used in industry, transport

and many other areas of society.

This is why we need new tools and

methods now that will allow the accompanying

new infrastructures for

generating, distributing and using

the hydrogen to operate reliably

and cost-effectively. That is the aim

of this project, which is being driven

primarily by the industrial firms


says Professor Julia Arlinghaus, Director of the IFF.

The goals include the provision of regionally produced

green hydrogen that can be used profitably by the

municipalities in the area via a regional trading platform,

the testing of complete needs-based solutions for the

supply of electricity and hydrogen at a site with an energy

park and the establishment of a long-term relationship

between the energy park and local industry. Alongside

the Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg, the other partners in

the project are Deutsche Hydrierwerke GmbH Rodleben

(DHW), Erdgas Mittelsachsen GmbH (EMS) and Technik-Energie-Wasser

Servicegesellschaft mbH (TEW).

“We in Saxony-Anhalt are very keen to play a special role

as a hydrogen state in the future. We have good existing

facilities in our chemical triangle, but we are open to activities

taking place elsewhere as well. This is what makes

the H2-Regio project in Zerbst so interesting,” says Armin

Willingmann, Minister of Economy of Saxony-Anhalt.

For the town of Zerbst, the project is an important

component of the necessary transition to a new type of

energy supply. “The National Hydrogen Strategy at state

and federal level is being put into practice here. Introducing

sustainability and intergenerational fairness into our

public services may sound like an ambitious goal, but this

is exactly what we are aiming to achieve,” says mayor

Andreas Dittmann.





mobility in



New mobility is no longer merely an

abstract concept. With the emergence

of alternative powertrains,

autonomous driving and intelligent

connectivity, the automotive industry

is undergoing a period of fundamental

transformation. Saxony-Anhalt has

270 companies in this sector, which

employ more than 26,000 people, plus

a world-class research landscape.

This puts it in an excellent position to

help shape the changes that are taking

place. National and international

companies are investing millions in

new plants for batteries and vehicle

bodies and new research and development

centers are being built.

“As a chemical site

with 130 years’ experience,

we have good prospects”

Max Fuhr is commercial manager of the Bitterfeld-Wolfen Chemical Park.

We discuss with him the potential for battery cell production in Saxony-Anhalt.

What makes the chemical park so relevant for

the production of specialty chemicals for battery


MAX FUHR: Batteries are not made out of thin air. A

battery is an electrochemical storage system that stores

electrical energy in the form of chemical energy and can

subsequently convert it back into electrical energy when

this is needed. A battery cell, which is the smallest unit

inside a battery, consists essentially of three components:

two electrodes that are connected by an electrolyte.

Depending on whether the battery is being charged or

discharged, the electrons move from one electron to the

other and back again. A battery consists of several of these

cells. Specialty chemicals are needed to produce battery

components such as electrode materials and electrolytes.

This is where Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the cradle of industrial

electrochemistry, comes in. Basic materials such as alkalis

and acids are available here in large quantities. The chemical

park is an excellent location in particular for preliminary

suppliers because here they can find a supply of chemical

raw materials literally on the other side of the fence. The

battery is the most expensive component of an electric car

and can account for up to 50 percent of the manufacturing

costs. The battery costs in turn are largely determined by

the costs of the materials.

How dynamic is the market at the moment?

MAX FUHR: The manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries

and their preliminary suppliers are currently based mainly

in Asia. However, the value chain is becoming increasingly

regionalized for economic, environmental and strategic

reasons. Electric car batteries for the European market

should as far as possible be manufactured in Europe. For

this reason, battery factories are popping up all over the

place like mushrooms. However, these battery factories

need a supply of specialty chemicals, otherwise they cannot

operate effectively. In the medium term, this would result in

electric car production moving to other parts of the world.

By 2030, one in every three newly registered cars will

be powered by an electric motor. What impact will

that have over the next few years?

