Three ideas for a better future

Good ideas lead to inventions that can change the world. Here are some excellent innovations from Germany.

DrugTargetInspector
DrugTargetInspector Uwe Bellhäuser/Universität des Saarlandes

This is where you can find Germany’s inventive genius: discover 3,000 innovations on the platform Germany – Land of Ideas. The initiative that was founded by the federal government and German industry has been honouring forward-looking projects since 2006. Here are three of the 100 winning projects in the competition Ausgezeichnete Orte 2018:

Compostable electrical waste

In a project designed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP) in Dresden, scientists from numerous disciplines are developing biodegradable electronics, in other words electronic components that can be broken down completely. This avoids producing waste and spares the environment. In addition to this, the new process opens up new applications in medicine: for instance, implants that dissolve in the body tissues after a certain time and thus make further surgical procedures unnecessary. This lowers risks and costs.

Biodegradable electronics
Biodegradable electronics Fraunhofer FEP/Jan Hesse

Computer programme for individual cancer therapies

A data analysing process is aiming to help doctors find the best possible therapy for each individual cancer patient. But personalized cancer medication procedures present a problem: numerous anti-tumour drugs only affect certain processes in cancer cells which can actually differ greatly in each particular patient. This is where the DrugTargetInspector can help: the computer programme that is being developed by bioinformaticians at Saar University analyses the genetic information contained in the patient’s tumour cells. Then, international pharmacological, biological and medical databanks are consulted to discover the tumour’s key characteristics and thus support the doctors’ in their choice of the best medications.

V-Industry – platform for collaborative industry 4.0

Share machinery and save money: companies can network and access technologies together via an Internet platform. V-Industry is a start-up enterprise in Ostfildern near Stuttgart that offers the right software and hardware solutions. The idea is that companies can be digitally linked via a platform that tells them when machinery is standing idle and can be used by another company. This does away with cumbersome commission enquiries, and idle resources can be used efficiently. This system of mutual users saves time and money, and it lowers environmental impact.