In December 2007, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT took over as director of the IGB and created the business areas medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, environment, and energy. With his contacts in industrial biotechnology, he brought back to the institute a subject that the Fraunhofer IGB had researched in broad outline in the past, namely the manufacture of products from renewables (renewables conversion). At the same time he ensured that the topics of bioeconomy and sustainability became not only a key part of the research landscape at the Fraunhofer IGB and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, but also a core aspect of national German and Baden-Württemberg research policies. Hirth also oversaw the expansion of Fraunhofer IGB activities to Würzburg, Straubing and Leuna, where project groups on oncology, on chemocatalysis and biocatalysis and the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP were established.
When the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft discontinued the Technology Development Group (TEG) in 2009, the Department of Physical Process Engineering under the direction of the process engineer Siegfried Egner was integrated into the IGB.
In July 2009, a joint Federal Government / Länder committee approved the setting up of a “Chemical Biotechnological Process Center” (head: Gerd Unkelbach) in Leuna, Saxony-Anhalt.
On August 1 of the same year, the project groups BioCat (head: Prof. Volker Sieber) and Oncology (head: Prof. Heike Walles) commenced their activities in Straubing and Würzburg.
In 2011, Prof. Trösch handed over management of the Environmental Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering Department to Dr.-Ing. Ursula Schließmann, previously his deputy.
On October 2, 2012 the German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel inaugurated the CBP in Leuna. For the first time, the CBP makes it possible to transfer the material use of renewable raw materials more quickly into industrial applications. It has taken a key position in German and European bioeconomy research since then.
At the University of Stuttgart, the Institute for Plasma Research was integrated into the former Institute for Interfacial Engineering IGVT at the turn of the year 2012/2013 to become the Institute of Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology IGVP. Thus plasma activities in Stuttgart are now bundled, strengthening the roots of the IGB, with which the IGVP is closely associated.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB celebrated its 60th anniversary on September 25, 2013 with a commemorative symposium.
At the end of 2013, BioCat also received a notification of funding for the “Center for Energy Storage” at the Straubing site, since then, the Free State of Bavaria has been continuing to provide funding for the Center and will do so until the five-year period ends.
2013, Prof. Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland and Prof. Dr. Petra Kluger took over the management of the Cell and Tissue Engineering Department of Prof. Walles, who focuses on Würzburg after approval of a translational center for medical products and regenerative therapies.
With the start-up financing by the relevant federal states having come to an end, and with the groups having been successfully
evaluated, in 2014 all three project groups – in Leuna, Straubing and Würzburg – were transferred over to the combined federal and statelevel financing arrangements (Bund-Länder-Finanzierung) of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, thereby becoming permanent branches of the Fraunhofer IGB.
Thanks to additional funding from Bavaria, in mid-July 2014 the project group became part of the new Fraunhofer Translational Center “Regenerative Therapies for Oncology and Musculoskeletal Diseases”.