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Two Helmholtz Innovation Labs will be established at GFZ Potsdam

Rüdiger Giese inserting pipes to accommodate geophone receivers in a K+S potash mine (photo: K. Krüger, GFZ).
Daniel Spengler and Julia Neelmeijer from the project "FERN.Lab - Remote Sensing for Sustainable Resource Use", one of the two selected "Helmholtz Innovation Labs" of the GFZ (photo: C. Vallentin, GFZ).

Two 'Helmholtz Innovation Labs' will soon be established at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in Potsdam. The '3D Underground Seismic Lab' and the 'FERN.Lab - Remote Sensing for Sustainable Use of Resources' are two of nine successful projects selected by the Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz Innovation Labs are places where scientific expertise and the needs of industry and its customers will come together. They create "enabling spaces" in which new ideas can be tested. Their aim is to involve corporate partners in joint development projects on a long-term basis and to transfer approaches from research into commercially successful applications.

The '3D Underground Seismic lab' and the 'FERN.lab' will be funded with 1.5 million euros and 2.3 million euros respectively over the next five years, subject to an interim evaluation after two and a half years. These are the first Helmholtz Innovation Labs at the GFZ.

GFZ Chairman of the Board and Scientific Executive Director Reinhard Hüttl is pleased with the successful proposals: "The transfer of technology and knowledge from basic research into society is an important aspect of our work, which we do every day at GFZ. This enables many people to benefit from the results of science – both as users of new technologies and through future-oriented jobs, for example in spin-off companies".

Jörn Krupa, Head of GFZ Technology Transfer since 2018: "I am proud that both applications we submitted were successful. This could only be achieved by a very committed cooperation already in the application phase, especially in the strategic discussion of transfer-relevant topics and in addressing the many partners from industry. It is very gratifying that this dynamism can now be continued in both labs".

Platforms for mining and tunnelling and geo-satellite data

The '3D Underground Seismic Lab' (short: 3D-US Lab) bundles the seismic methods developed at the GFZ in a single technology platform, standardizes and modularizes them. It combines the technological and methodological developments in tunnel and borehole seismics for 3D seismic exploration of underground structures. The technology platform and the GFZ underground laboratory in Freiberg are of great interest for various partners from mining and tunnelling. In the long term the Helmholtz Innovation Lab aims to establish 3D underground seismics as the key technology for the effective and safe construction and use of underground buildings.

Rüdiger Giese and Katrin Jaksch from the GFZ section Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling developed the proposal for the '3D-US Lab'. Rüdiger Giese says: "We are very pleased about the support for the 3D-US Lab. Together with our partners from industry and research, we are now in a position to further develop successful systems in the field of underground seismics into marketable products".

The 'FERN.Lab - Remote Sensing for Sustainable Use of Resources' is to function as a technology platform for application-oriented methods in the analysis of remote sensing data. The lab combines the expertise on various sensor systems from the entire GFZ Geodesy department. These include the analysis of radar and spectroscopy data, the evaluation of earth gravity field measurements, the development of cost-effective GNSS receivers for high-precision positioning, the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sensor simulations and big data analyses. These methods are to be made available to companies, authorities and non-governmental organisations in the FERN.Lab, thus supporting applications such as environmental monitoring, smart farming, reservoir exploration, groundwater or infrastructure monitoring with innovative geoinformation products.

Daniel Spengler, Julia Neelmeijer and Theres Küster from the GFZ section Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics are the main applicants for the FERN.Lab. Julia Neelmeijer says: "FERN.Lab offers partners the great opportunity to integrate innovative remote sensing methods into their own process chain. Even an individual combination of data from very different acquisition systems can be considered. At the same time, FERN.Lab represents an ideal platform for researchers in the field of geodesy to bring their scientific developments to application. We are already receiving an extremely positive response from a large number of interested partners. I am very excited about the launch of FERN.Lab next year".

Funding for the two Helmholtz Innovation Labs at the GFZ will start in January 2020.

Further information:

Scientific contact:
Dr. Rüdiger Giese
3D Underground Seismic lab 
Work group leader Underground Seismics
Section Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling 
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-1575
E-Mail: ruediger.giese@gfz-potsdam.de

Dr. Daniel Spengler
FERN.Lab -Remote Sensing for Sustainable Use of Resources 
Section Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-1764
E-Mail: daniel.spengler@gfz-potsdam.de

Dr. Julia Neelmeijer
Section Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-28621
E-Mail: julia.neelmeijer@gfz-potsdam.de

Dr.-Ing. Jörn Krupa
Head of GFZ Technology Transfer
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-1098
E-mail: joern.krupa@gfz-potsdam.de

Media contact:
Dipl.-Phys. Philipp Hummel
Public and Media Relations
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-1049
E-Mail: philipp.hummel@gfz-potsdam.de
Twitter: @GFZ_Potsdam

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