12.7 million euros funding for the SAPHIR alliance

TRIDELTA Campus / Hendrik Bengs 18.11.2022

TRIDELTA CAMPUS Hermsdorf e.V. receives notification from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research that its innovation concept "SAPHIR" has been selected, for which the alliance has applied for funding of 12.7 million euros. With the 19 project members' own contribution, the total funding volume amounts to 17.8 million euros. The funding flows into the research and development of the companies in order to advance the development of materials on the one hand and of products and applications in technical ceramics on the other. The funding plays a significant role in the structural development of Hermsdorf and the entire region of Eastern Thuringia.

Substantial development of high performance ceramics

In February 2020, 53 alliances across Germany applied for "RUBIN - Regional Entrepreneurial Alliances for Innovation" - a funding programme designed to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular.

The entrepreneurial alliance SAPHIR participated in the call for proposals to represent and market the interests of predominantly small and medium-sized technology companies from the fields of advanced ceramics and electronics. 14 members from the TRIDELTA CAMPUS HERMSDORF, together with another five regional partners, want to develop the Hermsdorf region into the leading centre for advanced ceramics in Europe. The 19 SAPHIR partners are 17 companies (including 3 associated partners) and two research institutions, the Fraunhofer IKTS and the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena.

The aim of the SAPHIR alliance - advanced ceramics from the TRIDELTA CAMPUS HERMSDORF - is the substantial further development of the material and manufacturing know-how of advanced ceramics with decisive contributions to the energy transition, electromobility, climate stability, health and digitalisation. This will make the Hermsdorf region the leading centre for advanced ceramics in Europe by 2027. The TRIDELTA CAMPUS HERMSDORF e.V. expects this to be an enormous acceleration for its own path to strengthen the technology region of Hermsdorf.

Prof. Dr. Ingolf Voigt, deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute IKTS and board member of the Tridelta Campus, sees enormous potential for this:

"Ceramic components play a key role in global technological progress due to their strength, durability and functionality. With its ceramic companies, the Hermsdorf region has a unique variety of ceramic materials. With the SAPHIR funding, we will leverage this potential."

The SAPHIR partners manufacture high-performance materials in the Hermsdorf region. The regional focus is on advanced ceramics, which are represented in all sub-steps of the value chain, from material synthesis to shaping, thermal treatment and finishing in the companies. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer IKTS, the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena and service companies in Hermsdorf, the SAPHIR alliance has the materials science and process engineering know-how to take innovative, new paths in all sub-steps and to develop qualitatively new advanced ceramics. This concerns solid-state chemistry, methods of additive manufacturing, special furnace construction, laser processing and methods of automation, process control and digital twinning. This knowledge, which goes beyond traditional ceramics production, is uniquely bundled regionally at the traditional ceramics site in Hermsdorf and forms the innovation basis of SAPHIR. The further development of advanced ceramics enables new products in the following global markets: Medical and medical technology, mobility and automotive technology, energy technology/ regenerative energies, air-conditioning technology, safety technology as well as communication and high-frequency technology.  

But it is not only the companies themselves that benefit from this funding. Alliance coordinator Daniel Störzner, for his part managing director of LCP Laser Cut Processing GmbH and chairman of the board of TRIDELTA CAMPUS HERMSORF, points to the structural effects:

"The companies receive a grant for their development work on material and technology innovations. This is a catalyst for the hiring of more employees, the growth of the companies and likewise for the further development of the industrial location and our region. A public Tridelta Campus Visitor Centre and a Campus KITA as well as a business incubator for technology start-ups are to be built in Hermsdorf. Our declared goal is to further strengthen the high-tech location for ceramics and electronics in Central Germany and to do so Europe-wide! We are committed to establishing new technology and ceramics companies on the Hermsdorf Ost III industrial estate that complement the site's portfolio well. The industrial location of Hermsdorf and the Saale-Holzland region in Eastern Thuringia will grow significantly as a result and we are very pleased to contribute positively to this development."