Comparatively small countries like Korea and Germany have been so successful economically because they have developed cutting-edge technologies in demand around the world. This also applies to laser technology, which has significantly helped the automotive industry in both countries succeed, for example.
Europe's largest institute for applied laser technologies is the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen. The institute has been collaborating with the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials KIMM for many years. The president of KIMM, Dr. Sang Jin Park, visited the Fraunhofer ILT on his trip to Europe on May 5, 2022. Together with Fraunhofer ILT’s director, Professor Constantin Häfner, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion.
“With this agreement, we are taking our cooperation to a new level. Knowledge is transported by people, and with the MoU the exchange of personnel should become faster and easier,” is how Professor Häfner describes the agreement. This is also to be strengthened by joint events such as symposia and conferences.
KIMM President Dr. Sang Jin Park expressed the hope that “KIMM's international collaborative research will be further enhanced by expanding cooperation with Germany, where mechanical technology is traditionally strong.”
With the MoU, both partners expect visible advantages when applying for internationally funded projects for the research and development of new laser technologies. Currently, they are jointly developing a laser process for welding and cutting metallic bipolar plates. “Particularly in environmentally friendly technologies for fuel cells and electromobility, we want to do more together in the future,” explains Professor Häfner. The first project applications for this have been submitted.
KIMM is a non-profit, government-funded research institute under the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT. Since its establishment in 1976 in Daejeon, KIMM has contributed to the country's economic growth by conducting research and development on key technologies in the field of machinery and materials, carrying out reliability tests, and marketing the products and technologies developed.
Persons in image 2, from left to right:
Dr. Alexander Olowinsky, Head of the Microjoining Group; Prof. Dr. Arnold Gillner, Head of the Ablation and Joining Department; Woo-Sik Chung, Scientific Researcher, and Prof. Dr. Constantin Häfner, Director of Fraunhofer ILT; Dr. Sang Jin Park, President of KIMM; Dr. Chang Woo Lee, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Systems Research Division; Dr. Sang Hoon Ahn, Principal Researcher, Department of Laser & Electron Beam Technologies; Dr. Su Jin Lee, Senior Researcher, Department of Industrial Laser Technology; and Ms. Ji Hyeon Seo, Head of the Department of External Relations (KIMM).