70 years of Fraunhofer IGB

Unparalleled by any other institute, Fraunhofer IGB is unique in terms of combining biological and biotechnological expertise with bioprocess and interfacial engineering know-how. The convergence of these two dimensions is what enables the institute to bring biological principles to bear on technical applications in the context of interdisciplinary approaches and to establish biobased and bioinspired value chains for a wide range of industries – from laboratory scale to pilot scale. This unique selling point is also the result of the institute’s historical development.

70 years of research for a better future

The IGB was founded as the Institute for Interfacial Physics and Chemistry in 1953 and subsequently taken over by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1962. This year, the IGB celebrates its 70th birthday.

In the course of its 70-year history, the institute has acquired a vast array of further expertise and technologies, which remain part of its research scope to this day. The institute has not only been home to membrane research for well over 45 years but also to environmental and bioprocess engineering, with molecular biotechnology and cell technology having taken up residence there almost 30 years ago. For the past 15 years, the institute has been intensifying and expanding its industrial biotechnology activities.

Our institute branch in Leuna called Fraunhofer CBP offers scaling expertise and was officially opened in 2012. We are about to celebrate its 10th birthday in 2023, albeit belatedly. Our institute branch “Bio-, Electro- and Chemocatalysis BioCat”, which is based in Straubing and focuses on the use of renewable raw materials and CO2, was inaugurated at around the same time.

The “Mass Personalization” (Stuttgart) and “Chemical and Biosystems Technology” (Halle-Leipzig region) high-performance centers have been cementing cooperation with the worlds of science and business locally for five years. The discussion surrounding the biological transformation of technology as an enabler of more sustainable value creation has culminated in the establishment of Bioeconomy as a Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field and the founding of the Biointelligence Competence Center in Stuttgart.

At an international level, our cooperation activities with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and with Stellenbosch University are bearing fruit now that the Fraunhofer Innovation Platforms (FIP) have been set up in Israel and South Africa.

© Fraunhofer IGB

Events in the anniversary year

Various anniversary events are held throughout the year in Leuna and Stuttgart.


More info

At a glance


May 3, 2023

Anniversary symposium 10 years of Fraunhofer CBP

more info (in German)


July 10, 2023

Anniversary symposium 70 years of Fraunhofer IGB

more info (in German)



October 12, 2023

Opening ceremony of the Look@BioEconomy artwork

70 years, 70 voices

70 years of shaping the future

The people at the IGB have always been the key to its scientific and commercial success. The various institute directors have determined what the institute looks like today by steering it in particular strategic directions, which were always informed by the latest economic challenges in each case and the relevant research policy priorities.

Particularly at a research institute whose very lifeblood is innovation, employees that shape the research conducted at the IGB and energetically carry out their tasks with panache, creativity and, above all, personal conviction and motivation are the greatest asset of all. This is the principle that has always been followed and always will be. Through their dedicated efforts, they play a role in developing solutions for the urgent challenges of our age.

That is why we want our employees, former institute directors, and companions and partners from the worlds of research, politics and business to have their say in the course of this anniversary year through our “70 voices” campaign. This will be a time for looking back, looking forward, looking inward and looking outward. The campaign starts with Dr. Markus Wolperdinger, Director of the Fraunhofer IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 18.9.2023

An incredibly powerful process

Dhananjai Pangotra introduces electrocatalysis, a process that has the potential to revolutionize clean energy generation.


70 years, 70 voices / 12.9.2023

Circular economy in the future

Dr. Michael Hofer gives an insight into the activities of our site in Straubing and an outlook on topics to the institute's future.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 7.9.2023

Das PFAS-Dilemma

Dr. Michaela Müller leitet das Innovationsfeld Funktionale Oberflächen und Materialien am Fraunhofer IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 29.8.2023

Multi-talent microalgae

A wide range of products can be manufactured with microalgae, for example fuels, plastic alternatives or valuable ingredients for our food. 


