The Japanese mechanical engineering company Sugino Machine Limited has entered into a strategic partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. Employees from both companies will conduct joint research in the centers for dispersion technology and particle technology over the next two years. The focus: industrial processing of biopolymers. "Sugino has excellent knowledge in the production of pastes and slurries for coating materials and storage technology, but also in the processing of biopolymers," informs the head of the Process Industry business unit at Fraunhofer IPA, Ivica Kolaric. "This cooperation offers the opportunity to bring the knowledge gained in research into application and implement it profitably. Regional users in particular can also benefit from this know-how, for example in the approval and certification of new plants. Fraunhofer IPA's Center for Dispersion Technology brings together existing expertise in this area of surface technology. With its comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, the center covers the entire process chain of dispersion technology - from the development of scientific fundamentals to industrial application. The scientists conduct research, for example, on the safety of processes and equipment and on energy and resource efficiency. In this cooperative project, the institute scientists accompany Sugino in the development of their applications and offer their support in the design of the overall process and also in the selection of the right materials. In this way, important variables such as the degree of automation, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness are taken into account from the outset and controlled during development. The cooperation project also renewed the collaboration between Fraunhofer IPA and the most important research institution for applied research in Japan, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Kansai (AIST Kansai).