In view of increasing shortages in primary resources and increasingly volatile prices on the markets for raw materials, the German government is pursuing the aim of doubling the energy and resource productivity of German industry by 2020 compared with 1994 in its national sustainability strategy. Numerous technical innovations are required to meet the challenges involved here. To support these aims, the BMBF has launched the national research funding initiative "Innovative Technologies for Resource Efficiency – Resource-Intensive Production Processes". This funding initiative is part of the High-Tech Strategy of the federal government, which intends to strengthen the innovativeness and competitiveness of German industry with regard to its resource efficiency in resource-intensive industrial branches. Alongside the projects to develop technologies, an integration and transfer project headed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI was also conducted to facilitate networking activities and conduct accompanying research.
The integration and transfer project aimed to enhance the innovative strength of the sponsored project groups by linking them with each other and their environments. The integration and transfer project augmented the research benefits drawn by each joint project by transferring information, working on issues which cut across sectors and technologies and providing additional research services. At the same time, it supported the BMBF in the further development of the funding initiative.
Work in the integration and transfer project was structured in three parts: