For decades, IFE has held cooperations with universities in high esteem. In these cooperations, IFE provides institutes with equipment while also putting emphasis on active collaboration in promising research projects.
This involvement, however, does more than just pursue the goal of participation in the research results. It also aims to help introduce future business partners or potential specialists to the state-of-the-art recycling technologies of IFE.
Our Research Partnerships
In Austria, active cooperation with research institutes is focused on Montanuniversity Leoben with its Chair of Mineral Processing (AuV – Lehrstuhl für Aufbereitung und Veredlung) and Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management (AVAW – Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft).
In Germany, the cooperation with the Institute for Infrastructure, Water, Resources, Environment (IWARU – Institut für Infrastruktur, Wasser, Ressourcen, Umwelt) at the Münster University of Applied Sciences has proved to be successful.
Further research institutes have been and continue to be advised in ongoing and completed research projects.
The chairs and institutes are equipped with technical laboratory devices on permanent loan from IFE. In this way, a comprehensive laboratory environment has been established at the AuV chair in Leoben over time. The Münster University of Applied Sciences, on the other hand, has access to the most advanced IFE eddy current separator of its kind, the INP "VIOS" for its projects. The AVAW chair in Leoben will receive an IFE special feeder for its newly built Test Center, in addition to the machinery already present (magnetic drum model and waste screen model).
Independently of this equipment, the chairs/institutes also have access to the in-house Test Center of IFE for various material tests and test series. It is mostly used for training purposes but also as an opportunity for carrying out customer projects (without public funding).
Funding, Limits and Motivation
Application-oriented research is not possible without third-party funding, e.g. through the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) but also from corporate partners. IFE participates in the respective projects as long as the topics are within the immediate area of interest of the company. Examples of this are the recycling of lithium batteries or the orderly deconstruction of landfills to extract usable raw materials from waste (Landfill Mining).
Just recently, a four-year COMET* project dealing with the waste processing of the future (ReWaste 4.0) was completed. The follow-up project (ReWaste F) has just started and IFE is actively participating. Further projects are in the application or approval phase.
IFE considers cooperation with institutions of higher education to be essential for meeting the challenges of the future with new approaches. Furthermore, this cooperation pays tribute to the companies' responsibility to society through in-depth research in the areas of environmental technology and recycling and by providing students with comprehensive support.
*COMET = Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies, formerly "K-Projekt"
Image 1: Copyright Montanuiversität Leoben