MAX FUHR: By then, the battery industry needs to grow

by a factor of ten and so a lot of engineering skills will be

required. Of course, the availability of battery materials is an

essential requirement. Currently around 90 percent of the

global chemical production capacity for these materials is in

China. As China will be the world’s largest market for electric

vehicles and therefore for batteries by 2030, this will lead

to competition and production bottlenecks of the kind that

the automotive industry is experiencing now in the case of

chips. If we can put in place the right regional value chains,

electric mobility and battery materials will be the growth

drivers of the decade and, as a chemical site with 130 years’

experience, we aim to play our part in this.

Will these developments also have an effect on Saxony-Anhalt

as a location for science and research?

MAX FUHR: Definitely. The impact may not be as great in

the field of basic research, but there is a huge demand for

applied research with the aim of making industrial production

more efficient. Until now the processes have been very

energy-intensive and have had relatively high reject rates.

The area of urban mining, which involves recycling end-oflife

batteries, will also become important. The potential for

universities, research institutes and start-ups in Saxony-Anhalt

is enormous. In my opinion, it would make sense to

bring all of this together in a separate research center.


30 31

Methods for the

mobility of the future

The Center for Method Development at

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

plans to carry out research into environmentally

friendly powertrain systems.


The new forms of mobility are among the key

global issues for the future. Mobility is a guarantee

of prosperity and an essential means of enabling people

to play a role in society. At the same time, the climate

crisis needs urgent answers and requires new powertrain

systems to meet high standards of environmental friendliness.

For this reason, there will be dramatic changes in the

automotive industry over the next few years. It will become

a powerful innovative force in areas such as carbon neutrality,

connectivity and autonomous driving.

The development of essential new forms of mobility can

no longer be regarded from the perspective of a single technical

discipline. Established linear development methods

are being pushed to their limits. This is where the Center

for Method Development will come in, by allowing all the

system components to be simulated and linked together to

create a virtual system.

In order to accommodate these developments, Otto von

Guericke University Magdeburg is establishing the Center

for Method Development (CMD) in the Ostfalen Technology

Park on the edge of the state capital. This will enhance

the status of the entire automotive industry location in

the north of Saxony-Anhalt. For example, a cooperation

agreement has already been reached with the Japanese

HORIBA Group, which has its global center of excellence for

fuel cells and batteries nearby. HORIBA is one of the world’s

leading suppliers of test systems for fuel cells, batteries and


“Our goal is

to become

a leading



A conversation with

Professor Jens Strackeljan,

President of Otto von Guericke

University Magdeburg, about

the Center for Method Development

in the Ostfalen Technology Park

in Barleben.

HORIBA FuelCon is a leading manufacturer of

test facilities for batteries and fuel cells.

Also based at the site are the Institute for Competence

in AutoMobility – IKAM GmbH and the Innovations- und

Gründerzentrum Magdeburg (IGZ) (an innovation and

start-up center). The Ministry of Economy of Saxony-Anhalt

has provided the university with a total of 31 million euros

of funding for the Center for Method Development. Of this,

11 million euros come from the state budget and 20 million

euros from the European Regional Development Fund.

From 2023, the new research center will be home to several

test rigs and laboratories for electric, hydrogen and hybrid

powertrains. The aim is to investigate the operating and

aging behavior of batteries, for example. In the fuel cell lab,

the efficiency of the air supply and water management of

fuel cells for use in cars will be improved.


What sort of staff and technical facilities

will the CMD have?


creating around 20 jobs for highly skilled employees,

primarily engineers and graduates, but the project will

continue to grow. However, the success of the institution

will depend to a large extent on the technical

equipment. This includes test rigs for powertrains and

electric motors, which can carry out diagnostic tests,

battery test rigs for testing the aging behavior and

recyclability of materials, a fuel cell laboratory that will

allow the driving strategy to be improved, a battery

simulator that will be used to reproduce the behavior

of real battery systems, a materials testing laboratory




and much more. However, we also want to attract new

companies. We are focusing on growth not only in the

CMD, but also throughout Magdeburg, Barleben and


Which cooperative projects is the university

working on in connection with the CMD?

