Stapel von Papier zum Branchenfokus Papier- und Druckindustrie; Quelle:


Parliamentary State Secretary Michael Kellner handed over a funding notice for around €3.2 million for an AI project to strengthen the circular economy in the paper industry in Schwedt (Oder) today. The grant is part of the Industrial Bioeconomy funding programme, which serves to foster the development and use of biobased (instead of fossil) products and processes.

The three-year research project in Schwedt aims to further develop an assistance system on the basis of artificial intelligence for the use of a paper machine so that it automatically takes account of the different qualities of waste paper and guaranties data exchange along the entire paper recycling chain. LEIPA Group GmbH, Veolia Umweltservcie GmbH, the universities of Siegen, Munich and Aachen, the Fraunhofer Institute, Propakma GmbH and Consultingtalents AG are participating in the collaborative research project.

Parliamentary State Secretary Kellner said: "The Industrial Bioeconomy funding programme aims to enhance resource efficiency on the path towards a sustainable circular economy and to contribute to attaining the targets in the fields of climate action and sustainability. The collaborative research project is to advance the digitisation of the paper recycling chain and increase the efficiency of processes in terms of resources and energy consumption. Such an AI-based assistance system would be able to accelerate the transformation of the German circular economy in the field of the paper industry in the long term. This project is thus a good example of the fact that German industry can become both lead market and international lead provider of climate-friendly products and processes."

Germany is already very well positioned when it comes to developing biobased products and processes on a laboratory scale. It should, however, also become possible to bring bioeconomic products and processes that have been tested in laboratories in industrial use more quickly than has been the case so far. This is where the Economic Affairs Ministry’s Industrial Bioeconomy funding programme comes in. Firstly, it provides funding for the use and preparatory activities for the construction of demonstration facilities to further develop biobased products and processes. Secondly, it supports the integration of new scaled biobased products and processes in regional industrial value chains and the management of new innovation clusters. The deadline for the current call for proposals ends on 15 October 2023.

Further information (in German) can be found here.