Using digitalization to support sustainability - Patrick Pammer (CHASE Competence Center) explains just how this works.
Why did Competence Center CHASE Ltd. move into the LIT Open Innovation Center?
Patrick Pammer: As we are a research center where industry and universities work together on sustainability through digitization, we network with many partners. The OIC allows us to actively pursue this type of networking not only in terms of content, but also in terms of space. This starts off with shared office space and culminates in joint planning and being able to use the LIT Factory facilities. The exceptional research infrastructure is unique in Europe and we making good use of it. We can work together in a more multi-dimensional way, either a part of industrial research collaboration efforts along the value chain or in scientific collaboration efforts along the innovation chain. Ongoing events, such as addressing "hot topics", at the OIC are valuable in this way and inspiring. The building is also cool and employees just feel at home.
What makes Competence Center CHASE Ltd. unique?
Patrick Pammer: We bring skills and competence together, especially those needed to transition to a sustainable process industry. The value chains can still be much more sustainable, particularly in chemical industry and polymer engineering. While a lot has already been done, end-to-end solutions are needed within the value chains. After customer use, we have to find ways to reduce overall energy consumption and re-use materials, putting them back into production. Something like this requires more flexibility at the individual production plants and more collaboration along the value chains. Digitization and the circular economy go hand-in-hand and can create new business models. It's complex. However, CHASE is currently bringing 14 research institutions and 20 companies together that can handle it.
What is currently your favorite project?
Patrick Pammer: There are several because at the OIC, we work in all of the LIT Factory halls. Digitizing UD tapes in regard to the production and processing chain is a flagship project. We aim to implement this with the JKU as well as with industrial partners in Austria and abroad. The same applies to a very large project to support the end-to-end recycling of plastic waste. Here, too, a number of local, national and international research partners are working closely together. The third hall at the LIT Factory is already under construction and we'll be happy to tell you more as soon as things get underway.
What new opportunities does the OIC facilitate when it comes to research?
Patrick Pammer: Cross-cutting, interdisciplinary collaboration that moves across the boundaries for both academic disciplines as well the companies. When it comes to industrial research, communication and cooperation have already been perfectly digitized. Nevertheless, oftentimes it’s simply better to just sit down together or stand in front of a machine together and talk. This is where we come up with ideas and solutions. This can be done here at the OIC.