Biological Transformation

What is Biological Transformation

Titelbild, Kachel, Icon zum Thema Biologische Transformation
© iStock-Jasmina007
Biological Transformation

Biological transformation offers great potential for a sustainable business.

Through the intelligent use of materials, structures, and principles of living nature in technology, biological transformation aims to produce future solutions for sustainable value creation concepts through a convergence of different disciplines.

Digital technologies are fundamentally changing our manufacturing processes and product development. Efficient and intelligent sensor technology, tactile internet, and advances in secure data communication enable the linking of the digital and physical worlds in an industrial context. However, the increase in connectivity and productivity resulting from digital processes also significantly increases resource requirements. Maintaining our standard of living and not consume natural resources requires sustainable value creation, sustainable production methods, and innovative future technologies.

Pathways of Biological Transformation

The process of biological transformation can occur with increasing complexity in the three complementary paths of inspiration, integration, and interaction (Bauernhansl et al. 2019).

The most common development mode is inspiration, in which optimized phenomena from nature are transferred to technology in the course of evolution over millions of years. With this approach of classical bionics, for example, developments take place in the field of structures and materials (e.g., lightweight construction), functionalities (biomechanics), or organizational solutions (swarm intelligence).

Dragonfly wings
© Getty Images
Dragonfly wings

In the mode of integration, biological processes and systems are embedded in production systems. Thus, biological components (e.g., proteins) or organisms (e.g., cells or bacteria) become part of the technical machinery. One application example is the biotechnological production of materials or pharmaceutical molecules, connected to microelectronics as sensor units, as in biosensors.

Tomorrow's value creation, on the other hand, is based on the interaction between technical, informational, and biological systems and their ability to communicate with each other. It pursues the goal of self-optimization and creates absolutely new self-sufficient production technologies and structures. One example is the communication between living nerves and electronic circuits in neuroprostheses or brain computers.

Biological Transformation@Fraunhofer IGCV

Biological transformation along the product life cycle (exemplary)
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Biological transformation along the product life cycle (exemplary)

The interplay of digitization and biological transformation and the associated increased interdisciplinary collaboration of the various scientific fields open up the possibility for completely new approaches and innovations along a product life cycle.

As a cross-sectional competence of Fraunhofer IGCV, biological transformation combines various elements of our scientific fields. Researchers work on interdisciplinary solutions that systematically transfer processes, principles, and materials from nature to technology and raise industrial applications to a new level, especially in lightweight construction.

Here you will find an overview of selected projects:


Component condition monitoring using a »sensitive outer skin«.


Intelligent search and gripper system: combining additive manufacturing, sensor and control technology, and artificial intelligence with a bionic approach.


A lightweight framework consisting of composite tubes and cast nodes – joined by press connections.


Biological transformation along the product life cycle using the example of electrically powered aircrafts.


Networked application-oriented aviation research through an agile, intelligent, networked and holistic knowledge management for lightweight construction.

Further competences and lead topics at Fraunhofer IGCV



We are shaping the way into the future...

...of efficient engineering...




...networked production and...


Multi-material solutions

...of intelligent multi-material solutions!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Smarter production – with artificial intelligence


Composite Recycling

With numerous research projects along the entire recycling chain, we are ensuring a more sustainable approach to this group of materials. 

Further reference projects

Here you will find an overview of various reference projects at Fraunhofer IGCV.

Cooperation with Fraunhofer IGCV

We will be happy to find an individual solution for you.

contact persons

All contact persons for specific project inquiries.