Material Flow Management

Resources are an important key to ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the European industry. They have to be used effectively. Moreover, sustainability and climate protection are part of the corporate policy of many companies today. Many are also working towards establishing a circular economy and closing their material and product life cycles. To achieve all these goals, a sustainable strategy on costs, environmental impacts, political framework conditions and technical requirements and functionalities is necessary.

Fraunhofer IWKS supports customers in this process and creates the basis for a holistic view on the product system and a sustainable resource management through the systematic analysis of processes, material flows, interrelationships and interactions. This is based on possible markets for them use and novel circular economy strategies as well as business models in which product design, recycling options, treatment of secondary raw materials and producer responsibility play a fundamental role.

The aim is to close material and product cycles by means of targeted analyses considering economic, environmental and technical aspects. Based on the concrete requirements of the customers, a comprehensive and holistic information base is developed to enable strategic decisions. Furthermore, practical assistance is provided how costs and environmental impacts can be reduced, while energy and resource efficiency can be increased.

Research services


Process Optimization


Circular Economy Concepts


Life Cycle Assessment


Life Cycle Costing

Selected projects of the department



Sustainable Management of Critical Raw Materials

Watch the SusCritMat Video!


Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project Manitu

Read more about the project