PROFESSOR JENS STRACKELJAN: We are currently taking

part in detailed discussions with one of the most important

service providers to the automotive industry, IAV

GmbH in Berlin. HORIBA FuelCon GmbH is based nearby

and we will definitely be involved in the field of hydrogen.

In addition, a large number of SMEs from Saxony-Anhalt

will be working closely with the CMD. We have also established

collaborations with automotive networks as part of

several European projects. Other important cooperations

include those with German universities and with the Universidad

Nacional de Rio Cuarto in Argentina.

How important is the CMD for the research profile

of the University of Magdeburg?

PROFESSOR JENS STRACKELJAN: The aim of the interdisciplinary

cooperation between the faculties of

mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and

information technology, computer science, process and

systems engineering and economics and management is

to increase the number of highly qualified graduates with

technical degrees and, in parallel, to improve the standard

of education even further. The CMD will enable the graduates

to become involved in interesting applied research

projects at an early stage and will open up future-proof





job opportunities all over the world. At the same time, this

automotive-oriented research and development center

will strengthen the transfer of automotive expertise at

the University of Magdeburg because the involvement of

industry will increase our innovative ability and improve

the technology transfer. To further enhance the standards

of scientific excellence and to ensure a rapid transfer of

knowledge and technology, we will be raising the profile

of the center by creating a new endowed professorship

and additional research groups.

How can the CMD contribute to

Saxony-Anhalt as a technology location?

PROFESSOR JENS STRACKELJAN: On the threshold of the

new era of mobility, the state of Saxony-Anhalt has taken

on board this latest development trend in the definition

of its leading market as “mobility and logistics.” This will

be linked with the creation of the infrastructure and the

vehicles needed for intelligent, environmentally friendly,

integrated transport systems. The goal is to establish

the state as a leading research location for powertrain

technologies. On the basis of a high-profile research

infrastructure, Saxony-Anhalt can ensure that it remains

competitive and innovative over the long term. The CMD

will significantly reinforce the scientific and economic

attractiveness of the state.









forming technology

Porsche and Schuler AG have set up an

innovative press shop in Halle (Saale).

The sports car manufacturer Porsche and the

sheet metal forming specialist Schuler opened an

ultra-modern press shop for vehicle body parts in the Star

Park in Halle (Saale) in June 2021. The new plant is the first

to be part of the Industry 4.0 strategy of the two companies,

which have founded the joint venture Smart Press Shop

GmbH & Co. KG for the purpose. Ultimately, the plan is to

employ 135 people at the plant. Porsche and Schuler have

invested almost 100 million euros in the site and the joint


The highly innovative press shop will be able to produce

parts not only for Porsche but also for other vehicle manufacturers.

The focus is on manufacturing components for

the outer skin made from aluminum and steel. A highly

efficient logistics system will allow the CO 2

emissions from

the production process to be reduced. Until now, the engine

hood of the Porsche Macan has been made in Bratislava.

Now the hoods come from Halle and are transported

directly to the nearby Porsche factory in Leipzig. This saves

time, money and CO 2

emissions because the components

no longer have to travel long distances. Porsche’s aim is to

be CO 2

-neutral along the entire value chain by 2030. The

smart press shop is designed as a zero impact factory with

a closed cycle, where recycling and the reuse of waste play

a central role. The new facility is also paperless and the


waste heat from the machines is used to heat the building

in the winter months. The building also has a large number

of skylights to reduce the amount of electricity needed for


“Schuler is a highly competent and innovative partner that

is setting new standards in the digitalization of forming

technology,” explains Albrecht Reimold, Member of the

Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche.

“We can link design, development, bodywork planning, tool

manufacturing and production even more closely together

and increase the efficiency of our processes.”

“We see the joint construction and

operation of the smart press shop

as a project that will enable us to

take the efficiency of our production

systems and the digitalization of

important stages in the process of car

manufacturing to a new level in terms

of forming technology,”

says Domenico Iacovelli, CEO of Schuler AG.


The modern pressing

plant operated by

Schuler and Porsche is

in the Star Park in Halle







The coronavirus pandemic continues to keep the world

in suspended animation. Vaccines, rapid testing and

refrigeration technology are currently the crucial factors

in effectively containing the virus. Several companies in

Saxony-Anhalt are playing a central part in combating the


Vials from



In the BioPharmaPark

Dessau, IDT Biologika

is producing COVID-19

vaccines for Astra-

Zeneca and Johnson &


36 37


The company is

responsible for


the vaccine and

putting it into


“The new investment is a response to market

requirements. As a global contract manufacturer,

we will soon be able to provide an even faster

and more flexible service for our customers. IDT

Biologika and the BioPharmaPark Dessau with its

other partners are in the process of becoming a

biopharma center in the heart of Europe.”

An established


Dermapharm produces vaccines

for BioNTech in Brehna

In order to contain the global coronavirus

pandemic, only one solution is available

to us: as many people as possible must be vaccinated

quickly. For the vaccine manufacturers,

this represents a mammoth task. The historic

company IDT Biologika in Dessau-Roßlau is

playing a central role in this process. It is currently

responsible for filling millions of vials with

COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of Astra-Zeneca

and Johnson & Johnson. The active ingredients

are delivered to IDT Biologika in frozen form,

then thawed and mixed with other substances

to form a vaccine. This is then placed in the vials,

inspected and labeled.

In the future, the company will also produce

the active ingredients itself. IDT Biologika is

currently investing 100 million euros for this

purpose in a new multi-functional vaccine

production building which has five production

rooms with fermenters that have a capacity of

up to 2,000 liters. This will enable IDT Biologika

to manufacture active ingredients for between

two and five million vaccine doses every week

from early 2023 onward, which is ten times its

current capacity.

“Over recent months, the global

demand for vaccine manufacturing

facilities has been

increasing exponentially. This

extensive investment program

is a continuation of our current

growth strategy and will create

the capacity and the innovations

that the global market

urgently needs,”

explains CEO Dr. Jürgen Betzing.

The historic company

IDT Biologika is based

in the BioPharmaPark


IDT Biologika is also involved in research into

coronavirus vaccines. In close cooperation with

the German Center for Infection Research, partners

at the Universities of Munich and Marburg

and the University Medical Center Hamburg, the

company is investigating a vector vaccine. The

application for approval for the active ingredient

will be submitted in early 2022, assuming that

everything goes to plan.

IDT Biologika employs around 1,600 people

at the BioPharmaPark Dessau. The company

specializes in the development and production

of virus vaccines, gene therapies, immunotherapies

and sterile liquids. IDT Biologika supports

its customers during product development, the

clinical phases and the commercial production

of products, including the manufacture of active

ingredients, filling and finishing services, packaging

and analytics.

The historic roots of the company go back to

July 1, 1921, when the Bakteriologische Institut

der Anhaltischen Kreise (the bacteriological

institute of the Anhalt region) was founded in

Dessau. The institute was initially devoted to

identifying and diagnosing tuberculosis and then

to research, development and manufacturing

of vaccines and serums to combat and prevent

infections in humans and animals.


Over the last year, the consortium consisting of BioNTech

and Pfizer has developed and brought to market a coronavirus

vaccine in record time. Since the fall of 2020, the vaccine

has also been produced by mibe GmbH Arzneimittel in Brehna, a

subsidiary of Dermapharm.

Dermapharm also forms part of the global production network

that manufactures the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The focus of the

vaccine manufacturing process at Dermapharm’s sites in Brehna

and Reinbek (Allergopharma) is on the mRNA lipid nanoparticles.

