Resource efficiency

The technical side of sustainability

ongoing projects
78.8 m
€ invested funding budget

The sustainable use of resources is one of the greatest challenges of the coming decades. In addition to the implementation of existing knowledge, new, innovative STEM research plays a key role here.

What exactly do we mean by resource efficiency?

We consider resource efficiency to be the technical side of sustainability. We promote technical and scientific research that develops answers to the question of how to use limited natural resources efficiently – from resource-conserving production to new technologies and recyclability. For us, resource efficiency is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary cross-sectional topic that must focus specifically on the transfer of knowledge and technology from research to practice.

What do we want to achieve?

In the coming years, we would like our funding to facilitate outstanding research at universities and universities of applied sciences in four areas of activity. 

Our areas of activity

Fair raw materials for new technologies

Substitution of the use of mineral raw materials

Sustainable material innovations

Lightweight construction, resource-saving production and material innovations

Resource-saving digitalisation

Increased efficiency of hardware/software and recyclability of IT systems

Energy systems of the future

Efficiency-enhancing measures, storage technologies, smart grids, hydrogen synthesis

We are pursuing several goals in our areas of activity. We want to

  • promote inter- and transdisciplinary approaches
  • promote the transformation of knowledge into practice, and 
  • manifest the topic of resource efficiency broadly in university teaching to increase understanding of sustainable development.

Why is resource efficiency a priority topic for us?

We are convinced that the sustainable use of resources is one of the greatest challenges of the coming decades. On the one hand, the use of natural resources is associated with emissions and other environmental impacts; on the other, dwindling resources can lead to economic and social upheavals. 

For the economy as a major consumer of natural resources, the pressure to act is particularly enormous. On the other hand, this opens up opportunities to develop new business areas, to play a leading role in global competition, or to make production more profitable and independent.

By identifying and solving technological challenges, scientific and technical research plays a key role in making it possible to exploit the potential of resource efficiency for the economy and society.


Matthias Stolzenburg

Program Manager, Legal Affairs

Phone: +49 (0)711 - 162213 - 13


Dr. Karla Hillerich

Program Manager

Phone: +49 (0) 711 162 213 – 21