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The Freiberg site of the Köppern Group, Köppern Aufbereitungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, has borne the addition "Institute at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg" since November. The Freiberg-based company is part of Köppern, an international company founded in Hattingen in 1898 and still owner-managed today, a hidden champion of German mechanical and plant engineering. Köppern develops, builds and sells systems and heavy machinery for industrial processes in the fertiliser, building materials, mining, metallurgy and recycling industries worldwide. The two partners will be working even more closely together in future to research the processing and recycling of raw materials for the energy transition. One joint research project centres on the development of briquettes made from iron ore, which can be processed into green steel in hydrogen-powered furnaces in the future.


Unterzeichnung des Vertrags zur Kooperation.
Participants at the signing of the cooperation agreement. From left to right: Prof Holger Lieberwirth, Christopher Schäfer, Managing Partner of the Köppern Group, Rector Prof Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht, Prof Georg Unland.

The TU Bergakademie Freiberg has been cooperating with the mechanical and plant engineering company for several decades. In order to further intensify the cooperation in the future, both partners signed a contract according to which Köppern Aufbereitungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG is now an affiliated institute of the university. "Together with other research institutions and researching companies, our scientists work on innovations and bring technologies into application. The collaboration with the current eleven affiliated institutes is particularly close," explains Rector Prof Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht.

"Technical universities, and TU Bergakademie Freiberg in particular, have a special responsibility when it comes to technical and technological upheavals due to their profile. Scientific findings must be transferred into practice as quickly as possible in order to ensure the competitiveness of German industry. This can be achieved through joint research projects with companies, spin-offs or staff exchanges. All of this strengthens the attractiveness of Freiberg as a location," says Prof Georg Unland.

In the coming years, the collaboration between Köppern and TU Bergakademie will therefore also focus on alternative processes and the machines required to process iron ore.