The company’s years of knowledge and expertise in the development

and production of sterile medicines enabled it to begin

production of the vaccine very quickly – in the fall of 2020 in

Brehna and in April 2021 in Reinbek. “Without our constructive

cooperation with BioNTech/Pfizer, our suppliers, our experienced

and highly dedicated employees and the relevant authorities,

none of this would have been possible,” says Dermapharm CEO

Dr. Hans-Georg Feldmeier.

The Brehna site with its 650 employees is central to the development,

production and supply of medicines and health products at

Dermapharm. Around 90 percent of all Dermapharm’s products

are made in its own plants and, in particular, at its main manufacturing

site in Brehna. The special feature of the site, which is what

makes it unique, is its versatility. Sterile medicines such as vials

and freeze-dried products, tablets, sugar-coated pills, capsules,

ointments, solutions, drops and sprays can all be produced under

one roof.






The high-tech

containers can reliably

cool coronavirus

vaccines to between

-20°C and -80°C.


freezing experts

MECOTEC provides solutions

for the cryogenic storage of

coronavirus vaccines.

No one questions the fact that the

coronavirus pandemic can only be successfully

brought to an end if suitable vaccines

are available all over the world. As the vaccines

have to be refrigerated, a highly sophisticated

logistics system is needed.

The MECOTEC Group from Bitterfeld-Wolfen

has stepped up to the plate and, alongside its

existing stationary cold store solutions, in recent

months has developed containers for cryogenic

storage that are specifically designed for transporting

vaccines. The high-tech containers can

reliably cool coronavirus vaccines to between

-20°C and -80°C and no dry ice or refrigeration

batteries are needed. In addition, a GPS-based

system is used to reliably monitor the containers.

“We are proud to be able to

offer flexible solutions on the

basis of our 20 years’ experience

in the field. These cover

the entire logistics chain from

the freezing of the vaccine

immediately after production

through to its removal in the

distribution center,”

explains Enrico Klauer, CEO of MECOTEC GmbH.

MECOTEC has become a world leader in the

field of cryotechnology.

MECOTEC has already supplied the first containers

to the Philippines, a country with a population

of around 100 million people spread across

almost 900 islands. “For a large archipelago

like the Philippines, refrigeration and transport

have always been crucial parts of the logistics

chain. The requirements in this area have been

taken to a completely new level with the need

to keep the potentially life-saving coronavirus

vaccines frozen. We are pleased that a German

company like MECOTEC can help to meet this

need,” explains Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega,

the Philippine ambassador to Germany.

Since it was founded in 2000, MECOTEC GmbH,

which is based in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, has grown

from being a pioneer in the field of cryotechnology

to a leading global player supplying hightech

refrigeration solutions to the pharmaceutical

and industrial sector and ultra-modern

cooling products in areas such as medicine and

lifestyle and sports equipment. With two sites

for development, production and logistics in

Germany and a network of subsidiaries in Italy,

France, the Middle East, the USA and south-east

Asia, MECOTEC supplies customers all over the


Ambassador Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega

at MECOTEC in Bitterfeld-Wolfen.






Selected projects in the field of sustainability from

the winners of the Bestform Award and the Hugo Junkers Prize.















The Magdeburg start-up MOOSAIK has developed modular

panels that moss can be grown on. The smart idea behind

the product is that the layer of moss not only absorbs and

transforms carbon dioxide, but also filters particulate matter

out of the air. The individual panels are put together like a

mosaic on the wall of a building to create a green facade. The

start-up, which is a spin-off from Otto von Guericke University

Magdeburg, aims to “make a sustainable contribution to

urban development and improve the appearance of cities in a

natural way.”

The company Vireo.de – recable.it from Merseburg also

impressed the jury with a sustainable USB cable manufactured

under fair-trade conditions that is long-lasting and can

be repaired and recycled. The team from Merseburg explains:

“It is high time that we had new sustainable standards for

technical products that do not harm our health or the environment.”



Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems

IMWS in Halle (Saale), Fraunhofer Institute for Applied

Polymer Research IAP, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular

Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Natural rubber from rubber trees has unique properties

when used to make tires, in particular high-performance

truck tires. However, natural rubber is in limited supply. The

research team first identified the important functionalities

and biocomponents for abrasion resistance with the help of

dandelion rubber. Then the extensional crystallization of the

BISYKA rubber was gradually improved. This newly developed

synthetic rubber is the first product to have the same abrasion

resistance properties as tires made from natural rubber. The

rolling resistance of the synthetic product is even better than

the original and this results in fuel savings.

Ready to experience an unparalleled density of World Heritage Sites?

Take a spectacular journey of discovery in Naumburg, Halle (Saale), Quedlinburg, Dessau-Roßlau,

Oranienbaum-Wörlitz and Luther’s hometowns of Eisleben and Wittenberg.

Max Greiner received the “Vision of the Year” award for his

“madeLocal – Chitosan – Potentiale für regionale Strukturen”

project. The student from Burg Giebichenstein University of

Art and Design in Halle had the idea of obtaining chitosan

from an insect farm and using it as locally produced bio-plastic.

Among many other possibilities, Max Greiner described

a leasing scheme for spectacles that keeps the frames made

from chitosan in the bio-plastic cycle. They can be recycled

and made into new designs very quickly.




Exipnos GmbH, Merseburg

Crockery made from porcelain is easily broken. This is why

plates and dishes made from plastics that are harmful to

the environment and to human health are often used when

camping, at large events and for general outdoor activities.

BioCelain is an innovative material that combines the advantages

of modern plastic with those of porcelain. In addition, it

is not only compostable, but also improves the compost. It is

as solid as porcelain and as unbreakable as plastic. At the end

of its life, BioCelain can be composted or recycled and made

into new BioCelain products.



Ministry of Economy, Science and Digitalization

of the State of Saxony-Anhalt

Hasselbachstraße 4, 39104 Magdeburg, Germany



In cooperation with the

Investment and Marketing Corporation


Am Alten Theater 6, 39104 Magdeburg, Germany

Tel. +49 391 56899 - 0, welcome@img-sachsen-anhalt.de



Concept, text: Textbüro Wortschatz, Genthin /// Design, graphics: genese werbeagentur GmbH,

Magdeburg /// Editorial deadline: July 23, 2021 /// First edition; Subject to revision /// Print and further processing:

Möller Druck und Verlag GmbH, Ahrensfelde /// Picture credits: Archive of the Ministry of Economy,

Science and Digitalization of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Dirk Bruniecki/Tesvolt, Meyer Burger Technology

AG, Tesvolt GmbH, Fraunhofer IMWS, Fraunhofer CSP, TotalEnergies Raffinerie Leuna GmbH, Seraplant

GmbH, NOVO-TECH Trading GmbH & Co. KG, C3 Technologies GmbH, saperatec GmbH, Porsche AG, Hartmut

Bösener/IDT Biologika GmbH, Linde GmbH, Jana Dünnhaupt/University of Magdeburg, H. Krieg,

K. Graubaum, Smart Press Shop GmbH & Co. KG , Jens Schlüter/MECOTEC GmbH, André Forner/Hanwha

Q CELLS GmbH, Inflotec GmbH, HORIBA Fuelcon GmbH, Heinz Fräßdorf/Dessau-Wörlitz Cultural Foundation,

Ostfalen Technology Park Barleben, www.adobestock.com: baiajaku, kinwun, ATKWORK88, ahmet, Andrey,

Ekaterina_1525 /// The use of this publication for the purposes of commercial sale, particularly the sale of

addresses to third parties, or for reprinting – whether in whole or part – is prohibited.

Male pronouns are used in this magazine. In the interests of equality, all of these terms refer to all genders.


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