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Nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis: Insulating with hollow glass beads 

The Office of the Federal President has published its nominations for the 2020 Deutscher Zukunftspreis - the German President’s Prize for Innovation in Science and Technology. Among them are Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Gerdes (University of Bayreuth), Dipl.-Ing. Friedbert Scharfe (Maxit), and Dr. rer. nat. Klaus Hintzer (Dyneon/3M). The scientists have developed the ecosphere facade insulation, which contains highly heat-insulating hollow glass beads, and can be easily sprayed onto walls. The joint venture of university, SME, and global player sets an example for climate protection and addresses pressing issues such as energy conservation, recycling management, and the shortage of skilled workers. The interdisciplinary research team was thrilled by its nomination. That’s because, thanks to the resulting public attention, the energy-related renovation of buildings could well experience a much-needed upswing.  

Researcher from the University of Bayreuth together with industry partners nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis

University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible congratulates Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Gerdes and his team on behalf of the University of Bayreuth: “This nomination is not only an impressive recognition of Professor Gerdes's individual scientific achievements, it also underlines his ability to mould a team of motivated researchers and to lead it through the often frustrating phases of development.  Furthermore, this nomination demonstrates that Prof. Gerdes is particularly skilful in facilitating the transfer of knowledge between science and industry, which is extremely important for both the University of Bayreuth and the region. Many thanks for your commitment!”
The University of Bayreuth press release

Who is Thorsten Gerdes?

“There are so many exciting developments, I am still amazed that the jury settled on thermal insulation.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Gerdes is Head of the Keylab Glass Technology at the University of Bayreuth’s Ceramic Materials research group. He introduces himself in a video interview. 
The video-Interview on the University of Bayreuth's Youtube channel

In an interview, Thorsten Gerdes reports on the challenges and breakthroughs in the development of sprayable facade insulation with hollow glass micro-beads. 

Interview with the press office of the University of Bayreuth

ecosphere: marriage of glass and mortar

The energy-related renovation of existing buildings and especially thermal insulation are important parts to the Energiewende (energy transition). Yet the materials used to date have often been inadequate or problematic. The ecosphere system creates a completely new solution for the insulation of facades. The building material technology stands out not merely for its excellent insulation properties, but also, and above all, focuses on the conservation of resources - both in terms of the raw materials used and of manpower. The dry mortar with lightweight aggregate achieves the perfect balance between being as easy as possible to apply on the building site, and increasing the insulation performance of the facade. What is new about the insulation system is the material composition, which is described as the "marriage" of glass and mortar.

Description of the project

Deutscher Zukunftspreis - the German President’s Prize for Innovation in Science and Technology

The Deutscher Zukunftspreis has been personally awarded by the Federal President of Germany every year since 1997. In this national comparison of achievement, outstanding technical, engineering, or scientific innovations as well as those from the IT sector are recognized. The Federal President thus honours projects which, based on excellent research, lead to viable and thus market-ready products, to the development of economic potential, and to the creation of jobs. Deutscher Zukunftspreis - The German President's Prize for Innovation in Science and Technology, awarded annually, is worth € 250,000. It is considered one of the most important scientific awards in Germany. The presentation by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to be broadcast on ZDF national television on 25 November 2020.

Website of Deutscher Zukunftspreis


Franken Maxit Mauermörtel GmbH & Co.
For decades, maxit has been a byword for a wide range of products and services for the construction industry and building trades. maxit produces paints and dry mortar in sacks and silos for the most modern equipment and offers a comprehensive product range for the fields of shell construction, finishing,and facades. 
Website: maxit 

3M Advanced Materials Division
3M combines specialty materials and product and processing additives in this division. An example of this is 3M™ Glass Bubbles - microscopic hollow spheres made of water insoluble, chemically stable borosilicate glass, which are used in numerous areas to optimize components and products, and to reduce costs and improve processes.
Website: 3M 


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Gerdes
Keylab Glass Technology
Prof.-Rüdiger-Bormann-Str. 1
95447 Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-6503
Fax: +49 (0)921 / 55-6502
E-Mail: glas@uni-bayreuth.de

Photos © Ansgar Pudenz / Deutscher Zukunftspreis
Photo Prof. Gerdes © Jürgen Rennecke / Universität Bayreuth
Photo Keylab © Jürgen Rennecke / Universität Bayreuth

Webmaster: Dr.-Ing. Daniel Leykam

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