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The EZD in Selb grows: Vision becomes reality

After a construction period of just under 15 months, the expansion of the European Center for Dispersion Technologies (EZD) in Selb, Germany, was inaugurated on July 31. The new building provides an additional 700 m² for research and development. The expansion will include a laboratory for coating and characterization of surfaces as well as a dispersion pilot plant.

August 7, 2023

Official opening of the new building in Selb; Tobias Hoffmann (IHK Upper Franconia), MdL Ursula Sowa, District Administrator Peter Berek, SKZ Chairman Prof. Martin Bastian, EZD Director Dr.-Ing. Felipe Wolff-Fabris, Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Rädisch (NETZSCH), Vice-President Thomas Engel, MdL Martin Schöffel, MdL Rainer Ludwig and Mayor Ulrich Pötzsch (from left to right) (Photo: EZD)

New building inaugurated

Since its foundation in 2014, the EZD has established itself as an important development partner for industry, where companies can turn to test new ideas, train employees and optimize internal company processes. Since its inception, the EZD has worked on more than 1100 projects in the field of formulation, production, characterization and training for dispersions, with a total of more than 500 different companies. Only a few years after its foundation, the next milestone in the young but successful development of the EZD has already been reached: The available space will be doubled! "We are a recognized development partner for the paint, coatings and plastics industries. The EZD team does excellent work, which is why we are expanding our site in terms of personnel and topics. The new building will house a coating laboratory and a dispersion pilot plant. This will enable us to do an even better job of supporting companies in the development and manufacture of innovative products," says site manager Dr. Felipe Wolff-Fabris.

The Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy is funding the expansion of the EZD in Selb with approximately €4.1 million. The total investment for the construction and equipment of the laboratories is approximately €5.2 million. Bavaria's Vice-Minister of Economic Affairs, Roland Weigert, said: "This expansion will make the European Center for Dispersion Technologies even more attractive both nationally and internationally. As a highly innovative and efficient institution, the EZD, together with the German Plastics Center SKZ, drives the technology transfer from research to industrial applications and markets. This is why we have been providing intensive support to the EZD and the entire SKZ for many years. For the expansion alone, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs is providing more than 4 million euros in funding.

In the course of the expansion, both the infrastructure and the competencies of the EZD will be expanded. The establishment of a coating and surface characterization laboratory and a dispersion pilot plant will expand the industry-related research on paints, coatings and inks and also enable the provision of complete solutions from raw material to application. In the coating laboratory, substrates are coated using various processes (such as spray coating, powder coating and digital printing), coated surfaces are characterized, and coating materials and inks are evaluated for processability and final properties. Special emphasis is placed on the development of bio-based and functional coatings. For the dispersion pilot plant, pilot-scale equipment will be acquired that can process dispersion mixtures in the range of 10 to 100 liters. The focus is on upscaling and digitalization of dispersion processes as well as energy-efficient production of dispersions.

In addition to research and development, the EZD also focuses on continuing education. The offer ranges from online courses and on-site training, where theory and practice can be combined, to individual training. This allows the company to respond flexibly to customer requirements. The expansion also means that the range of training courses can be further expanded.

The EZD currently has eleven permanent employees, including chemists, engineers and technicians. They are regularly supported by interns and students writing their theses at the EZD. The expansion will create up to 20 new skilled jobs.

Member of the state parliament Martin Schöffel, who has closely accompanied the EZD in its development since it was founded, is pleased: "I congratulate the EZD on the expansion of the location, which also means a significant increase in skills and jobs. Since it was founded in 2014, the EZD has developed into an outstanding partner of the local economy far beyond the borders of Bavaria. All expectations and hopes were more than fulfilled. I wish you every success with the new premises and the technical center and am sure that many valuable innovations will be born here in Selb, in the EZD.”

"We are sure that this investment will be worthwhile," asserts Prof. Dr. Martin Bastian, CEO of the SKZ in Würzburg. "The EZD is a success story and a flagship project in Upper Franconia. We are proud to be a part of it and to be able to promote this location in the future."

More information about European Center for Dispersion Technologies (EZD)

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Contact Person:

Dr.-Ing. Felipe Wolff-Fabris
Branch Office Manager EZD
Selb
f.wolff-fabris@skz.de

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