Biological Transformation of Manufacturing


Conference Chair

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e. V.
With the help of digital technologies, we are enabled to gain a much better understanding of natural evolutionary processes. In the foreseeable future we will manage to utilize this evolutionary knowledge to create innovative and sustainable processes for manufacturing, business and society quasi in fast motion.


Osh. Agabi Osh. Agabi, Founder & CEO, Koniku Inc.
The next century and beyond is the age of biology. This age will not only transform the fate of all industries and economies. It will do so in a massively profound way. Importantly, the ‘baseline’ manufacturing technologies for shepherding this revolution is already here. Economies must begin to invest in the infrastructure for the coming bio economy.

Dr.-Ing. Robert Bauer Dr.-Ing. Robert Bauer, SICK AG
Data have become an important driver of modern production plants. Now the focus is on system robustness – because neither data themselves nor the transmission media are free of faults. Biological structures show that decentralized systems with real-time communication and with learning ability that is not time-critical are far superior to central systems. As a result of technological progress, technical systems will also become robust and adaptable by exploiting these principles.

Prof. Dr. -Ing. Prof. e.h. Wilhelm Bauer Prof. Dr. -Ing. Prof. e.h. Wilhelm Bauer, Fraunhofer IAO
Biological Transformation is important if we manage to make the requirements of the employees future-oriented in addition to the technical aspects.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl, Director Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA
It is truly important that we start a movement for biological transformation in Germany, because it is the only way to sustainably survive as a species and as national economy, We must decouple resource consumption from production, in order to stay competitive. We will have to also get the public on board and be very clear about the alternatives.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Brecher Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Brecher, Executive Director, Fraunhofer IPT
Biological transformation describes the progress towards a profound symbiosis between industrial creation of value and life sciences. This change is not limited to the product level but includes processes, methods as well as structures. For production technology, the key challenge is to match its model-based, deterministic approach with the variability of natural processes.

Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert, ETH Zürich
A biological transformation of manufacturing should involve two concerted key concepts, which are the use of renewable materials and their optimization and functionalization based on bio-inspired technologies.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerald Byrne Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerald Byrne,
Biological Transformation in Manufacturing is a breaking new Frontier of Industry 4.0.

Dr. Barry Canton Dr. Barry Canton, Ginkgo Bioworks
At MIT and now at Ginkgo Bioworks, I have spent 15 years working to make it easier to reprogram cells to do new things. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware engineering. I look forward to a future where Biology is used more broadly than it is today to address global challenges.

Dr. Rob Carlson Dr. Rob Carlson, Managing Director, Bioeconomy Capital
Biotechnology contributes significantly to economies around the world. In the U.S., nearly $100B of biologically produced chemicals have already displaced petrochemicals from the market. Future improvements in genetic engineering, and in process control, will create the opportunity to not merely outcompete petroleum products, but also to create materials that cannot be made using standard chemical synthesis. Biology is truly the future of manufacturing.

Prof. Thomas Eugene Cloete Prof. Thomas Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies Stellenbosch University
Within the context of biomimicry, life’s principles are used as a tool to promote the view of nature as a model and provides a framework for optimizing biotransformations. When looking towards the natural world for inspiration this set of principles begin to explain innovative strategies that emerge from nature and illuminates how natural designs can be emulated in human contexts.

Dr. Marco Dorigo Dr. Marco Dorigo, Co-director of IRIDIA the artificial intelligence laboratory of the ULB
Robots are inherent to the future of manufacturing: more and more of them will take part in any conceivable manufacturing activity. However, we still don’t know how to let them work together efficiently. Biology, and in particular the observation and study of natural swarm systems, is providing novel ways to address and solve these robot cooperation problems.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Welf-Guntram Drossel Prof. Dr.-Ing. Welf-Guntram Drossel, Executive Director Fraunhofer Institute für Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU
Cognition is a prerequisite for autonomous systems and thus core topic of future manufacturing, in which natural and artificial intelligence will interact with each other. Digitization serves as a timelapse of evolution towards sustainablity.

Prof. Dario Floreano Prof. Dario Floreano, Director, Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, EPFL, Switzerland
Biological systems offer a treasure of ingenious solutions shaped by evolution to perform physical work in changing and partly unpredictable environments. Robotics is increasingly embracing biology and finding novel ways to develop intelligent machines that can safely operate with humans.

Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Peter Fratzl Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Peter Fratzl, Director, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam
Nature has evolved materials with a broad range of functionality based on a rather small selection of base substances (polymers and minerals) by adapting internal structure rather than by widely varying the chemical composition. This provides inspiration for more sustainable strategies for manufacturing active and adaptive materials.

Ing. Peter Froeschle Ing. Peter Froeschle, Chairman, ARENA2036 e.V.
The biological transformation in manufacturing will allow to realize self-controlling production that integrates seamlessly with human workers. I am excited about the possibilities arising from biological technologies in the years to come.

Prof. Michael Goldfarb Prof. Michael Goldfarb, H. Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering
My work focuses on the development of wearable robotic devices for human augmentation, with a particular focus on the development of robotic devices and systems that improve function or mobility for individuals with physical disabilities. Recent work includes the development of robotic limbs for upper and lower extremity amputees, and lower limb exoskeletons for individuals with SCI and stroke.

Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch, Director Fraunhofer Institute für Mechanics of Material IWM
Materials and their evolving microstructure must be regarded as an integral part of manufacturing for a biological transformation to become successful.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Hiermaier Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Hiermaier, Director Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut EMI
Manufacturing aimes at providing the society with products and infrastructures for daily use. Nature provides endless blue-prints for self-healing and adaptability. Therefore, biological transformation has the potential of preserving the functionality of critical products and infrastructures despite the occurrence of disruptive events, if biological archetypes are utilized.

Prof. Dr. phil. habil, Dipl. Phys. Klaus Kornwachs Prof. Dr. phil. habil, Dipl. Phys. Klaus Kornwachs,
Let it Grow – About the Biologisation of Technology and Work 1. Mechanisation, Automation, Informatisation, Biologisation – the steps how technology has been and will be transformed 2. Interaction between “Biofacts” (i.e. artifical biological systems) and natural systems with respect to production and products 3. Cycles, waste management and sustainability must be newly designed 4. Living systems as instruments – questions of responsibility for Biofacts beyond bionics, imitation and simulation 5. What’ up with the Biologisation of Human Work?

Dr. Eng. Masahiko Mori Dr. Eng. Masahiko Mori, President, DMG MORI CO., LTD.
Biological transformation is for sure one of the mega trend in industry for next decades. We can easily think of 3 major approaches to learn from life: bio-imitation learning from bio-structure, bio-ethology learning from behavior of life, and bio-manufacturing learning from origin of life. These shall come true also for machine tool industry.

Dr. Jan Mrosik Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO Digital Factory Division, Siemens AG
State-of-the-art PLM software brings the concept of biology into the manufacturing environment: Using generative design means mimicking nature's evolutionary approach to design. Iteratively improved “digital twins” evolve virtually until the perfect shape is identified, fulfilling the requirements best and often reminding us of natural organic shapes, like plants or wings. Additive Manufacturing empowers us to create and produce these shapes we never imagined could be made by using traditional manufacturing methods.

Prof. Dr. Jakob Rehof Prof. Dr. Jakob Rehof, Director Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST
I am interested in the interplay of deterministic, logical concepts and concepts of self-organization and stochastic concepts in logistics, and in the use of software synthesis methods in this context for purposes of intelligent planning and related areas.

Prof. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt Prof. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt, President, RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
Background: seminal decline of aggregate productivity; ensuing demographic change Innovations as principal driving force of productivity growth Innovation policy as a decisive catalyst

Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Schmitz-Rode Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Director, Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University
Control of biological uncertainty in the production process is the key to quality-assured, individualized cellular therapy and tissue engineered implant products and essentially promotes clinical translation of regenerative medicine research.

Dr. Joachim Schulz Dr. Joachim Schulz, Aesculap AG
The B. Braun Group as a hospital provider with a traditionally high level of vertical range of manufacture has, due to its product range, a high affinity for biology, in particular human biology, as many products interact with it. Aspects such as automation, process digitization, hygiene and LEAN principles have been in the foreground in the company's own industrial value chain. Whether biology itself offers working principles or analogies that can revolutionize these value chains is not only a question of perspective, but also of exploring possible potential.

Dr. Yichen Shi Dr. Yichen Shi, CEO of Axol Bioscience
A number of revolutionary technologies are coming into play at the dawn of the biotech golden age. Super stem cells like iPS cells can now be produced from any individual including patients with genetic diseases; precision genome editing techniques such as GRISPR/Cas9 are widely adopted and have been applied to effectively modify genetic codes in many human cell types; 3D cell culture and tissue-on-chip have become the new routes for creating physiologically relevant drug testing platforms. There is just an unlimited amount of potential these new tools can offer. Now the big question for us is - how do we translate the initial experimental success, produced with these tools, to reproducible assay results and reliable products that can benefit human health?

Dr. Maria Soliman Dr. Maria Soliman, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
The European economy is moving from a linear towards a circular economy; in order to achieve this goal all potential solutions have to be combined together: Using non fossil resources is one contribution, chemical and mechanical recycling another one, a third one is the electrification of the chemical industry using renewable energy and the use of digital tools and artificial intelligence in production and product and application design.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel, Director Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
Future production will be based on bio-intelligent networks and ecosystems. After the development of individual systems and autonomous machines (as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution) the central research of future manufacturing has to focus on creating a virtualised ecosystem in which humans and machines can interact in a social way. It is about developing a "social networked industry" whose complexity will also require a disruptive technological change. As with the development of individual autonomous systems there are good reasons to think about nature-analogous methods and natural habitats as models for such a bio-intelligent environment.

Dr. Volker Wagner-Solbach Dr. Volker Wagner-Solbach, AMSilk GmbH
The next Kondratiev-cycle after digitalization is biologization (using industrial biotechnology and circular economy) – leading to performance products addressing our needs and well-being on a natural and sustainable basis. AMSilk’s silk proteins are a “best in class” example: They are already on the market and sold as Silkgel for cosmetics. Other products are Biosteel®-fibers and Silkcoating for medical devices, among others.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Weidner Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Weidner, Director Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT
Manufacturing is bound to change radically. In order to find solutions for replacing our receding fossil resources we have to refer to nature – the most experienced designer and engineer – in order to find inspirations for new materials that are best suited for a circular economy.

Bill Whitford Bill Whitford, Strategic Solutions Leader Cell Culture, Bioprocess GE Healthcare
Few non-specialists appreciate the revolution occurring in precision medicine and 4.0 manufacturing. Few specialists in any component field comprehensively appreciate the advances in the many sister technologies. The very few who can comprehend, orchestrate and apply them are now designing the next remakable generation biotherapeutic entities and manufacturing platforms.

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Zimmermann Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Zimmermann, Managing Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering
Biological transformation brings concepts and solutions from the best manufacturer in time – nature - to manufacturing processes made by humans. The result will be a major change on production technologies with impact in all driving fields of modern societies.