Universities bring knowledge, curiosity to Hannover

U.S. schools will showcase their research, look to develop new partners.

By Bob Vavra April 1, 2016

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge invented GPS, developed Doppler radar, and is a pioneer in 3-D printing. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., created the navigation software used by NASA’s Mars rovers, built robots that can walk on water, and is a birthplace of artificial intelligence. Together, the two universities boast more than 100 Nobel laureates. In 2016, both will exhibit at Hannover Messe in Germany for the first time.

"Carnegie Mellon and MIT are two of America’s most storied research universities. Their participation further spotlights the innovative power of Partner Country USA at Hannover Messe," said Marc Siemering, senior vice president of Hannover Messe. The two universities join leading German institutions such as the Fraunhofer Society and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

MIT and Carnegie Mellon will exhibit at the U.S. Pavilion in Hall 2. MIT will emphasize the university’s commitment to "Mens et Manus" training, which leads to commercialization and entrepreneurship as well as how MIT promotes technology transfer. Carnegie Mellon will showcase research innovations in robotics and additive manufacturing with a focus on emerging university startup businesses in these fields.

An educational process

More than 20 of the United States’ top universities and industrial technology institutes will take center stage in the U.S. Pavilion at Hannover Messe 2016. In the Research and Technology trade fair in Hall 2, exhibitors will showcase groundbreaking research, business startups and global partnerships that line up with the fair’s emphasis on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the German initiative, Industrie 4.0.

As part of the United States’ Partner Country status at Hannover Messe 2016, U.S. academic and technology institutes will showcase faculty members, student talents and research programs. The event also will allow visitors to discuss and explore for potential partnerships and innovation projects.

"American universities are leading the way in research and innovation, and in partnering with industry to bring innovations to market," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Services Ted Dean. "Hannover Messe presents a prime opportunity to show the world how U.S. research universities are creating global solutions that are revolutionizing how ideas become a reality."

For example, Virginia Tech will showcase its groundbreaking research and the innovative partnerships it has formed with global business and industry. Specifically, the Blacksburg, Va.-based school will showcase its Smart Infrastructure Laboratory, which examines the use of sensor information to improve the design, monitoring and operation of civil and mechanical infrastructure to investigate how humans interact with built environments. Virginia Tech also will demonstrate the work of its Structural Systems and Lifecycle Reliability team. These researchers’ insights into the performance of concrete materials are producing safer, less costly construction methods and a longer life for bridges and other structures across the United States.

Virginia Tech is a partner with the German university Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD). Together, the institutions offer a unique dual bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In this program, U.S. students complete their senior year at TUD and German students finish at Virginia Tech, earning degrees from both universities simultaneously.

"Virginia Tech has a long history of working with businesses throughout the world," said Guru Ghosh, the university’s vice president for Outreach and International Affairs.

"These partnerships tap into practical applications of knowledge, allowing businesses to solve problems, create new products, recruit high-quality employees and develop new markets. We look forward to sharing the best of Virginia Tech with the global audience at Hannover Messe."

Partnering with business

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE)—the Scottsdale-based IP management and technology transfer organization for Arizona State University (ASU)—is bringing several startups to Germany. Joining the delegation will be Fluidic Energy, an ASU spinout company that is partnering with Caterpillar Inc. and PLN, Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company, on a project to provide power to 500 remote villages throughout the island nation. The program will deliver reliable, renewable power to 1.7 million people through solar panels paired with Fluidic’s metal-air batteries.

"Arizona State University’s interdisciplinary approach to research and entrepreneurship delivers truly novel solutions to persistent societal and market challenges," said Annette Kleiser, PhD, the AzTE’s business development consultant. She will present "Innovation and Impact: Facilitating Use-Inspired-Research Into the Marketplace" at Hannover Messe "Hannover Messe 2016 is an important global showcase for this work, and we’re very excited to be part of the USA Research & Technology Pavilion."

As the largest recipient of U.S. federal government research funding, the University of California is attending Hannover Messe to showcase the depth of its research related to energy and climate solutions—to attract industries interested in collaborating with researchers to create innovations that will help address this global challenge.

School officials will demonstrate the U.S. government’s commitment to leveraging its resources and talents to create global solutions for the challenges of energy sustainability and climate change.

"The University of California is proud to be part of U.S. participation in Hannover Messe," said William Tucker, interim vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at the university. "As the world’s largest public research university and a global leader in the search for solutions to the challenge of energy sustainability and climate stability, we want to share our commitment to this cause and use Hannover Messe to seek out other government, academic and industrial partners to join us in this mission."

Growing global learning

As one of the United States’ leading institutes for research and commercialization, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, will highlight its leadership in advanced manufacturing, robotics and energy. The university will also showcase its basic and applied research in manufacturing, trade and logistics that is supported by its strengths in materials and management.

Georgia Tech continues to be a leader in establishing global innovation portals and partnerships, research and education hubs, and select branch campuses like Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France. Through the use of distance learning and other technologies to deliver educational and research products to students, researchers, governments and businesses around the world, Georgia Tech will showcase its global impact.

"Georgia Tech is in the fortunate position of being one of a few global institutions continually called upon by universities, companies and governments from around the world to assist in their efforts to grow science, business and technology in an increasingly innovation-centric economy," said Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "We are proud to join the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA initiative at Hannover Messe to highlight the many advantages the United States offers as a location for business and investment."

Tech Parks Arizona, a unit of the University of Arizona based in Tucson, will be showcasing Global Advantage, a unique business development program designed to assist fast-growth international technology companies entering the North American market. The program offers assistance in market access, product development, testing and demonstration, business development and advanced manufacturing. Global Advantage also connects companies to the University of Arizona, a premier research university located in Phoenix, and to its research parks, the largest technology parks located along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Tech Parks of Arizona recruits small and midsized high-growth technology companies to Southern Arizona in six industry sectors: advanced energy, mining technology, defense and security, bioscience, arid lands agriculture and water. These specializations make Tech Parks Arizona a prime choice for companies in cross-cutting industry sectors, such as sustainability, optics and imaging, advanced manufacturing and informatics.

–Compiled from Hannover Messe press releases.

Author Bio: Bob is the Content Manager for Plant Engineering.