70 years, 70 voices

Added value through cooperation

Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner and Prof. Dr. Alexander Böker look to a future of advancing the circular bioeconomy through joint projects.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 17.8.2023

Valued cooperation

Dr. Holger Wondraczek talks about the benefits of his collaboration with CBP in researching a new opportunity to develop better solutions for his company.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 15.8.2023

Fraunhofer pioneering work continued at UPM

Dr. Leschinsky worked for our branch in Leuna, Fraunhofer CBP, for nine years.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 10.8.2023

Eco-friendly alternative to plastics

The research of Dr. Pravesh Tamang aims to optimize the PHA production process and transfer it to an industrial scale.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 8.8.2023

Successful translation into clinical practice

Read the statement of Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Thorsten Brenner, Head of Department & Chairman at the Universitätsklinikum Essen.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 2.8.2023

Sepsis und die Suche nach der Nadel im Heuhaufen

Doktorand Mirko Sonntag präsentiert im Video drei Fakten zur Blutvergiftung.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 27.7.2023

Langjährige Erfahrung

Seit über 23 Jahren forscht Dipl.-Ing. Christiane Chaumette schon am und für das Fraunhofer IGB. Heute leitet sie den Bereich der Wasser- und Abwasseraufbereitung.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 25.7.2023

Nicht-grüne Revolution mit Pilzen

Marvin Dittes ist Doktorand in der Industriellen Biotechnologie am Fraunhofer IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 20.7.2023

Spannende Themen für unterschiedliche Branchen

Dr. Jakob Barz ist Leiter des Themenfelds Plasmatechnik und Oberflächenanalytik.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 18.7.2023

Eigenverantwortlich arbeiten

Vanessa macht eine Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement am Fraunhofer IGB.


70 years, 70 voices

Creative and dedicated

Former IGB Director Prof. Dr. Herwig Brunner recapitulates his work and sees employees as a key factor.


70 years, 70 voices

The dawn of industrial biotechnology

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth recalls the strategic course set for the bioeconomy during his time as director of the institute.


70 years, 70 voices

Role of the IGB in the bioeconomy

The “father of the bioeconomy“ Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Patermann traces the rise of the bioeconomy in Germany and the participation of the IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 4.7.2023

Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft

Sabine Krieg MBA ist Innovationsmanagerin und Leiterin des Leistungszentrums Mass Personalization.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 29.6.2023

Alleskönner Mikroalgen

Tobias Ebbing ist Doktorand in der Algenbiotechnologie am Fraunhofer IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 19.6.2023

Aus dem Alltag einer Chemielaborantin

Johanna Poiger und Lena-Marie Trauner vom Institutsteil in Straubing beantworten Fragen rund um ihren Beruf.

Hier geht es zu Teil 1.

Hier geht es zu Teil 2.



70 years, 70 voices / 15.6.2023


Beatrice Di Lelio is a doctoral student at Fraunhofer IGB working on the Bio2Brain project.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 12.6.2023

Zukunftsthemen der
nachhaltigen Chemie

Dr. Michael Richter ist Chemiker und seit 2019 Leiter des Innovationsfelds Bioinspirierte Chemie Fraunhofer IGB in Straubing.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 7.6.2023


Dr. Steffen Roth vom Fraunhofer IGB möchte mit biobasierten »Phosphatfängern« einen umweltfreundlichen Weg finden, den wertvollen Rohstoff in den #Kreislauf zurück zu führen.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 6.6.2023


Mit Brennstoffzellen kann aus Wasserstoff elektrischer Strom generiert werden, der zum Beispiel für automobile Anwendungen genutzt werden kann.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 31.5.2023

Ingenieur am CBP

Robert Röver ist Ingenieur und Projektleiter der Chemischen Verfahren an unserem Standort in Leuna. Dort plante, entwickelte und errichtete er unter anderem für das Projekt Synlink eine Anlage.


70 years, 70 voices / 29.5.2023

Successful drug discovery

Prof. Dr. Ofra Benny welcomes the long-standing cooperation between the IGB and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 24.5.2023

Arbeitsgruppe Bioprozess-Skalierung

Die Arbeitsgruppe Bioprozess-Skalierung unseres Institutsteils in Leuna stellt sich vor.


70 years, 70 voices / 22.5.2023

Water technology for India

Anandi Iyer heads the Fraunhofer office in India and sheds light on initiatives around water, energy and circular economy.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 17.5.2023

Aufbau einer Pilotanlage

Dr. Lukas Kriem arbeitet aktuell am Fraunhofer IGB am Aufbau und der Betreuung einer Hydroponik-Pilotanlage.  


