Invented in Germany

Brain-Powered Car

#1 Brain-Powered Car

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AutoNOMOS-Labs, a Berlin-based project, has developed a car that can be driven by brain power. Called “MadeInGermany” and engineered by AutoNOMOS-Labs to run by iPhone, iPad and eye-tracking devices, the autonomous computer-controlled vehicle can now be hooked up to a commercial Emotiv Epoc EEG (electroencephalogram) headset that operates the way a headset used to play a computer game operates. The wireless neuro-headset measures and interprets bioelectric signals as patterns. These patterns are then associated with different commands, such as “go left” or “go right.” A software interface communicates with the on-board Drive-by-Wire system of the car, transforming the messages into actions. Photo Copyright: AutoNOMOS-Labs

#2 "Healthy" Ice Cream

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Appearing on German supermarket shelves since May 2011, LUPINESSE is a plant-based ice cream that is completely free of lactose, gluten, cholesterol, animal proteins, and fats. Developed by researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising, Germany, LUPINESSE is produced from blue sweet lupin, a plant indigenous to Germany. The ice cream is derived from the plant’s seeds which are rich in protein, have a balanced flavor and provide a creamy texture, and help regulate cholesterol. LUPINESSE comes in four flavors: Vanilla-Cherry, Strawberry-Mousse, Walnut Dream and Choco-Flakes. Photo Copyright: Fraunhofer IVV

Treating Cancer with Nanotechnology

#3 Treating Cancer with Nanotechnology

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In 2011, MagForce Nanotechnologies was the first company worldwide to receive European approval for NanoTherm® therapy, a targeted heat therapy using nanotechnology, to treat solid tumors. The treatment involves injecting nanoparticles containing ironoxide into solid tumors in a procedure similar to a biopsy. The patient is then placed in a machine that produces an alternating magnetic field which causes the nanoparticles to become agitated and warm the tumor tissue. The procedure either kills the tumor cells or sensitizes them for treatment by chemotherapy or radiation. Photo Copyright: MagForce AG

Non-Toxic Biomimetic Paint

#4 Non-Toxic Biomimetic Paint

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Inspired by shark skin and seed husks, biomimetic paint was first made available in 2010 by VOSS-Chemie GmbH. It discourages barnacles and mussels from attaching to the hulls of ships, reducing drag resistance and fuel consumption. The paint, developed based on research conducted at the Bionik-Innovations-Centrum (B-I-C) at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, avoids the use of copper and tributylin, which were used in older paints and found their way into the food chain. A spray-on version for commercial vessels will soon be available thereby helping reduce the carbon footprint and toxic impact of marine shipping. Photo Copyright: Biomimetics Innovation Centre, University of Applied Sciences, Bremen

Micro Wind Turbines

#5 Micro Wind Turbines

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FuSystems, a German wind turbine producer, launched BreezeBreaker, a micro turbine for individual homes, in 2011. It is 90% stainless steel and the kit includes an 800 Watt-sized power plant as well as a 12.9 kg-generator that is protected against water, dust, sand, and UV rays. The turbine is designed in Germany and built in the U.S. by the Windstream Corporation and in Germany by Kierey Metal Structures. Tested at various German sites for over two years now, BreezeBreaker is designed to work for 25 years without any technical service. The estimated return on investment is eight to fourteen years. Photo Copyright: FuSystems Windkraft GmbH

Plasma Pen for Sanitizing and Healing

#6 Plasma Pen for Sanitizing and Healing

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Developed at the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology in Greifswald, Germany in 2010, the kINPen@, is a plasma source primarily developed and designed for multiple applications, such as cleaning, activation, or decontamination of surfaces. It can treat complex surfaces and hard-to-reach indentations, as well as temperature-sensitive surfaces, such as plastics used in medicine and the food industry as well as in living tissue. It also shows promise for use in tissue engineering, the healing of chronic wounds, and the treatment of skin diseases and tumors. Photo Copyright: INP Greifswald

The Car-Plane

#7 The Car-Plane

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The flying car of sci-fi and various cartoons might one day become a reality. Carplane GmbH, a company in Lower Saxony and under the direction of pilot Angela Fleck, is currently building such a dual-mode vehicle. Designed as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), the Carplane® is an electric vehicle on the road and uses a combustion motor in the air that operates at low RPM with relatively low consumption, noise, and emissions. It has twin aerodynamically shaped hulls (one for each occupant), swing-wings which are stowed between the hulls while driving, and an extendable tail. The Carplane® can reach highway speeds of up to 109 mph and cruise speeds of up to 136 mph. Photo Copyright: Carplane® GmbH

Sound Insulation for Open Plan Offices

#8 Sound Insulation for Open Plan Offices

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In recent years, two German companies, SilenceSolutions GmbH and Bayer MaterialScience have developed a range of designs to insulate against sound and absorb noise within an open plan office. The “Ruhemodul Office” has adaptable walls that absorb sound, especially voices, and reduce noise by more than 20 decibels. Photo Copyright: SilenceSolutions GmbH

MP3 Player

#9 MP3 Player

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The music compression technique that became known as MP3 was developed in Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the Frauenhofer Research Institute. An MP3 file reduces the size of an audio file by one twelfth.

Ring Binder

#10 Ring Binder

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Although not a high-tech innovation, this invention changed the way people around the world organize their work and their lives! That ring binder that you remember from fifth grade or that you still use in your office is a German invention. It was invented by Friedrich Soennecken of Bonn in 1886. He also invented and patented the hole-puncher.