Commercialization Laminar Flow (IST Austria)

Project title: Commercialization Laminar Flow (IST Austria)
Project owner: IST Austria, Technology Transfer / Hof Group
Project contact (ISTA): Markus Schaner (fellow) and Jakob Kühnen (IST project manager)
Project supervisors (LBS): Prof (FH) Dr. Hanno Poeschl /Prof. (FH) Mag. (FH) Roksela Miha
Project collaboratos: IML 2014 students:


The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) is a PhD granting research institution dedicated to basic research in the natural and mathematical sciences. Located in the city of Klosterneuburg on the outskirts of Vienna, IST Austria was inaugurated in 2009 with a total budget of 1.3 billion Euros of public funding until 2026.
The institute was modeled after leading scientific institutions and is committed to becoming a world class research center, offering a state-of-the-art, international environment for about 1000 scientists and doctoral students by 2026.
Research at IST Austria is supported by public funding, research grants, technology licensing, and donations.
Academic institution
Years in Business: since 2009
Number of Employees: ca. 500
Web Pages:

Short- and long-term goals
Our goal is to make an impact in the “real world” through finding applications for the scientific findings of our researchers. Creating jobs, fostering an entrepreneurial culture at our campus and securing an adequate share in the value creation for IST are objectives associated with the broader goal mentioned above.

Specific business problems the students will work on during their SCP
The role of the student team will be to determine the commercial potential of a specific scientific invention, in this case an invention by one of our experimental physics groups. Björn Hof’s group deals with fluid dynamics and works on understanding a seemingly simple everyday phenomenon, ie. why flows become turbulent. Water, or any liquid or gas really, will initially flow in a laminar way and then become turbulent. The group also understands the opposite effect, i.e. how turbulent flows can be “re-laminarized”. They design and build devices that can be inserted into pipes that can create this effect.

Role of the student team
(i) think about possible applications: the student team should creatively consider a range of different applications areas where the presence of a laminar rather than a turbulent flow is advantageous.
(ii) deep dive on selected applications: the most obvious advantage of the technology lies in the dramatically reduced (>80%) energy demand for pumping laminar flows compared to turbulent ones. The team should understand where this advantage is relevant, also in the context of the technical limitations to our technology, mainly regarding flow velocities. this step will include research with companies in pipeline, process plant engineering etc.
(iii) develop business models for selected applications: understand value creation, ability to capture value, quantify with actual cost data