70 years, 70 voices

Water technologies

Diego Eufracio Lucio is a research associate of the innovation field Water Technologies and Resource Recovery at the Fraunhofer IGB.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 10.5.2023

Technische Mitarbeit

Nicole Richter ist an unserem Standort in Leuna Expertin für den Aufschluss und Fraktionierung von lignocellulosehaltigen Rohstoffen wie Holz und Stroh.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 8.5.2023

Produkte aus Lignin

Dr. Christine Rasche ist Koordinatorin des Geschäftsfelds Nachhaltige Chemie. Mit ihrer Arbeit verfolgt sie unter anderem das Ziel, aus Lignin hochwertige, biobasierte Produkte zu entwickeln.


70 years, 70 voices / 3.5.2023

Bioeconomy pioneer

Dr. Gerd Unkelbach is proud that he was able to help initiate and establish Fraunhofer CBP as well as the strategic orientation of the institute.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 2.5.2023

Biomasse ganzheitlich nutzen

Dr. Hartmann leitet die Gruppe Biomassefraktionierung am Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna.


70 years, 70 voices / 1.5.2023

To industrial applications

On May 3, 2023, the EthaNa® pilot plant in Leuna will be inaugurated. Dr. Jeannette Hollien from B+B Engineering GmbH gives a brief insight into the successful collaboration with CBP.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 26.4.2023


Marc Beckett forscht an hydroponischen Systemen für eine »bodenlose« Landwirtschaft, die Ressourcen schont, die Umwelt weniger belastet und Pflanzenanbau in unwirtlichen Regionen ermöglicht.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 24.4.2023

Collaboration with JKUAT

Solving the twin problem of waste treatment and food security


70 years, 70 voices / 20.4.2023

Reporter skin

Dr. Anke Burger-Kentischer and her team at Fraunhofer IGB developed a patented reporter skin over years of research.


70 years, 70 voices / 17.4.2023

From PhD student to founder

Success story: Dr. Matthias Stier tells us about his path from doctoral student to CEO of a spin-off.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 13.4.2023

CO₂ als Rohstoff

In seiner vierteiligen Beitragsreihe im Blog Biointelligenz beleuchtet Dr. Fabarius verschiedene Aspekte rund um die Nutzung von CO₂ als Ressource.


70 years, 70 voices / 11.4.2023

Successful drug formulation

For Dr. Günday-Türeli, cooperation with Fraunhofer IGB means working together in a trusting and uncomplicated setting.


70 years, 70 voices / 6.4.2023

Successful further development

Dr. Mayr, chairman of the IGB's advisory board, explains the role of the institute in the development of the bioeconomy.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 4.4.2023

Vom Biomüll zum Produkt

Im Video stellt Doktorand Christian Schmidle »InBiRa – die Insektenbioraffinerie« vor.


70 years, 70 voices / 30.3.2023

Functionalized surfaces

IGB scientist Dr. Umlauf describes how surfaces can be optimized – even in large scale using R2R processes.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 21.3.2023

Wissenschaft verständlich kommunizieren

Jan Müller ist Teil des PR-Teams am Fraunhofer IGB mit Schwerpunkt Redaktion und Autor im Blog Biointelligenz.


70 years, 70 voices / 14.3.2023

Fruitful partnership with South Africa

Prof. Dr. Oliver F. R. A. Damm sheds light on successful cooperation for water, energy and food security.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 7.3.2023

Sauberes Wasser durch Photokatalyse

Dr. Benjamin Wriedt erforscht am Fraunhofer IGB verschiedene Reinigungsverfahren für Wasser.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 28.2.2023


zum Jubiläum von Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner, geschäftsführende Institutsleiterin des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 14.2.2023

Viren als Waffe gegen Krebs

Prof. Dr. Susanne Bailer ist Leiterin des Innovationsfelds Virus-basierte Technologien am Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 7.2.2023

Warum arbeiten Sie
gerne am Fraunhofer IGB?

Andreas Schieder ist Doktorand am Fraunhofer IGB in Straubing.


70 years, 70 voices / 21.2.2023

Taking inspiration from the garden

In Manuela Kaiser's garden, the idea for Tape2Grape was born: a biobased, biodegradable grafting tape.


»70 Jahre, 70 Stimmen« / 30.1.2023

Auftakt zur Kampagne

Institutsleiter Dr. Markus Wolperdinger leitet als erste »Stimme« die Jubiläumskampagne ein.