DWI to Become the First Aachen Leibniz Institute
Upon recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the RWTH-Affiliated Institute will become a member of the Leibniz Community in 2014.
On January 1, 2014, DWI Interactive Materials Research at RWTH Aachen – formerly the German Woll Research Institute – will become a member of the Leibniz Community and thus the first Leibniz Institute in Aachen. On July 12, 2013, the German Council of Science and Humanities recommended the Aachen institute for membership in the research assoication. Thus, from 2014, besides the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with its three Institutes, another renowned German research organization will be present at RWTH Aachen.
Approved by the German Council of Science and Humanities
The researchers at DWI investigate and develop interactive materials. Their interdisciplinary approach already convinced the reviewers from the German Council of Science and Humanities, who evaluated the research activities of the institute ealier this year.
Commenting on the recommendation by the Council, the NRW Minister of Science and Research, Svenja Schulze, said that “with its about 6800 materials producing and processing companies, North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the economically strongest regions for materials research in Germany. The membership of the nationally and internationally recognized DWI in the Leibniz Community will provide further impetus in research and development. I am very pleased that the students in Aachen and the researchers in the region will benefit from the academic accolades received by the Institute for its integration of research and teaching.”
Currently, the Leibniz Community consists of 86 research institutions with a focus on knowledge- and application-oriented basic research. The institutes receive support from the federal and state governments and have a total budget of 1.4 billion euros.
Enhancing the Competitiveness of Aachen as a Hub of Research
RWTH Professor Martin Möller, Scientific Director of DWI, is delighted with the new membership and emphasized its significance for the city of Aachen as a hub of research: “Both nationally and internationally there is a tendency towards the integration of and exchange between scientific systems and disciplines. The establishment of the first Leibniz Institute in Aachen plays an important role for the competitiveness of Aachen as a research location, both in Germany and at the international level.”
Before the institute applied for the membership, it was significantly extended and underwent a restructuring process. Currently, five professors and their teams provide expertise in the fields of macromolecular chemistry, nano materials, membrane and biotechnology, and protein engineering.
Functional Textiles and Medical Engineering Products
“In the development of interactive materials, we seek to make use of and adapt the complexity and functionality of natural systems,” explained Möller. The about 170 employees of the institute work on the development of adaptive fibers, films, and membranes as well as sustainable technologies for the production and utilization of such materials. The materials can be applied in the development of functional textiles and medical engineering products such as implants and devices for the targeted delivery of active substances.