The aims of the DEMAPP (Demanding Applications) programme by The Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation of Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster FIMECC Ltd have included the development of wear, corrosion and heat resistant material solutions, coming up with new production methods and their application in the process, energy and metal industries.
A special focus was on material and energy efficient solutions that are compliant with the principles of sustainable development. The participants in the programme comprised 26 companies and five research institutions. The budget of the programme was approximately 37 million euros and the main financiers were the participating companies and Tekes.
"The research community developed new multi-disciplinary technoscientific knowledge and solved critical research challenges faced by the industry. Any promising results attained were first quickly scaled for pilot and plant use and then turned into practical applications", says Programme Manager Markku Heino from Spinverse Ltd.
For Outokumpu Ltd, the programme cooperation produced a new ferritic steel that features better corrosion resistance, formability and weldability than traditional ferritic steels without the need for expensive nickel alloy.
"This NGF (New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels) project is a part of our long-term development work. In this project, the scientific research outcomes achieved in cooperation with universities have been subjected to pilot and production trials and then turned into market-oriented products," says SVP Niilo Suutala from Outokumpu Ltd.
The results from the other projects comprised in the programme included an aluminium cast material with advanced thermal conductivity, wear resistant elastomers and new coatings that are able to regulate friction. These all have globally promising market prospects.
The research cooperation has resulted in over 150 scientific publications, and sixteen doctoral theses are in the works. International exchange of scientists has also been extensive.
According to FIMECC Chief Technology Officer Kalle Kantola, the programme is an apt example of a Public-Private Partnership. In addition to great results, the programme has created new working methods and communities in the field.
"These working methods and communities will live on even after the programme. They lay a great foundation for tackling even more challenging research topics," says Kantola.
Tekes Chief Technology Adviser Sisko Sipilä notes that one of the objectives of the The Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation programmes is to accelerate innovation activities.
"The close cooperation between companies and research institutions in the DEMAPP programme has created new competence in the strategic areas selected by the companies and significantly expedited the adoption of research results in business operations", she concludes.
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