Opening ceremony of the new Fraunhofer IWKS building in Hanau

© Fraunhofer IWKS
At the festive opening ceremony from left to right: Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff, Institute Director of the Fraunhofer IWKS and Dr. Andrea Gassmann, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IWKS.
© Fraunhofer IWKS
Front view of the new research building.
© Fraunhofer IWKS
View into the foyer.

One week after the official opening of the building in Alzenau, the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials  Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS has officially opened its new building in the Aschaffenburger Straße in Hanau-Wolfgang. In times of COVID-19, the opening took place purely digitally. Among the guests who joined the ceremony - live or via video message - were Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of Hesse, Dipl.-Kfm. Andreas Meuer, Director of Finance and Digitization of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister of State for Science and Art, and Claus Kaminsky, Mayor of the City of Hanau. The highlight of the event was the opening ceremony with the cutting of the symbolic ribbon by Director Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff.

"The Fraunhofer IWKS is working on one of the biggest questions for the future: How do we treat nature as gently as possible so that we can continue to benefit from it for a long time to come? Moreover, this not only in terms of technology but also in terms of our entire development. We now have the chance in Hanau to play a very important role in this global competition," congratulates Volker Bouffier, Minister President of Hesse.

"Fraunhofer research makes an important contribution to developing new, more sustainable technologies, optimizing existing ones and keeping materials used in the economic and recyclable materials cycle in the sense of optimized resource efficiency," says Prof. Raimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "The Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials  Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS is located at precisely this interface. The two new buildings in Alzenau and Hanau will considerably improve and expand the research infrastructure for local scientists. I would like to congratulate you on the opening of the two new research buildings and wish you continued success!”

"I am delighted that the scientists can now pursue their important research in a state-of-the-art new building. It is therefore one of our central tasks for the future to deal with materials and resources in a sustainable manner. This applies above all to electromobility, where we urgently need to significantly increase the service life of batteries and improve battery recycling. With the Center for Dismantling and Recycling for Electromobility in Hanau, the scientists at Fraunhofer IWKS now have even better research conditions for this. Hesse is thus helping to secure raw materials and establish a geopolitically independent material cycle for the development and production of high-tech components in Germany and Europe. We are happy to support this," says Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and Art.

"The new building represents a milestone for Fraunhofer IWKS. We are very pleased to be part of the newly emerging Fraunhofer Science Park in Hanau-Wolfgang. Thanks to the improved infrastructure, we can now offer an even greater range of research opportunities to companies and partners in the region and beyond," says Fraunhofer IWKS Institute Director Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff.

The new office, laboratory and pilot plant building will offer about 2600 m² of floor space and room for about 80 employees. The planning office hammeskrause architekten bda from Stuttgart is responsible for the new research building. The innovative approach of a "researcher's street" for an uncomplicated connection of all functional areas and the modular overall concept, which allows for future extensions, had convinced the jury of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. In addition to fulfilling the functional requirements, the interior design of the building offers in particular space for spontaneous meetings and informal communication, thus promoting the exchange between scientists.


Sustainability in construction

The special topic of Fraunhofer IWKS has given important impulses in the planning for sustainable construction, e.g. by implementing a resource-efficient recycling management. This concerns, among other things, the choice of materials, in that composite materials were avoided and recyclable constructions were implemented to ensure that they can be dismantled according to type. On the other hand, it is important that the building materials used are free of pollutants, which extends the material cycle and optimizes it economically. The new building in Hanau was constructed according to the guidelines for sustainable construction for federal buildings (BNB). In accordance with the BNB evaluation system the following parameters were taken into account and checked during construction planning and execution in addition to ecological and socio-cultural quality: economic and technical quality, process quality and specific site characteristics. With many other contributions to the construction project, Fraunhofer is striving for certification with BNB silver status.

In Hanau, the subject area of recyclates for electromobility applications will be further expanded with industrial partners from the region in the fields of batteries and fuel cells, lightweight construction, electric motors and high-performance electronics. At the Alzenau site, research work will focus on digitization and resources including economy and ecology in the recycling industry.


Funding sponsors

Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 50%

Hessian Ministry for Science and Art, 50%

Total costs for the new building: 29.5 million euros

Cost of premises: 1.5 million euros (100% funded by the State of Hesse)