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A research and application center for digital future technologies (FADZ) is to be set up in the former Kirschbaummühle mill in Lichtenfels, Upper Franconia. The initiative is based on a partnership between the city and district of Lichtenfels with Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Lichtenfels entrepreneur Frank Herzog, the founder of Concept Laser , a leading provider of machine and plant technology for 3D printing of metal parts and, since 2016, part of GE Additive.

The FADZ will focus on three key areas: research for regional companies, consulting and knowledge transfer, and training and further education. Coburg University of Applied Sciences is participating in the new center through its Institute for Prototypes and Model Technology (IPM) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Technology . In addition, the university’s executive board is planning to set up a master’s program in additive manufacturing and lightweight construction, to be based in the old Kirschbaummühle, a building downtown boasting over 600 years of history and now being bought and restored for €4.9 million. The new center is scheduled to be up and running in 2023.